Updated: Aug 31, 2022
I’m in that slow motion phase where everything I do feels like I’m pushing through thick mud. I get a glimpse of fluid movement and am promptly met with a brick wall to slow me down again. It’s like being on (Trigger Warning: I have a long history with substance abuse, both personally and in my friends and family, and I’m not going to hide it) ketamine. A drug that slowed me down to about 20% of my normally perceived speed of movement. It’s actually why I never touched the stuff again after trying it, I’ve never been into downers. Gemini Mars here, so my natural instinct does not include slowing down. But, similar to a Mercury Retrograde, when Grief comes around my inclination is to stay at my normal pace, go through my usual motions, and it never doesn’t catch me off guard that I can’t.
This isn’t my first time with Grief, though each time we get together is quite unique as no two are ever exactly the same. Still, parts of it are familiar. Like the mud phase.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to do here. Process, I suppose. Sift through the merkiness of my thoughts right now, try and make some sense, feel some sort of resolution, find my will and drive again. I think part of it is to help me heal, yes, but more than anything I think I’m feeling called to write this post as an effort to help remove the stigma surrounding conversations about death. Because this is an honesty-only zone, okay? That Witch Next Door vibe is about authenticity and integrity; we’re not afraid to face ourselves, we’re not afraid to be ourselves, and the reality of it is: Death is a part of us. It’s in all of us.
I want to take a moment here to honor my friend, Collin. He passed away February 2nd, 2021 after fighting hard through a long and grueling medical battle. This battle was one of so many examples of Collin’s strength. He was a deeply compassionate, kind, creative, hilarious person, and he was married to one of my oldest and best friends, Erica. I was incredibly lucky to be Matron of Honor in their wedding and part of so many other memories with Collin. These happy connections I have with him are not what is making this particular grieving process so difficult though. It’s the...other ones.
As a friend I am fiercely loyal (hello, Scorpio) and protective. I go to bat for my friends, but I am also very honest with them in my advice, often offering to be Devil’s Advocate. Still, as in all relationships of any kind, there are times where we vent about arguments and fights with our partners to each other. Usually offering some harsh words of our own to make our friend feel validated and supported. All totally normal. Except the difference here is I’ve never had any of my friend’s partners die before. During Mercury Retrograde. In Aquarius. And so for a week now I can’t seem to get out of a dark pattern:
Memory recall with person who has passed → Reflects distastefully on my words or reaction during said memory → Guilt deepens → Anxiety is triggered → Retreat into self/begin avoidance → Temporary relief → Attempt to re emerge into regular life again → Repeat
Sound familiar? It’s stupid common. But do we talk about it? No!
The fact is we are human. And in our human relationships there are ups and downs, and so there are going to be times where we think/speak/act a certain way, reflect on it later, and lots of times we end up feeling like we should have thought/spoke/acted differently. And whether we ever get the courage to reopen the subject with the other person to try and rectify our behavior or not--when they’re alive, it’s an option! They die, and the finality just astounds you. Truly, it’s rendered me dumb, I swear. I feel so...so sorry all the time. In everything I do. I’m overanalyzing my every move to the point where I’m now frozen, motionless.
So here I am, trying to move again.
In an attempt to break the dark pattern, I resolved to writing. Because truly, truly--Collin was an absolutely amazing person that I will forever be grateful to have had so close in my life. Chosen family is a BIG deal around here. But I’m also not a terrible person for being a human friend in my past and for getting sassy during girl talk. Am I sorry? Yes, I am. In my opinion it’s okay not to be so unapologetic all the time. But am I forgiven? I am. I haven’t accepted the forgiveness yet, I’m still in that process for sure. But yes, by the Universe and I know by Collin, I am forgiven for my shadowy, unevolved qualities that in turn grow me into a better person, into a more enlightened soul.
And so, in honor of someone who I know would have, and in his new spirit form still is, wanted me to be myself and to stop worrying so much about what might make other people feel uncomfortable: the post is written and published. Collin, you wonderfully genuine soul, this one is for you. Rest easy and fly high, my sweet, sweet friend.