it comes in different stages for different people. most just feel it like a freight train hitting them square in the chest; the tears are heavy, like iron, falling freely upon their own ghostly will; and then the emotions set in, but the realization always stays the same with everyone, creeping in at a steady pace no matter how strong you think you are. they start slowly from the inside and make a home within the crevice between your heart and lungs, and you cant breathe anymore, you cant think either. your mind becomes consumed, trying to find a light in all this darkness, struggling to find reason and a hope and anything good you can possibly think of just to make sense of the tragedy that has now become like hands around your neck slowly tightening more and more as each day comes and goes
but eventually the reality of it all passes over your head and you come to terms with it and you become okay, one step at a time. you start to rationalize the situation and become more attuned in figuring out how to conclude your own torrent of questions that has since engulfed you with grief for losing someone to a situation you have no conscious comprehension in knowing just how they made such a conclusion to their own person.
and this is how most people think, how most people confide in their knowledge or, even better, lack thereof. to the ones that do not, nor ever will understand or comprehend the situation as to why someone would ever be capable of concluding their own life, i have an insatiable jealousy for your way of thinking. because, ive been in that situation, many times, and it never gets easier. not only unto myself and my own thoughts and my own incredibly overbearing, chest-crushing sort of ostensible and existential pains, but ive been confronted with others', sometimes literally face to face, multiple times.
each time, you think it would become easier and easier to face death eye to eye; you think that, having had so much experience in it, its gaze would become easier to hold, but it never does. and the chills are all the same, no matter how calm on the outside you may seem. the face can be calm, the breathing can be normal, but the mind - in those moments - are most fragile. and the irrationalities and misconceptions become more and more real, like the doubts you have about your own existence become tangible sound; a voice, whispering just out of reach of your audible range, but still close enough to remind you that you're alive and how much you dont want to be just that, all the same.
its as though your heart and very soul becomes a blank slate; a canvas for all the eternally conflicting discrepancies you have felt for your person, painted across it in an erratic splash of blood and tears, left as a reminder to your fears to keep thinking, "is this what i want?" but the only answer you can find is bawling your eyes until your pupils become red and rash from dryness, for days the strenuous pounding of your heart being the only true friend you have left on this planet, but all you can do is listen and talk to yourself in that familiar emptiness you have nothing else to call but "home."
for people like me, like us, we come to find the answers are always hidden in the places we can never reach; a scorn to our testament that is our life, seething in dissonance for all things "good" and "normal," echoing blank chanting of empty fate and faithless days where we don't know who we are or why we're here no better than anyone else would think if you were to ask them, but the difference being that we hold these devaluations to be true every waking hour. we don't sleep sound and we don't taste the same sweetness normal people do; where in the shadows of others, we feel safest, but the darkness is all we have and all we've ever known. and by normal, i don't mean better. i just mean different. and it's our difference we strive to convey, but the message always goes unheard, like yelling in your sleep: our words become quicksand and we have nothing left to show for it until it's utterly too late and we have no other choice to make.
but for the ones that have to see others making the conclusion before you, the struggle to find peace begins anew, one person at a time. First the chills, the denial that it happened at all. Then the anger swirls like goosebumps on your skin, as real as any other pigment or scar you find, but you can't pick it away, nor does it wash off just like that. It sticks with you, it becomes a part of you, forever. Then the sadness comes, the realization that they're gone, and that's that.
And sometimes, there comes a breakdown. You begin to quiver in your eyes and lip, suffocating on the urge to keep in the inevitable tears you are completely powerless to; but it happens anyways, day after day, without any recourse or decision on your part to stop it all the same as those who took themselves. And now you're not even awake anymore, but you feel like you're stuck dreaming even when you're "awake," reaching at every corner of the planet just to find an anchor to reality. you begin reaching for your phone or going online, hoping to find some sort of alternative to what is happening in the moment; a message, a voice, anything just letting you know “everything is okay, this isn’t real,” all the while thinking that if you search at all then those answers will be had, as simple as that. but you always know it's never true and it's never like that at all, and you realize it has happened, because it already did
You're literally alone and helpless to your own self-defeating mechanical failure – your body and movements become stiff, your energy completely gone and your thoughts drifting into blankness. in one last effort, you think to yourself people might help. But the same people that put you in that position to feel that level of misery are useless and provide no bastion of hope or faith that things will be okay, so you give up not only on them, but everyone. because the ones who should matter most and love you with the greatest kind of love, you should come to expect would be there for anything. and they're not, and you have no clue what to do, so you're left trying to ask the questions, fighting with your own consciousness just to provide a means for comfort from somewhere or something. but it's always the same: you become lost again, and the questions fade.
And you fall asleep in your own mind, mute to everything and everyone. And you're burdened by the weight of this loss, and the loss of innocence years ago, and the loss of your faith. everything becomes past tense, but you're used to it, yet it never gets easier. the listlessness is your voice now, and you're dead on the inside, sitting there alone, remembering where your feelings started to lead you to this dark place once more where the thoughts become wishes and the wishes become motivation to conclude the very same things. and sometimes, you dont want to, but sometimes, the fate you felt were on your heels for as long as you can remember, it jumps forward and holds its hand out, and by that moment, its just inevitable the only thing you have left to do
nobody can change that. you can only choose to change yourself. but sometimes, its just too hard to do anything at all. and the moment passes, and tomorrow is just another day. but this time, its a little bit harder, because your steps forward become quite a bit heavier with the unwarranted burden of grief knowing you have to move on without your friend, because now they're gone, and because of this, a small part of you wishes you were too.