#ichooselove, zachary, final

“Happiness only real when shared…”
Christopher McCandless

In my previous post I discussed why Christopher’s story always reminded me somewhat of Zachary’s . Perhaps that is why the above quote struck me so profoundly this time when discussing it with a friend.

And as I share Zachary’s story I am beginning to realize that the same, only being real if shared, is true of story and sadness and grief and anger…

Then this morning I read this quote that solidified this concept… that anything unshared isn’t quite real…

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted…
~ Jesus, Matthew 5:4

Mourning is only real when shared…

It really hit home. In my gut, through my heart, the tears flowed…

I have never really mourned Zachary’s death publicly. I have never really shared my sorrow with others, perhaps even in my family. That’s not what I do, not even with myself… Instead I get angry.

I keep myself busy. I distract. I don’t address or acknowledge unless I find myself in a slow quiet spot or a dark silent night…

In deciding to do the show for Zachary it became apparent I would have to share his story. To share my story, to make him real.

In sharing his story it became apparent that I never really mourned him because for so many years he was never really around. A quick pass through town, just long enough to shake things up, upset those around him, perhaps get in to trouble and move on.

I realized I was angry. Because it was easier to be angry than sad…

Anger that he couldn’t be tamed. That he wouldn’t stay home with me. That he wasn’t living up to his full or even partial potential. Anger that he seemed to have to work pretty hard at fucking things up because really, he had so much going for him.

I chose anger… Because it is easier to be angry than lonely or disappointed.

Admitting now that when I went to the hospital the first time and saw him broken and battered and comatose that when I sensed his spirit, that he was still here, I was hopeful but simultaneously horrified.

Horrified that he might be a vegetable for years on end.
Horrified that he would require round the clock care.
Horrified that he would hate to live that way and really have no choice.

But again I chose anger. Because it is easier to be angry than horrified…

And when I went back the last time, after he suffered pulmonary arrest because my always absent father had pulled his dnr without telling us, that he had suffered pulmonary arrest and been resuscitated. and that now again, the man who saw fit to pull the dnr was nowhere to be found, the relief I felt when my mom and I finally walked in the ICU room. Though visibly in physical distress due to whatever happens in the body when the heart still lives but the brain is gone, relief that his spirit had been set free to journey once again. This time without pain, without addiction.

But again I chose anger. Because it is easier to be angry than to be relieved your brother is going to die.

The sadness I felt when I sang “let it be” to him time after time the first visit and he squeezed my hand as I did so (involuntary muscle response my ass doctors) and the relief that there was no response on this visit.

Anger… Instead of sadness and relief…

The sadness I felt when I sat with my mom and we had to listen to the doctor tell us even after the plug was pulled Zach could live for weeks. In contrast the peace I felt as I flew home and lost myself in the clouds as Zach made his departure moments after I left. The final call from my mom upon landing. Zach was gone. This time forever.

Anger… Instead of sadness and peace…

So here I am, acknowledging my anger. Sharing it’s existence with all of you. In sharing it’s existence it becomes real and I can let it go…
And as I release my anger I share my mourning. After almost 12 years. I share it, and now it is real… And in making it real I begin to let it go… And allow myself some comfort…

Happiness, sorrow, grief, story, anger, mourning…
Anything…
Only real when shared…

come share with me, the memory of Zachary on April 26. It would have been his 39th birthday. Instead of cake and candles, I will be holding a benefit art show in his honor. #ichooselove…

interested in the rest of the story???

why?

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5