I haven’t been here in a long time. I’ve been busy. Life has been great for the most part. But the past few days have not been, and as a result the following will not be very coherent. Right now I’m still reacting, not yet able to analyze very well.
I’m all torn up inside and even though I didn’t know P super well, he was J’s friend and coworker and M’s friend and coworker and so many more people’s friend and son and boyfriend and coworker and mentor, he was part of my community, it happened while I was sleeping a few floors down, I remember talking to C about how attractive and funny he was when we started training, I remember J talking about him, he was so important to so many people, he always made everyone laugh, I just saw him biking last week and we waved and smiled, and he was in the same role that I was for two years — to help people get by — and so you’d never expect it to be him because we expect that people who help others get by can always get by themselves.
but he couldn’t and he felt alone or something so dark that he couldn’t stop what was happening and so he jumped and he was so upsettingly, appallingly kind about the way he did it because he did it in such a way that no one would see it and be scarred which is upsetting in its apparent tenderness and I’m so sad and so confused because I just don’t understand
And the next morning I woke up and walked out of the building where it happened unknowingly and saw the fresh blanket of snow and more falling and thought that everything looked so clean and like something had been washed away and I didn’t know what it was covering up
and I feel helpless to help the ones that I love that were closer to him because I’m so busy but things like this make everything else seem so trivial because he’s not alive at all so what could be more important than that
and I feel like I should be there to help because I’ve been here before, I’ve survived this before, the act of taking your own life has been a part of my life since I was 11 years old when D died and it destroyed me, I’ve helped far too many people battle those feelings and pick up the pieces afterwards but somehow right now I just feel lost and I don’t understand
It was so quiet, so subtle, and so erased by morning when everyone woke up. It was so surprising. When J told me I thought he was pulling my leg; I made him repeat it three times. Because I don’t understand. And I hope my community can heal from this. I know they can. But I don’t know what to do. I am not particularly coherent about this. Perhaps I will be with time. But this is the second time this has happened this year — very different scenarios — and
I just don’t
And J told me that when he found out what happened he went to his room —dear, darling, six-foot-five, pick-up-a-car, almost imposing sometimes but then so kind J— and got angry and then sad and then cried and then looked at the shirt with a bear on it that P gave him and then cried more and then called his brother and then cried more and then came to tell me and then we cried more and then he decided that it didn’t help anyone to be debilitatingly sad and so he decided to make sure everyone else was okay and so he took care of everyone like he always does.
J, the practical mourner, looking out for the others, the survivor, the caretaker
And I want to be as strong as him but I’m struggling right now and I know it will get better eventually because the sun still rises the next morning and J tells me to always retain some optimism, but right now, I just don’t know what to do.
fMRI scan indicating increased brain activity associated with happiness after a 20-minute walk vs. 20 minutes in sedentary mode. Pair with Maira Kalman on the creative benefits of walking and learn to walk around your block with new eyes.
I Love You, Wall