Fourteen years ago today, a female relative of mine (an Aunt by marriage) was murdered by her live-in boyfriend. I just read her autopsy and toxicology report for the first time; her death having been ruled an “accident”. I read it in utter disbelief. The damage incurred was no accident. I look at it as being blamed in death for being harmed. If I ever come within ten feet of her ex, and I’ve always said this from day one, I will beat the living crap out of him. That he’s alive and breathing disturbs me on levels I cannot begin to describe.
I remember being told that she was gone . She died on Thursday morning. I wasn’t told until Monday. I fell to my knees in the living room, devastated, in tears. Eight years later, her ex-husband, who is my direct relative, would also pass away suddenly. I nearly fell down the stairs when my brother told me, because I just couldn’t handle the news. Both of them far too young to die at all, leave alone the way they did. It guts me.
For the past week or so, leading into this day, I’ve been nothing short of a basket case. I kept asking myself “What’s wrong?” I’ve been dealing with a lot of memory loss and blackouts, and I kept telling myself that my neurology appointment would “fix everything”. Not so fast.
Yesterday, I became keenly aware that the month of May is really “the month of triggers”. It’s a month full of loss and painful memories for me. Last year, it was when I started blacking out. If I began blacking out in years past, I am 100% unaware it was happening, but now I’m wondering if it began earlier due to trauma.
I don’t often talk about their deaths. It pains me, because it was like losing a second set of parents. It is a hard adjustment to go from being loved and adored to having no one to turn to for shelter from the storms of life.
Despite being divorced, they both loved me and had my back. My Uncle, especially. There is nothing he wouldn’t have done for me. He put me through school when my own father would not. He didn’t co-sign a loan; he flat-out paid for six years of advanced education, four at a top ten university. If I had ever been hurt or in trouble, he would have been there without a single judgmental word. In fact, he’s one of the reasons I am the way I am. My Mom used to say that not only did we look alike, enough that I still pass for one of his children, but that I took after him in so many ways, it was creepy. Since his passing, I’ve forgotten that fact. There is a ring in my jewelry box that he gave me after I graduated. Whenever I wear it, I’m reminded that I am fire, flame, and unique. I can storm through anything. It’s been a long time since I’ve had it on my finger, I think I probably need to remedy that.
This month will be lonely, sad, emotional, and painful. Tomorrow has its own triggers. I’ll do my best to power on. Sometimes, there’s strength in tears.
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