I was going through a box yesterday evening when I came across a stack of old journals, many had been started, then stopped.
One in particular has a few entries beginning right after my mother’s death, as I began processing that and everything that came at me in the months that followed. I wasn’t consistent with the entries: some are a couple of days apart and then there is a gap of several months. Some entries are letters that I wrote to Mom.
It isn’t easy to read those old entries, yet in re-reading them I see that I handled her suicide really well. I was very aware of what I was feeling and very tuned in to those who were helpful and those who were full of shit.
From 22 December, 1991: “I remember right after Mom died people were saying that they hoped one day I could forgive her for what she had done. And I couldn’t understand that because I wasn’t ready to be mad at her yet.
“Of course, time has changed all that. I was at my angriest last month when I was trying to finish up on the house.
“I’m still angry, but now I’m more lonely and scared. And no amount of love and support from friends and relatives can fix that.”
There was the trip I took with some friends a year later, when we visited San Francisco. The ticket for Alcatraz and receipts from various shops and restaurants are pressed between the pages.
I also was trying to document random things about Mom so I wouldn’t forget (how she drank her coffee and the way we would sit on the couch with the dogs and read or watch TV). Three and a half years later, after my Grandpa died, I wrote more random things about him that I didn’t want to forget.
That journal stopped after I wrote only about 1/4 of the way through it. Usually when I find partially-filled journals, I press them back into service and finish writing in them, but for this one, I think I’ll just let it end where it stopped.