As a disclaimer, the meaning of the title is figurative. No one close to me has physically died in the past several months. However, I acknowledge the fact that I’ve kept silent for some months now — the entirety of this year to date.
I apologize. I’ve had no idea what to say, or if I should say anything at all. In my doubt and wondering, I chose just to say nothing. I’ve been carrying around the guilt of that decision for nearly eight months now. That weight is just too damn heavy. Reader, if you’re squeamish around curse words, you may want to stop reading now as I can’t guarantee what I’ll write in the remaining paragraphs won’t offend you.
Just shy of three years after getting married, my wife moved out. The only reason she moved out was because she had asked me to and I didn’t see enough reason to do so. Thus she took it upon herself to create the space she desired. Now, we’re almost a year down the road. And what started as one path is now clearly two.
To be blunt, we’ve been separated nearly a year, and the plan is to make that separation indefinite, permanent—divorce. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some hero; I will not spin some yarn to convince you that I’m a victim. Heroes and victims both need a villain; that’s not the story I want to tell.
I contributed more than my fair share to get us to the point of separation. However, once we’d reached that point — as I see it today — we had already drifted too far apart. There, even then, was little if any chance at reconciliation. Yet, I hung on. But I quickly began to see there was nothing left — there hadn’t been anything for some time.
I didn’t intend to hide, but I certainly didn’t want to share what was sensitive and private here. Even today, little more than what I’m telling needs to be public today. Nothing more than what I’m choosing to share now needs sharing right now. Maybe later.
Later is such a funny word in this context. There isn’t always a later. We have the past, but it keeps slipping away — details we swore we’d never forget, harder and harder to recall on command. No, we have today.
I can’t put into words how fucking painful this process has been. I can’t tell you how pissed off at God I’ve been. I won’t even go into the days where I questioned and doubted everything about God. Trust me, it’s been hell.
And it was praying in hell, that fucking hell, where I died. The thought of who I was, who I was supposed to be, got his throat slit. As he lay bleeding on the proverbial floor, looking on as life slipped from his figurative grasp, I screamed at and cursed the god who would let him, let me, die such a gruesome death, “Fuck you, God. Whoever you are.”
God didn’t flinch; didn’t even bat an eye. God didn’t respond immediately either. God certainly didn’t fix my marriage; we’re still getting divorced. To all the well-intentioned people praying only that we would get back together, I was a failure. And God was right there, enabling it all. Bastard.
What in the hell does one say in the midst of all this? I said a lot, but only to those closest to me. Honestly, I learned that it’s this kind of vulnerability that forges relationships. Here I was thinking that my perceived neediness drove people away — well, I still do. Friends and family have drawn closer in the process. But many people simply faded away, not knowing — fearing, really — how to react appropriately.
Back to death. That false self, the hollow mask, died for all intents and purposes, but that wasn’t all. I lost a hell of a lot more. Fuck, I lost much more. I lost a church into which I’d poured over seven years of my life. I lost the community — by and large my only community — that I’d built up, that had loved me over that span of time. In some fundamental ways, I’d lost nearly a quarter of my life.
More importantly, I thought I’d lost myself. In fact, I knew it for some time. That wasn’t untrue; the self with which I was acquainted almost all of my life was who I thought I needed to be to survive, to be loved, to be valued, and appreciated. That self who knew that to be loved meant self-abnegation — take my needs and stuff them down, way down — and the longer and more intimate the relationship, the more I needed to give because my value was in what I provided.
I’ve spent the past near-year dying, losing. But the only soil fertile enough for resurrection is death. And I am exhuming the resurrected Self who I buried because I was convinced that his living was only a liability to survival. I wasn’t wrong. But I wasn’t right anymore, either.
I think there’s more to talk about on that subject. Later.
Right now, I have to thank Jamie the Very Worst Missionary for her vulnerable post earlier today. Were it not for her post, these words would not be written — maybe ever. However, I also have to thank another Jamie for pointing me back toward my north star Resurrection.
There’s more resurrection to be found, had, drank, experienced. But for now, I’ll accept this gift of the needed soil — death.