Nothing left to say

[Written sometime in 2011...]

There comes a time when there’s nothing left to say because you’ve said it all before, nothing left to process because processing won’t change the truth. It’s a truth that wakes you up in the middle of the night, a truth that surprises you when you’re driving and your mind drifts to other topics, and you snap back to reality and remember that reality now includes your mother’s suicide.

There comes a time when the credit cards have been paid off and the magazine subscriptions and the gym membership canceled, the car sold, the house sold, the jewelry sold, the clothes sold, when there’s nothing left to do but move on with life. Whatever the fuck that means.

And it would be bad enough if your mother had just died unexpectedly. It’s even worse that she took her own life with a cocktail of prescription pills that had probably been killing her slowly anyway. Further complicated by the fact that she left you with piles of paperwork, forms, responsibility you’re not quite sure you’re ready to handle, titles you’d never heard before like ‘power of attorney’ and ‘estate representative,’ roles you will have to assume in administering the affairs of her estate and cleaning up the financial mess she left, roles that will require you to deal with bank representatives who don’t care about the fact that your mother just killed herself and only recite policy like robots, the thousands of dollars you will discover she spent on clothes and jewelry — some of which she never wore — though that doesn’t seem to matter to the sales associates you drive around Georgia trying to sell the unworn clothes and jewelry to.

There comes a time when the artificial resolution of her death fades away and reality is exposed — that nothing has been dealt with, nothing has been resolved, nothing has been understood. Words don’t help anymore, because words won’t change what is. The only thing that will change is you, and you transform by giving up. You stop answering your phone, you stop responding to text messages, you stop pretending everything’s OK. You stop leaving the house except to get food at the nearest fast food restaurant. You stare through the TV.

You don’t think about killing yourself, because living through someone else’s suicide is enough to disavow you of that idea, but you do think about death. You think about being dead, because that’s how you feel now. You don’t really want to be alive, but you don’t think about killing yourself. You just think about disappearing. The way your mother did.

All you have now are the memories, the good memories, the bad memories, the memories of the moment you learned of her death and every moment following it. The memories and the reality. This is what you have. There comes a time when talking is bullshit. Talking is unnecessary and frankly it’s a nuisance. Because all that really needs to be said will go unspoken. Because the things you really want to say are the things you never will get to speak, at least not to the person you want to say them to.

And it’s not like your relationship was perfect. Far from it. It’s just that you’re going to have this ‘Thinking of You’ card sitting on your desk for the rest of your life, and it all just seems so fucking ridiculous. You can’t laugh. You’re tired of crying. So you sit silent. You protest the only way you know how — by isolating yourself and withdrawing. It’s what you’ve been doing for years. You’re well-practiced, you know how to do it. It’s easy to slip away and disappear. This time you’re just not sure you’re coming back.

4 Comments on “Nothing left to say

  1. Lauren I almost lost my daughter to suicide and so while I didn’t face the full measure of what you’ve shared, I went on some of that journey. Everything changed. You have my prayers as you continue to cope – shutting down helps you get back up again. Please read “This is How” by Augusten Burroughs. He has a stunning chapter on suicide. The whole book is about how to cope with tragedy from someone who has survived. I’ve always known that if you name it you can heal it – not forget it, not undo it. Sending thoughts of love to you,

  2. Lauren, your doing the best you can and you described yourself healing perfectly.
    Its good for other people to read your words to know how to deal with loved ones in
    this situation.
    Your a strong, smart, talented woman who I have no doubt will make it through this
    sad and bad memory of your life and will come out the other side in a new beginning
    and find yourself along the way.
    Keep writing your thoughts on this subject so we all can learn from this. Your healing
    others with you.
    Thank you for being open and strong even when you want to dissappear, your inching
    through this.

    • Thanks Auntie, you are always so sweet and supportive and you helped me through that time period more than you’ll ever know. Love you!

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