Static and Silence
Went to the doctor today...diagnosis...Strep Throat. He put
me on some antibiotics. We'll see how this goes...Now,
onto the crux of this entry...
I will not bore you with the details of my failed
marriage. I will clarify one thing though...although it
does take two people to make a marriage work, it only takes
one emotional vampire to suck the life's blood from a
marriage. Sounds harsh, huh? Well, sometimes the truth
It was mid 1996. I was in a matrimonial hell. My marriage
wasn't just a sinking submarine...it was a sinking
submarine with screen doors. I didn't know how to make it
back to surface without sucking in a lung full of water.
Then it happened...
The phone rang. Drew was on the other end and I knew
something was up. He said Kristen was in the hospital and
that I needed to get down there ASAP.
Kristen was a manic depressive. When she was up, her smile
could fill the room. When she was down, she was
inconsolable. She was feeling particularly down the day
before, and she had a big breakdown. She went to
the local hospital where she asked them if she could be
admitted because she wasn't feeling right. They did admit
her, but they told her that they didn't have the resources
to take care of her problem,and they would have
to transfer her to the big medical center in the next
town. Kristen's mom met her at the medical center. They
told her they were going to put her under 24 hour
observation. They told her mom she would have to leave.
Kristen begged them to let her mom stay but they said no.
By the time Kristen's mom arrived home it had already
happened. Distraught and alone, Kristen took her bedsheet
into the bathroom and did the only thing she thought she
could do to escape her torment. Kristen hung herself.
When I arrived at the hospital the next day, Kristen was on
life support. There were no signs of brain function.
Kristen remained on life support for 20 days. Her family
decided to remove the life support and let Kristen
go in whatever peace they thought she might find.
I can't even begin to tell you the feelings of thought and
loss that filled me inside. It was a few days later at
Kristen's service that it all came out. I went to the
service with Drew. Kristen was a Quaker. They
practice their own unique blend of Christianity. I was not
that familiar with it however. The service was at the
Quaker Meeting House. It was like a very large cabin in
the woods. It was a great service in that there
really was not a service at all. Absent was all of that
mind numbingly draining preaching, that horrible droning
death organ music. It was just friends and family sharing
stories, reading poems, remembering Kristen. I wrote a
poem for Kristen...but it was hard to read...I tried
choking back the tears...but I couldn't. My voice
wavered...my eyes filled up with tears...but I managed to
get it out.
A Cup Of Tea
When I think of you
I remember a cup of tea.
Chamomile was what we shared
Every now and then.
In the kitchen
Under the stars
First thing in the morning
Tongues dancing an endless Summer's day
In liquid wildflower.
Easy to enjoy...savor
Like a favorite sweatshirt
Warm and fuzzy
The kind you wear inside out
On a dreary Autumn day.
No, not the tea...
Today I wear the sweatshirt
Chasing away the chill
Invading my every bone.
I pour a cup of tea
In my mind
And I wait.
I wait and know
I will pour two cups
Of Chamomile tea
And once again
After the service, Drew and I gathered with some other
friends...and we sat in the grass outside of the meeting
house. We talked and talked for a long time...but there
was also a lot of silence. At one point, I said
aloud, "How could this happen???". Drew didn't look at
me...but he answered in a very still and quiet voice, "Her
demons got the best of her."
I spent many nights alone over the next several weeks. I
would go outside...sitting beneath the stars...and I would
talk with Kristen. I knew that things had to change in my
life...I knew I had to end this relationship...this
crippling marriage. I felt very helpless...very alone now.
As I am writing this online, I have been reading over my
old paper journals from this time in my life. I see I
wrote a small piece on 8/8/96. This was only 11 days after
Kristen died. Here it is in all of it's miserable glory.
I am only including it here as it gives a little insight
into where I was at this time in my life.
Give me your heart
I'll show you pain
Grief so intense
It makes you insane
Trapped in a world
I did not create
United in love
That's turned into hate
Perhaps it's my destiny
To wallow in obscurity
My only comfort
I give you a smile
But look in my eyes
Then you will see
Where dreams come to die.
I think I've written enough for today. I want to leave you
with something that Kristen left everyone. You see,
Kristen kept a journal too. Her last entry was the day
that she checked herself into the hospital. The last thing
she wrote was just eight words long....when I read them for
the first time they made me realize how helpless and tired
Kristen was feeling....Here are those words:
"Rather exhausting existence full of love and beauty"
Rest well Kristen...keep that tea warm for me....