The Shittiest Fraternity

I’m having a hard time putting my thoughts together well enough to write the next chapter of this story so I thought I’d take a minute and talk about the people who have been there for me and brought me some amount of comfort.

First, there’s family. I feel bad sometimes. I don’t want to be around them often because they remind me so much of her. Or rather they remind me that’s it’s just me.

I also know they feel bad because there is absolutely nothing they can do to make me feel better. But they’re there, even when I don’t want them to be.

I also have friends. Seven of them. I mean, I have more than seven people I talk to regularly and consider friends, but I have close friends that are always there. I feel sorry for these guys because I just randomly ruin everyone’s good time.

One group of friends are spread all over the western US. Two in Seattle, one in LA and one in Phoenix. These four guys knew about the bad stuff going on before anyone else. Like, months before anyone else. I think the reason for this is that even though they knew Christine they didn’t see her often so I felt OK sharing her descent into mental illness and the impact it was having on our lives.

I talk with these guys everyday, all day via a group message that’s been going for years. They were there when Christine walked out and was sleeping in our car in the front yard, they were there when I was didn’t know what to do. They were there when I was at the airport panicking because I couldn’t find her anywhere and they were there when I left the police station and spent my first night alone.

I seriously shit all over them all the time. They’ll be swapping memes, talking about soccer, baseball, video games, Donald Trump, whatever and I just drop some heavy stuff on them. It’s like kicking the door down at a birthday party and announcing the punch they all just drank is actually piss.

But no matter what, they always stop whatever the hell they’re doing and let me verbally cry all over them. A couple nights ago I jumped in with this gem:

Me: I am sitting in my hotel room drinking crap wine straight from the bottle. I’m going to die alone.

And they’re there right away. Sure, they want to know if it was fortified wine, but they were there.

The other group are the poor bastards that have to see me in person. They weren’t aware of how bad things had gotten, mostly because Christine was also close friends with them and I thought I was protecting her by not telling them what was going on. Instead I just saw them less and less over the year or so before Christine took her own life as I tried to control the situation and be home for her.

This is the other group I informed while I was sitting in that terrible hotel room. They have also been there for me in everything afterwards. They’ve cried with me, stood and watched me cry and just been around. They’ve also watched me go through all the ups and downs since.

Then there are the other people. The ones you don’t know that come from nowhere with the most incredibly powerful words.

The other night a guy I know via social media but I’m not sure if I’ve ever met in person reached out to me to tell me the story of how he lost his girlfriend and his slow return back. He talked about how in his young widows group everyone was sad and it was agreed upon that anyone who lost someone had it bad. Anyone who lost someone to suicide had it worse and anyone that experienced the latter and had kids had it the very worst.

He ended his message with this:

‘It really is a club or fraternity. You’ll live, it’ll get better (after it gets worse for awhile).

Who knows why that resonated with me so much. I sure don’t know, but it did. It helped.

A former manager of mine posted a story about the suicide of Kate Spade. I don’t remember my response but he told me he had been thinking about me and my family that week. Again, why did that matter so much? It just did.

There are so many more people who have said or done something that truly touched me. Maybe I’ll cover that later.

I’m telling you all this because I feel like I’ve misrepresented the response from people. In my grief, I often don’t want to hear from others. I’m even mad at them because they can’t do anything to make me feel better. But they’re there.

4 thoughts on “The Shittiest Fraternity

  1. God, please tell me it *wasn’t* fortified wine…
    I am glad that you’ve got a good core group for support, even if you do “seagull” the group thread on occasion. That’s how you know they really got your back.


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