I think that’s the best word for this entry. It started on the airplane, when I left my FitBit charger in the seatpocket. That’s on top of leaving for the airport without my laptop – fortunately GG was able to get it to me in time. When I was driving in the rental car to the hotel, I realized that in the past three years, I have lost everyone that was part of my family unit in Seattle. Two to death and one to heartbreak. I don’t know why it suddenly occurred to me as if it were some sort of revelation. Perhaps, like so many things since the 12th of June, I’ve simply been slower to process.
I drove across the mountains yesterday, to find Raven’s grave. I couldn’t sleep much so by 445AM, I had made plans with my former teammate (little C) to leave within the hour and go. I am really grateful that I didn’t have to make the trip alone. I had promised GG that if someone offered to go with me, I would accept that help. Driving up over the Snoqualmie Pass and down through Ellensburg and beyond to White Swan, I remembered other trips with my mom, Raven, Lawyerella and of course, Henry and George. The cemetary doesn’t have a proper address, which now makes sense. It is deep in the reservation, miles off the paved road and in the middle of a fields stretching in every direction.
I had a difficult time finding his grave and finally found the spot amidst two of his uncles, where the grave was newer than the others and the empty wreath stands were still standing. It was the only new grave and on the back of the small wooden cross, in faded marker it stated only the name Demmert. There’s no stone and the three graves surrounding his also have a similar cross, with the same scrap of ribbon and the name Demmert on them. The other three had faded out metal frames with barely legible index cards in them with the name and dates of the occupants.
Out in the middle of that open space, with all of the grasshoppers constantly fleeing in front of you, and the hot sun, I didn’t find any peace or closure. Only the profound sense that I would never go there again and this wasn’t his home either. When I stopped analyzing whether or not this was the grave, the tears began and they were many. I don’t feel any better for having seen the place and I don’t feel like any questions have been answered. I do know that he is gone.
That’s really what it comes down to, that in so many ways, those I have loved, are gone. I know that there are other people in my life that I love and are still here. But the family that I thought I had and would always have, is gone. That’s a difficult and unsettling feeling. I know that in the weeks to come, I will have to work through that loss and find my way through the grieving. I also know that I have reasons to be grateful and reasons to love and be loved.
When we got back, I was exhausted, emotionally and physically. That carried over into today and after 3/4 of the day, I skipped out of the sessions and went to see Jan and Keri and be surrounded by all of their fierceness. There’s something to said about being able to collapse against strong people and let a small amount of your feelings out. I know that I have struggled for a long time with letting people know what I am feeling, out of concern how it might impact them. Useful for staying self-contained, not so useful for mental health and authentic relationships with people. What I am saying, is that when you see me next, I might just be a little wobbly and it will be very unsettling to me. In turn, I will thankful that you simply allow me to be wobbly in your presence.