Grief, Depression, and Loneliness

When I was in High school, I was always drawn to The Offspring’s song Gone Away I never really understood why, considering I’d never lost someone the way the narrator had lost someone. Certainly not someone that was close enough to me that I’d want to switch places with them. In a similar vein, I recently read Gideon The Ninth and Harrow The Ninth both by Tamsyn Muir. The first book, Gideon, was suffused with a sense of loneliness, loss, and otherness. There was loss everywhere, it felt like the entire world was dying and decaying in front of the protagonists eyes. While in the second book, Harrow, a direct sequel, it was jarring because the narrator was so unreliable that it’s clear that they were intentionally disassociating rather dealing with her grief.

The music I’ve been listening to during the pandemic has a similar haunted feeling to it. Specifically, Riverside’s Lost (Why should I be frightened by a Hat?) and The Depth of Self Delusion both of these songs are sparse, mournful, and have a strong sense of loss about them. Other songs, like Turn by Magna Carta Cartel describe the anger the futility can days just slipping away.

I got to thinking about these things last night when I read an article in Psychology TodayThe Loneliness of Unshared Grief” which talks about the grief of surviving alone (even when you’re with your family) in the pandemic. The loss of the sense of normalcy. The loss of daily interactions with strangers and of other routines. These, as my therapist has pointed out to me over the past year or so, are normal things we should be grieving. We’re grieving the loss of who we were. In some cases we’re grieving people that we love and care about that we lost. We’re grieving the loss of a sense of safety.

It’s ok to grieve.

You aren’t alone in grieving.

I’ve been doing a lot of grieving myself. Not just from the pandemic, but also my allergies. I have lost most of freedom of movement because I don’t feel safe walking outside. Wood smoke sends me into anaphylaxis. I used to love to walk at night. The calm and quiet would let me work through whatever I was feeling. It was a way that dealt with some of my depression, my grief of nightly parental strife – that loss of emotional safety at home. When my nephew was living here, I used daily walks to help him work through his anxieties and stress from school and family. I can’t do that with him any more.

I am grieving over the loss of food. I have a diet of about 6 things. Well, I’m sure I can eat more than that, but I feel so unsafe eating them that I simply avoid them. I’ve learned that this is something of an eating disorder, I mention it in my Book Review: The End of Food Allergy by Kari┬áNadeau, I’m scared of trying food I used to love because it might “attack me.”

I’m grieving of all these things. I’m also grieving about the pandemic.

It’s cathartic to read or watch videos that make you feel grief. It might help you process your grief. To give a name to what you’ve been feeling. The reason why you’re angry. If you like video games I recommend playing Gris, because it’s definitely about a woman going through the stages of grief and is a gorgeous game.

Good men are hard to find

This week my grandfather, Paul Joseph Kapsar Sr., passed away. He was a good man. He was honest, caring and willing to help those in need. His service was beautiful and I’m extremely grateful I was able to come back to be part of the service. He’s had a serious impact on my life and the way I look at things, because he was honest and respected honesty. He respected hard work and was never afraid to get his hands dirty. We need more people like my grandpa. People that are reliable and that you can trust to do the right thing.

Despite all his great qualities society never rewarded him the way that it rewards the cut throat businessmen. My grandpa didn’t pass away a rich man in money, but in life. I feel that in many ways he was significantly better off than those that are willing to compromise their morals and ethics to make more money or to get reelected.

I think that we need people like my grandfather in positions of authority. Why? He was ethical and would have come up with a balanced approach to dealing with the economic crisis rather than the brutal or over coddling approach of the republicans or democrats respectively. He would not be a supporter of SOPA or of the recent changes of the NDAA which limit our freedoms. He was a vet and cherished everything that came with protecting the United States.

His passing has made me realize the pitiful state of our country’s leadership. The republican primary is a contest between who is willing to go lower. Gingrich is willing to destroy the check and balances of the Constitution. Romney doesn’t open his mouth without lying about his opponents or Obama. Perry is one of the biggest bigots on earth. The only republican willing to stand beside his ethics and moral positions is Ron Paul and his economic policies would be disastrous. Lamar Smith the guy pushing SOPA, will vote for a bill even whenever an argument pointed out how flawed the bill was, and he agreed with the argument.

Our financial sector things that they are entitled to whatever type of bonuses they are getting handed out and decry free loaders that get unemployment, when they have been given more government money than all of the American People combined. It would have been cheaper for the federal government to give money to the home owners to buy underwater houses than to save the banks.

Our country is experiencing a moral bankruptcy which seems destined to drive it into the ground. The future is made all the darker when a great man like my grandfather has passed away.