I discovered an ugly side of grief… and it was REAL ugly. I was not proud of myself at the time. And I detest my reaction in hindsight.
A relatively lovely evening, attending an annual adventure film screening that has brought lots of pleasure and inspiration over the years. Epic kayaking, climbing, speedflying, offpiste skiing. Human feats beyond comprehension and in stunning landscapes that took my breath away. A place to dream. All the elements of life that tend to remind me to aspire, strive, stretch.
A Climber. Beautiful Tasmania. A fall.
Brain injury, visible scars and disability followed by superhuman endurance and survival. Thriving through his injuries and going back to his nemesis to conquer it. I should have felt nothing but admiration.
He’s alive, I thought.
He has a wife. A life. Children.
Why not Michael? We not us?
I tried to swallow hard and suppress the grapefruit-sized lump in my chest from exploding upwards into my eyes and head. I did ok, I thought. Kept it under control.
But it wasn’t to be. It obviously needed to be let out into the world so that the distasteful, resentful energy wouldn’t sit in my body and manifest other ugliness.
The next short; the amateur paragliders’ video documentary of their first flights somewhere in the alps. Their reckless approach to safety and the risks they were exposing themselves to irritated me. Their headcam footage documented their maniacal laughs as they impacted the ground. It was too graphic for me to stand, my mind raced to imagine Michael’s impact.
I fled. I wanted to scream in frustration. It wasn’t pretty. I hated myself for the Resentment I felt.
But like everything else, it passed. It changed. I can learn from it. Try to understand it, and my grief, a little better. Maybe help someone else to understand theirs too. Who knows?
Some things cannot be explained. They can only be felt. And survived.