Thursday, 18 February 2016
The Ones Left Behind by Natasha Ragsdale
It's been a year and a half of non-stop death in my life. From the things I witnessed while traveling in the third world, to "pulling the plug" on my Grammie, but the worst of all has been the overwhelming weight of the deaths that seem so random. So unexpected. So terrifyingly personal and so, so pointlessly unnatural. Which I think is an odd thing to say as death is one of the more natural things that life has to offer. But what happens when you find out from a newspaper article that your friend and former neighbor passed out in the snow a block from your old apt building and froze to death because she was wasted?
My beloved first stepfather shot himself in the head when I was in grade school. That kinda shit just didn't happen in my world, my community. People didn't deliberately leave you forever. Sure people died. Of old age. It was sad. You cried. You understood. This is life. Death. But when people so young are dying for such stupid reasons it scares me and angers me. It also makes me ask....WHAT COULD I HAVE DONE?
Today I feel so lonely for my friends. For the ones who ended. Today I feel afraid I could join them. Death is arbitrary. Who knows what could happen? But today mostly I feel so strange about this culture of "live fast and die young." It is not like it is a new concept. Some would say it's aspirational, but to that i just have one response "Have you LISTENED to David Bowie's last album?"
My friend is out of the hospital now. She is planning to Skype me when she gets home. I hope when she reads this and when the families of the above mentioned friends read it, they understand my anger. I am sure I might become a pariah to a few, but if I didn't get it out, if I couldn't lament and question and cry, I could possibly end up like the people who have left us.
And to quote the great (left) Amanda Palmer "And when they put me in the ground, I'll start pounding the lid, saying I haven't finished yet! I still have a tattoo to get that says 'I'm living in the moment." And it's funny how I imagine That I could win this winless fight. But maybe it isn't all that funny that I've been fighting all my life. But maybe I have to think it's funny that I wanna live before I die. And maybe it's funniest of all that I'll die before I'll actually see that I am exactly the person that I want to be."
I wish with all my heart that my friends who died so young, desperately and abruptly could have seen how wonderful they were. Are. And I hope that anyone who feels depression, anxiety, hopelessness, loneliness, despair or are dealing with drug or mental issues will please get help. Below is a list of phone numbers in several countries, because I know our readership is vast and diverse. You can also email us if you need a shoulder to cry on. We are NOT doctors nor are we medical/ psychological professionals of any sort, but we are friends with open hearts. And our Facebook page is also a forum for people to talk about anything. "Come Together Magazine" is just what it says it is. People coming together. Welcome. We embrace you.
This one is international I think but has links to NHS in the UK
We here at CTM are not choosing to affiliate with AA or any 12 step program but if you are struggling with addiction here are some people who might help
Oh and here is Bowie and AFP videos referenced.
Tashie and all the Staff