Resolving Timeline Issues

Loss and Return; Principle and Faith

Posted on: July 22, 2008

Edited to add: this post took a left turn on me.  Apologies if it rambles.

Aspeth is back! And you should read her post here.

When I recreated this blog after getting hacked, there was part of it I didn’t post. A very important part of my story.

Back in 2001,  I was sort-of-in-denial-dating Marty. Marty had been my first boyfriend about 10 years earlier, and we’d always been friends. Both of us had gone through rather bad breakups and found comfort in each other. He was my best friend, who knew me better than anyone else. Shortly after we got back together, he said to me, “You smell the same as you did 10 years ago” (and he didn’t mean a lack of deoderant – he associated people with smells).

Christmas 2001 was a bit mixed up. My parents came down and left on Boxing Day. I went shopping. Marty and I had planned to get together on New Years eve and do a Christmas/New Years celebration. We made the plans on December 26th. He was moving and told me he had given his barbeque away. I asked if he was okay and if he wanted me to come over. He declined.

That was the same day I found out a friend’s mother had passed away after a battle with cancer. The remembrance service was to be on December 28th at a funeral parlour next door to where I lived.

On December 28th I cleaned the house top to bottom, went grocery shopping and then next door to the funeral parlour where I attended the service. I remember Katie (who is a vegetarian) saying to me, “I touched MEAT to make these sandwiches.”

I went home after, flipped on the TV and poured myself a drink. A bit later, the phone rang. It was Marty’s mom. “Have you seen my son?” she asked.

Well, no, I hadn’t. And I wondered how she’d gotten my phone number. Apparently, she’d phoned my parents in the Cariboo and asked how to get in contact with me.

I tried to reassure her – saying Marty does this sometimes: he goes away and then comes back a day or two later and tells us about his travels. But something didn’t sit right.

I phoned his roommate, Dan, who was trying to pack up Marty’s waterbed. Marty had been in the midst of moving. I offered to go over to help – Dan declined as he’d just gotten the waterbed draining. Really, I was looking for some sort of contact with him.

The next morning my mom called to make sure I was okay. The fact she thought something was wrong was enough to set me off.

Sunshine called – she was in town from Japan and was returning a call I’d made asking if she’d heard from Marty. She hadn’t.

That afternoon, I called Maple Ridge RCMP and helped out with a missing persons report his mother had already filed.

That evening, I got a call from Marty’s mom saying they’d found his car at the Pitt Meadows Airport. My world shattered.

Sunshine came over on the 31st and dragged me out to New Years’ at the Wild Coyote. We left early and headed out early the next morning to the Pitt Meadows Airport. Dan came whizzing by in his car, pulled a screeching u-turn, leaped out and grabbed me. He told me we shouldn’t go wandering around the airport because they’re bringing out a dog later to look for him.

(Goddamn, this is still hard to write).

In the next 3 or 4 days, I lost 6 pounds. I suffered mood swings like you wouldn’t believe, I called in favours to people in various sectors. I took time off work. I raged and I cried. A lot.

To this day, Marty is still considered a missing person.

 I recovered. I moved along. Despite the fact I’m crying like a baby at the moment, I am happy. And I’d like to think that Marty would want me to be happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an article on missing men in the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley. I scanned it, but nothing jumped out at me. It was a bad memory – one I didn’t want to focus on.

I believe things happen for a reason. That when the Universe nudges you and you don’t respond, it begins screaming.

Aspeth’s post was the scream.

I sent her an email earlier today:

I have to say, about your friend, that really fucking sucks – because it does. I know when I’ve suffered loss the last thing I wanted anyone to say to me was “I’m sorry about…”; I just wanted them to agree with me that it sucks (and when I was being pitiful about it that it was unfair).

And that is why I didn’t post this before. I was tired of having to comfort when the grief was supposed to be my own. I tried to leave it behind. The whole thing sucked. I just wanted someone to come out and say that to me.

Yet, I believe there’s something in the Universe that prods us – whether you believe in God, Buddha, or the Wind in the Trees, it doesn’t matter. I think the Universe was trying to prod me with the “Missing” article. And I didn’t pay attention.

Today, I read Aspeth’s post on Loss. And then I did a google search for marty.

And I came across a Facebook group about him – with people I haven’t had contact with for years.

I deactivated my Facebook account awhile back for a reason based on principle.

Tonight, I reactivated it, for a reason based on faith.

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4 Responses to "Loss and Return; Principle and Faith"

Geez..I think that a person ‘missing’ is the worst sort of hell for the rest of us…HOW DO YOU GO ON???

I am truly truly sorry…..

But yeah….loss of any kind….all a nice stinky fresh hell for those left behind.

Wow, that brought back all kinds of memories. And it still really sucks.

How bizarre, baffling and maddening!

I wish my post hadn’t stirred up such a nightmare for you. But maybe we can be a couple of people who change the knee-jerk response “I’m sorry” and get people to say the much more accurate “That fucking sucks.”

Don’t get me wrong–I know that most people sincerely mean they’re sorry when they say that. And the polite response is, of course, “Thank you.” But as your post points out, life often doesn’t conform to the confines of polite society. With something so painful and unfair, we need something else. An acknowledgement of how shitty and gut wrenching the event is is a start.

@CC – yes, its rough. But life seems to go on, most days.

@Katie – Christ, yes. That “Missing Men” article in the courier was hard even to scan. And it was at work so I didn’t really want to get too deep into it in case I started crying at my desk. Damn open offices. And we need to go for a drink sometime.

@Aspeth – You hit the nail on the head with that one, dear. And I know that you will always say it like it is.

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