When I Am Gone

“It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.”John Steinbeck, East of Eden

I’m some eleven months through my 29th year on this Earth.

I feel fine. I workout every day. I drink plenty of water. I try to get my eight hours of sleep. I try to eat healthy. I take some supplements, multivitamins and stuff. But I am feeling a bit older than I did when I first started this blog. I feel tired after less hours of writing than I used to.

It’s not being dead, but getting closer to death that scares us, right?

I am also a bit heartbroken, as artists are supposed to be from time to time.

It’s been years since I found my ideal reader. That’s my definition of a soulmate, and the closest thing to falling in love with another human being. Someone who understands my words, who wants to read them, who underlines them in the books I give her. Someone who encourages me to reply less to e-mails, and to write more fiction. Someone who reminds me I was, am, and always will be a writer.

I have lost that person. Maybe irredeemably. I don’t know. It feels like that. Like the kind of goodbyes that never feel like goodbyes until you are sitting all by yourself at your desk and you try to write and no words come out. And you want to tell them that, and you can’t.

It’s not distance that breaks people’s hearts. No. She lives rather close. Distance is not the issue. Misunderstanding is. When you try to tell someone how they make you feel, and all they hear are words.

Something like that.

This means that I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. Right now, I feel like there’s a part of me missing. A few days ago, it was even worse. It felt like dying and being forced to keep on living.

And, yes, I recover fast from heartbreaks. I have had quite a few experiences. Soulmates never die, but they leave, find some other soulmate, or just turn out to be someone different than who I thought them to be.

All this made me think of death. In the sense of running out of time.

Do you ever feel like that? Like running out of time? Do you ever fear when that moment will come? The bitter end? Its unpredictability?

I guess I am just tired, and I want to write my feelings down. Quite selfish of me. But I am… tired. Trying to live a life you’re proud of is the most exhausting thing one can do. Trying to be good, to be competent, to love, to…

In moments of heartbreak we wonder if we’ll ever get the ending we want. If we’ll ever be happy. Loved. Fulfilled. If we’ll ever find someone who genuinely appreciates our presence, who loathes our absence, who supports our dreams, who is willing to fight for us day in and day out.

Someone to miss us when we’re gone.

Whenever you lose someone you feel you could spend a lifetime with, it feels like… it feels like death, actually. It feels like the life you live is this strange terror. Part comedy, part tragedy. One eye laughs, the other cries.

I reckon that this line of thinking is not in tune with the realities of the world, but artists like to dream a lot. We’re idealists.

In an ideal world I’d have my ideal reader, and we’d have fun editing stories, and I’d tell her all my ideas, and I could decide on which one to work by the way her face would light up. Something like that.

Like I said, I am not feeling like myself.

For this, I apologize.

39 thoughts on “When I Am Gone

  1. do not apologize. It seems strange, I know yet you are going through a shift, like the satellites that left our solar system. Though we may consider it, keep death far on the horizon, as you consider new ideas as you write. At a little more than twice your age, the view from here is a life well-lived so far. Not easy and not without regrets, but well-lived. It becomes more challenging to write consistently but I urge you and I to press on.

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    • Thank you, Eric. I know things get better. They always too. “This too shall pass.” When life’s bad, we should keep that in mind, and rejoice at the thought. And when life’s good, we should also be aware that there will come a time when it won’t be so.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very touching and open display of self. I love how confident your words are even while being sad. Sending hugs along with lots and lots of support. You are an amazing and inspirational writer and I look forward to reading your posts daily. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. I wonder if it is possible to just BE- as we are in this moment instead of trying to be- trying to be happy, trying to live a proud life, trying to heal a heart. Sometimes i think we will always be searching if we are looking outside of ourselves. And yes, i think about dying a lot. We are essentially dying every moment we are born but paradoxically, being re-born every moment. Whoever you want to be, find that inside, then put that out into the universe. Thank you for the vulnerable and intetesting read. Hang in there!

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  4. Your words are so sad. It is easy to float away on those sad feelings sometimes, but take heart. It is not all so bad. I am not writing this to try and make you change your feelings, just to let you know that I often pontificated in my writing about finding my soulmate, figuring out life, pondering death. I am turning 44 next month. Holy shit, it looks really big on this screen, but I am the happiest and most settled I have ever been. If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self that there is no reason to be in a hurry to go anywhere. There is nowhere to go. Everything I ever really needed to see is right here in me. Wow, way to go Dr. Suess. There is no clock. There is no countdown. Forty-four looks a whole lot like 29 except the lens over the view has changed. There are people in my life I love. There are things I cannot even imagine a day without. There are fun experiences. There are tough experiences. There are more lines in my face. My clothes don’t always feel the way I would like them to feel, but that is really no different. I had problems with my appearance even when I was younger. So what’s my point, you may be asking. I guess I just want to show you that your age doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. It is the stuff that exists deep down inside you that is timeless. That is the stuff that matters.

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  5. You go through the same grieving process as if someone dies when it’s someone close. Because that connection died. I’m 56. The women in my family generally die in their 60’s so it’s always on my mind. I do what I can but no one plans to die. I get what you me. An untouchable but identifiable lose. I lost 4 very close friends last year. 54, 56, 49,65. 3 of them it was out of nowhere. One had been fighting cancer for a long time. Life is fragile. Every day if a gift to cherish.

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  6. Never apologize for your emotions, without them you are a machine. To appreciate the good times you need the contrast of the bad times. It hurts and in working through the hurt you live and row which at some stage is probably going to end up on the pages of your books too. Some things need to be experienced before they can truly be written. There is nothing stopping you from talking with that person to find out what happened on their side. They may never be fully in your life again but to feel joy, love and caring does leave you open to sadness, hate and anger. I hope you come to terms with this in your own way as others have but take care of yourself too.

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  7. I’m so sorry. Misunderstanding can create greater distance than geography any day because it creates a vicious cycle that continuously widens the gap between you until it hits a point of no return. Embrace what you’re feeling so you can eventually move on from it and be stronger for it. It will teach you something and help you grow. You’re obviously enough on your own, but I hope you find what you’re looking for.

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  8. First of all, don’t apologize.

    This made perfect sense to me: “In moments of heartbreak we wonder if we’ll ever get the ending we want. If we’ll ever be happy. Loved. Fulfilled. If we’ll ever find someone who genuinely appreciates our presence…”

    I do believe everything happens for a reason, including meeting the people who will later break our hearts. Because they do gift us something – some insight, some pain which will perhaps change us or help us to evolve. I know that might not sound like such a comfort at this time, but I’ve started to believe that each person is his/her own soulmate. And maybe when we align ourselves fully with our true desires, we will attract the right person. So keep being reflective and self-aware, and always strive to be your best self (which I know you do!). Wishing you peace and positivity.

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  9. Interesting piece..id say live for the love of writing find joy in your ability to share you with the world.there can never be another you ever again in this world so be you as much as you can be with or without help just be the amazing you

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  10. I realized just recently that I am not afraid of being dead. I am just afraid of dying. My father died of cancer and my brother in law died in a horrid accident. I know how my father suffered and can only imagine how my brother in law did.

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  11. I enjoyed this. I set out today to be a reader not a writer. Sooo thank you for that. And while I feel your sorry is warranted but not needed, I am going to apology for and grammatical errors as I swipe one handed little digital keys on my old tiny sized phone. Thank you for the imagery. Thank you for the feelings as I wonder the end myself. I have a post in review where I imagine six months left. Soon I hope… well for the article I hope to be around a bit longer. Thanks for the writings.

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  12. Don’t apologize. What you write is real. People like myself relate to that. I know how you’re feeling and it’s a natural part of life. The good, bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. If I may impart some “wisdom” I’ve gained in my almost half a century. 😬 We have all had these moments. In the grander scheme of things, the love we lose stays with us but it is how we rise after our worlds burn around us.
    One of the biggest misconceptions in life is that , time heals all wounds. No it doesn’t. We never fully heal. What we do is learn how to live again. Regardless of circumstances, it is how we decide to move forward to live our best life. It doesn’t matter how anyone else thinks we should do that. What matters is how YOU feel. You are alive. You matter. And you never know how your existence will inspire another human being. You inspire me; a random stranger who met you on a blogging platform. Thank you for allowing me (and us) into this part of your life. It isn’t always easy letting the world know how fragile we can be as humans. You expressed this wonderfully. I look forward to your next posting! ☺️

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  13. Firstly, are a very talented writer. So much of this post resonates with me. I don’t know that Ive ever had a “soulmate.” My heart has been broken many times from unrequited love.

    I hope that whoever you lost, is not irredeemably gone. Wishing the best for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve been dead before. it’s very liberating.
    I finally broke down and talked about it on my blog. I titled it the “Shady Side of Dead.” I’d post a link, but I won’t without your blessing it.

    That said I was sitting and thinking (a dangerous thing to do – trust me) the other day that I’m a few short months away from 64. And then it hit me. Next year, I’ll turn 65.

    65! Most guys that age are thinking about retiring. I’m thinking I’m just getting started.

    But, thanks for talking about it. It’s something a lot of people don’t which is tragic. Life might be so much more interesting if we expressed how we feel and show a little more vulnerability on occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve been there, so I fully understand. Putting those feelings into words is often impossible. It’s all there, just sitting on the tip of your tongue, yet when you go to speak them, they vanish. So then it feels like you’re stuck with them, with feelings that just run around and around, festering in your heart. They bring different things on different days, some times anger, or bitterness, or just that sad and lonely ache, but it all comes from the same thing. But that’s why we write, isn’t it? To take all those feelings and put them in to some thing that some one else can connect with on a very real level. As hard as it is to write through feelings like this, I believe you can do it. If I can, you can.

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  16. Cristian, thank you for sharing your story. You’ve articulated a feeling similar to what I have sometimes experienced near the end of decades. I found the end of my 20s to be complicated, difficult and there were so many changes in my life at that time. If it’s any consolation, each decade since has gotten better and at the end of my 50s, I feel younger, more vital, resilient and creative than ever. I wish the same for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This comment really hit home for me as well. Although you are a stranger to me, I felt your pain and sadness. If you can touch one person with words that come from the heart, you are a true poet. Well done sir! Here you have resonated with so many; you are not alone. For all who have lost that soul connection; I wish for us all to find our ‘readers’, our muses, and the ones who touch our hearts once again. I feel inspired to dig through my old poems, for when I was once in your shoes so many years ago. Peace to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, when I read this, I was startled (not unpleasantly) by your phrase, ‘lost that soul connection’ as it is so close (albeit a slight shift in context) to my poem, ‘A Stitch in Time’… ‘in my pocket there’s a hole and I lost my soul’ which is included in my post of March 15th, ‘Where’s Your Treasure?’ Yes, it does sound like I’m desperate for readers, but no, I’m more desperate for people to find eternal purpose in life, even by means of the ‘blue days’.

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  18. I came to this post late, sorry. Just catching up with some of your other stuff. By now you must have just about turned 30. This was a significant ‘evaluating’ age for me too, especially when I realised that the greatest man started his greatest work on earth at 30. I didn’t feel that I had to try to compete or emulate Christ, but it was a bit of a catalyst. Anyway, I wrote my recent post ‘Where’s Your Treasure?’ for such a time as this. These ‘non-midlife crises’ are given to us to periodically encourage us to reconsider direction, focus and priorities, so use these feelings well.

    Liked by 1 person

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