Sunday, October 14, 2012

when it isn't enough

There are some things I will never understand.

One thing I know to be true is: sometimes wilderness isn't enough. Sometimes the place you live, the friends you have, life just isn't enough.

So you stop going to work. One day, without leaving a note, you decide that you have had enough. You take a shotgun, or a rifle. For you, it's over.

It's not over for everyone else.

What I don't get is this: there are so many people who are praying for just one more day. People with cancer, or  other terrible diseases. People dying pointlessly overseas in a war we can't win. People snatched off the street while running by crazed meth addicts. 

But what I try to understand is this: sometimes the pain is too much. You aren't thinking that it is a beautiful, sun-washed October day. You aren't thinking about the rest of us who used to run into you on a ski slope, a running trail, the rest of us who will wonder if there is anything else we could have done. I remember an email you sent me a week or so ago, and you said you hadn't been running much, that you needed to, and wondering if I would go along. I knew you were much faster than me, and so I made a joke of it. I said, maybe if you had already run ten miles first. Now I wish I had agreed to go, even if I would have puffed along in humiliation, maybe even had to walk. I wish I had gone by your house. I know what it's like to feel alone.

The mountains don't care about us. The rivers are indifferent. We come and go with the seasons. The only thing we have is people like us, the ones who overlook our crazy and take us along on an adventure. We never forget those people.

Wherever you are now, I won't forget you. I will remember when I walked by you with my cross country skis and you talked about how beautiful I looked (because we all need to hear that sometimes). I will remember seeing you running towards the lake, and wishing I could run that fast. How life might be perfect if I could be that good at something.

I won't think that anymore.

It is a sad day.


  1. You are right. Sometimes nothing is enough. I'm sorry. I hope you have people around you to help you through this time.

  2. Oh, Mary, so, so sorry about your friend. And you're right: Rivers and mountains are indifferent. Many of us run and race and do everything we can to become faster, and we don't stop to realize that being fast doesn't equate being happy or being at peace or being free from our doomed and chaotic brains.
    Hugs and take care.

  3. Thanks. This isn't about someone very close to me, instead it was someone on the edge of friendship, one of those people you sometimes hang put with, but whom you forget about too in your own self absorbed life, someone I feel sad about not helping out. There are so many questions and not enough answers. You just expect there to be more time.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear this. I think that depression and suicidal thoughts are much worse than suffering from a physical ailment. This is something I worry about everyday with my sister, trusting that she will tell us when she feels like she's in danger. May peace come to you and your friend's family.

  5. Such beautiful and honest writing, Mary. I think many of us have had experiences like this and think "what if"? Hugs.

  6. Sometimes, nothing is enough. And it's hard for those of us who aren't in those depths of despair to comprehend it -- those aren't shoes it's easy to walk in.

    And it shakes the world view of those who are left, doesn't it? The passing of a friend, or of an almost-friend, or a could-have-been. The turns lives take can't be predicted, and what-ifs linger. I'm sorry for your loss; even though it wasn't a close friend, it certainly seems to have resonated somewhat painfully with you.


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