I fell into a wikipedia black hole today and stumbled upon Nietzsche’s idea of eternal return– basically, that time is cyclical (non-linear) and everything that is happening now has happened before and will happen again.
One of my close friends who I’ve known since I was thirteen took his own life last week. Grief is described as a linear journey, a march through Kubler-Ross’s five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). Denial carried me through until I landed in Philadelphia and Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’ came up on shuffle. Anger surprised me because I’ve always felt that individuals have the right to choose to die in the face of intractable illness, believing that the people close to me were exempt.
I’m finding that grief, like time, isn’t linear. I feel normal one moment and the next I’m thinking about something funny he said to me or the way he laughed. I’m just starting to believe that he’s truly gone forever, although I feel like I lost him a few months ago when he stopped responding to my text messages and attempts to stay in touch. It’s impossible to shake the feeling of guilt, of responsibility, though I’ve tried to take that negativity and apply it to talking to my friends about how I’m always there for them.
If time is cyclical then maybe it’s not so romantic to think that I will see some part of him again. If the universe is host to such infinite possibilities, I’d selfishly pick the one that kept him here with us.