Photo: Gus's ashes. Ride is a book that has come about because an internal nagging wouldn’t go away. I tried to ignore the nagging and decide it was born from an impractical unachievable dream that was irrelevant in my new reality. It wouldn’t go away so - In the end I surrendered and ‘put aside’ 9 months in 2017 to write - just to see what happened. I had written short notes over the previous years – of key words, and sometimes I used them as starting points. Sometimes I sat at my computer and the words would just flow from my fingers.
Photo: White basket fungus. Connection Holds Things Together.
Authentic Connection – Part Two (following on from Part one).
When Dylan had only just died many people wanted to connect with me- at that time we had a lot in common – we were all shocked and many of us were incredibly sad that Dylan had made the decision he did.
It was surprising to me though, that not long after Dylan’s death many of those same people withdrew and had little or no connection with me. Before Dylan’s death, these were people I would see reasonably often and even socialise with. They stopped calling soon after Dylan passed and when I would make contact with them they had multiple reasons not to catch up. I would wonder if I was being a bit paranoid and at first would make excuses for them – like they are busy, have lives etc etc. However, after a few attempts at contact it became obvious to me that they actually wanted no connection at all.
Still today, when I coincidently meet with them, most often, they do not give me eye contact. They most definitely would not mention Dylan or ask how I am. If I mention him or what I am doing, they seem to became uncomfortable. I have even been told – I don’t want to talk about ‘that’. ‘That’ being me making comments about my life!
I find it bizarre, but from what I have heard from others in similar situations – pretty common.
It seemed that there was a finite time that people were prepared to authentically connect with me after Dylan’s death. After that finite time was up it somehow became awkward, unnecessary or indulgent for people to really connect. Different people had different finite time frames.
I was surprised by people’s awkwardness. I would wonder if it was because they had ‘put’ Dylan’s death somewhere comfortable for them. Perhaps into a box of some sort labelled something like – ‘do not open’ or ‘his own choice’ or ‘must have had mental health issues we didn’t know about’. Then connecting with me was a potential challenge to their newly found comfortableness. What if they asked me how I was and I was struggling or sad? How would that make them feel – easier for them not to connect so they could avoid those feelings perhaps?
I am just pitching ideas around here as to the reasons why people elected to avoid authentic connection. Not everyone was like this, but many were.
It is fair to say that many of the people that were part of my life before Dylan’s death are no longer.
In the next blog – A few instances that stood out in particular.