one year since

one year old Danny

one year old Danny

today marks one year since the day Danny died
each day of the year lived once without him
and i wish i had something profound to say
some epiphany or insight
on suicide maybe
something that might help
heal someone else
or something that might
heal me
all i know is
it's been the worst year
i hope
and the most transformative
transcendent even

like i've done drugs
for the first time in my life
with a medicine man
i was everyone and everything
all perceptions of reality
bursting into paradoxes
it was terrifying
and illuminating
i tried to push through
to the blissful side of it
but i got stuck in not letting go
stuck in a heightened version
of the endless circle of suffering
that we all experience
it made me understand a little
about "why"
why Danny did what he did
if he suffered that much
and thought he'd found a way out
i wonder if it worked
if death really is
a way out or just another version
an ultimate surrender
a letting go
catchphrases that mean something
except to those who haven't experienced them

certain things in my life have changed
like the day to day
i won't endure anymore
i won't put up with things
to please
or fit in
to plan for the future
not that i don't plan for the future
but today is all we have
and if you haven't figured that out yet
then you are wasting your time

other things like heartbreak
i thought i wasn't afraid of
but a recent heartbreak
has proven me wrong
i'm still afraid
but i love anyway
they say that's courage
to act despite fear
and i do
as long as something inside says yes
in the good way not the icky way
there's a big difference

i understand my parents more
i might even say i forgive them
am forgiving them
(it's a process)
for not being perfect
like we think our parents are supposed to be
even though they never are
forgiving them
for making me flawed
as if they did it
as if flaws exist
the perfection of the imperfect
acceptance is the ultimate
ultimate acceptance is the "why" for all of this
i think

i am more humble now
i'd say that with humility
if i could
but i was a righteous bitch for a while
and a crazy ex-girlfriend at least twice
not because i am a bitch or crazy
but because i was scared
that something was wrong with me
because i had no control
and thought bitchiness was strength
and craziness would prevent change
gut responses to stuff i hadn't forgiven my parents for
not yet
but there is no control
life shows us that
and whenever we forget and get cocky
life is sure to remind us

i think the question of "why"
is the wrong question
but i don't know what the right question is
or if there is one
i don't think we're supposed to understand
that that's the ultimate acceptance
accepting all that is without exception
without understanding
and knowing that
it doesn't matter
ultimately

Danny understood something i don't
and i'm not saying he was right
in doing what he did
(this is one of life's paradoxes)
but he wasn't afraid of death
or he had courage
or maybe he just knew somehow
that there is no wrong
that acceptance
of all that is
is the answer to "why"
if "why" is the question

if it's not the question
then he still understood
something i don't
and he's motivating me to find
the answer that is no answer
to the non-question
because now
i live my life for Danny
like he's watching
whether he is or not
because he makes me live better
fuller
less fearfully
because if he is watching
well then
i want to be good
i want to be like him
in all the ways i always admired him
and i want to be happy
so that his unhappiness
was not in vain
and i want to accept him
exactly as he was
exactly as he is
including what he did
because ultimately
answer or not
this is

Lisa Rachel Snyder