I don’t even know where to begin this… and please forgive me for being all over the place tonight.
Superman died this week.
Ok, so he wasn’t really Superman, but to someone, he was. And he was obsessed with Superman. One of my clearest and earliest memories of him is his Superman belt buckle and matching Superman earring.
Four. That’s the number of losses in my circle in the last couple of years.
Mitch died of a broken heart. Literally. His stopped working. I hadn’t spoken to him in years, but I knew through the magic of Facebook that he was very ill. He was the first person I ever danced with. We were in the seventh grade and he was wearing a soft green sweatshirt. And his heart stopped working. He was the first person I knew that was my age that died.
Erica was my friend The Hag’s older sister. She died in a car wreck, last summer. I didn’t know her at all, but I went to her funeral to support The Hag. Because I had to. Because I’ve been through loss and I wanted to be a shoulder for an old friend.
Penny was Mr Awesome’s first long relationship after we opened back up. She died from a seizure. I’ve written about her before, in this post.
Slash was partnered to Penny from while she and Mr Awesome were dating until the day she died. I knew him from before that, when he was dating my co-worker’s step-daughter. He’s been on the periphery of my life for more than a decade.
Slash loved Penny with everything he had, and when she died, he kind of stopped, too. And this week, he decided to join her, and he shot himself.
My former co-worker messaged me last night to tell me. And while I can’t say I am surprised, I am still sad. I am sad that he never healed, that he never moved on. I’m sad for the loss and the waste.
And I hope that, somewhere, he is back with Penny and he has found his peace.
When you are poly, and the metamour of someone your spouse dated years ago, who has also passed, dies, how do you grieve?
How do you tell someone the odd depth of connection you have to this person? It was hard when Penny died, too, trying to explain to the people we weren’t out to why we were hurting so badly over someone we hadn’t seen in about a year. Telling my co-worker that there I knew some folks who knew Slash who would be interested in any information about a service seemed like a limpid half-truth. Telling the head Soccer Mom this morning that an old friend had died seemed like an injustice to the person he was and the place he held in our lives, as well as a complete cover-up of everything I am.
I’m realizing I have some thinking to do about these questions. And I don’t know what the answers will be – there is no Miss Manners for dealing with the tangled webs of relationships, lovers, friends, and everything in between that comes with living this lifestyle. All of this is new… coming out of the closet and when and to whom, outings as an uncertain triad to poly weddings, huge family photos, the “room mate” that is really a lover, and the grieving for former lovers and their partners. The hard truth is that the language does not yet exist to convey the emotions we feel about these people and experiences. How can we give voice to these emotions when the English language has not yet addressed the basic structure of the polyamory community? Indeed, at this point, we don’t really even have the groundwork laid for a community, because how polyamory looks and acts and feels varies so greatly from one person or family group to the next.
Big questions, rooted in heartache, and no answers for the foreseeable future.
Penny danced again on Monday night, in my dreams. She laughed and she smiled and she was happy. She was the girl I remembered, my friend, my husband’s lover.
I understand that Monday was the day Slash died, and maybe, in whatever existence comes after this one, she found her Superman again.