Peaches, Grief, Guilt and Restraining Orders

Ary Scheffer - 1814

As I write this, we still don’t know what caused the death of poor Peaches Geldof but we are human, most of us, so we feel the tragedy. For me, it was yet another trigger, a blast of PTSD, complete with unwanted images of her dead body, what position she was in, wondering how her family will live through this. Looking at pictures of her adorable babies, reading her loving descriptions of them, struggling with the very idea of deliberately leaving them.

She is none of my business but I refreshed my google search for news, every few hours. Just like I did with L’Wren Scott. How dare these people leave their loved ones, how dare they leave strangers like me to wonder in horror at the big hole they left, to feel like the last page of a book was torn out before we could know how it ended.

I wish I could stop taking it personally but such is my PTSD or Complicated Grief or whatever pathology can be assigned to my condition.

In the days leading up to Max’s birthday, I was more anxious than I realized. I had a fight with my sister over plans for his birthday dinner. Weeks have passed but she still won’t talk to me.

In the days following his birthday, I felt better. I could feel him inside me, not like a dark companion this time but like part of my heart, myself, a good part. I felt lighter, I guess.

But nope, I was not really okay. I sent a curt email in the middle of the night to a close friend’s husband, who knew Max. In the morning, the friend emailed me, hysterically blaming me for destroying the husband and being a monster.

Stung at being the monster in someone else’s narrative, I debated this in escalating emails that resulted in her blocking me both on facebook and in real life gmail. Now I am officially a monster who would dare to make someone feel uncomfortable about Max’s suicide. And I have lost a friend. Maybe they would like to file a restraining order.

I have already suffered the shock of a restraining order! The fiance who refused to talk to me filed a restraining order, citing a fear for her life. It did not pan out, obviously, but it is the post post-modern way of telling someone to shut up or else.

If I could file a restraining order against myself, I would. I would accuse me of torturing myself when I least expect it, with waves of anger, remorse, and morbid preoccupations. I could make me stay 100 yards away from myself and my place of employment.

Meanwhile, one of my facebook friends, needless to say a complete stranger, told me that she was depressed today, more than usual, and wants me to call her. She has a physical handicap and that must be hard. I don’t want to take this on but I will, because even though I’m a monster in real life, on facebook I’m still a nice and compassionate person. For now, anyway.

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10 Responses to Peaches, Grief, Guilt and Restraining Orders

  1. Kellie says:

    You ARE a nice and compassionate person!!! You are someone who has been presented with terrible situations and circumstances, and are doing the best you can.
    And that’s all any of us can do. Ever.

    I was hoping against hope that Peaches was going to be found to have had a heart defect, or something like a brain explosion or ANYTHING BUT DRUGS.
    But seeing as we are now waiting on toxicology reports, that doesn’t appear to be an option.
    And her little 11 month old baby was there with her.
    It makes me both furious and sad.
    Its easier to look at someone elses problems and have sympathy for them. But hard to have it for ourselves.
    Sometimes losing friends is the only way to move forward.
    Be kind to yourself Sister.

  2. Heidi says:

    I don’t know what to say, except I am so sorry.

  3. Janet says:

    I share your morbid preoccupations. I switched from Googling news about l’Wren Scott to fixating on Peaches Geldof. Rarely a week goes by that I’m not preoccupied by suicide, in fiction or by celebrities I know nothing about. I think once it leaves its footprint on you it’s hard to avoid.
    I don’t think you’re a horrible person, Sister, just someone with a lot of unanswerable questions and justified anger. We’re all monsters sometimes. You’re sweet to call a stranger and offer support, but I hope you don’t feel it’s your job to save everyone you come in contact with.

  4. Dj says:

    Sister sister sister, stop the negative self talk (can you tell I have been through therapy?)waaaaay too hard on yourself…you know you are not a monster, the people you describe sound utterly infantile. Restraining order?! Come on…actually, I would feel a since of pride if someone was that afraid of me and what I have to say!

    You have a gentle heart, you are highly intuitive, you have lots of dark shadows that appear and disappear…don’t let them scare you so much…suicide seems to be a natural horror, a curiosity we can’t control. Let it pass.

  5. thriftstorelawyer says:

    Sending deep, random-stranger, internet love. There is no perfect solution, but who is to say helping someone else won’t help you?

  6. Sally says:

    I really wish you could find the peace of mind a loving mother deserves. You’re a mother in pain not a monster.

  7. grass is not greener says:

    It is imperative that people know the cause of death. That is something I am very upset about when a person dies and the cause of death is not known or disclosed. It should be public knowledge. If a co-worker dies the surviving co-workers need to know what killed him/her. It is part of the grieving process. Everyone dies and I believe everyone has the right to take their own life. But the cause of death needs to be known. There is one way to get born. No secret to that. But there are a million ways to die and leaving people with a question mark leaves them with a hole. I think once you find out how Peaches died you will feel a lot better.

    I have sent plenty of belligerent emails. That therapy trick where you write a letter to someone getting out your feelings but you aren’t supposed to send it…I always just send it. I don’t even give a fuck any more.

  8. annemarie says:

    I feel guilty all the time and I don’t have the terrible grief to deal with that you have. Your pain is so overwhelming that it spills out over your borders– you accuse other people of stuff, then they attack you, then you get restrained/blocked, and then, finally, you pin it on yourself. We need guilt because it tells our brain: “if you feel bad, it means you’re not bad.” It absolves us.

    I read this awesome article about whether or not Putin is a narcissist:
    I was reading it and then suddenly started wondering if I was a narcissist because some of the stuff applied to me, and I felt bad. Then I realized that it’s classic narcissism to read something about another person and think it’s about you, and I felt really, really bad.

    You can’t fucking win playing this game. Animals don’t have any of these problems. It’s as though things are too simple for us. Our brains became overdeveloped at the cost of our basic common sense.

    There’s nothing wrong with you. Max had exactly the right Mom for him and you loved each other. Keep feeling him in your heart! He’s there, not in your head.

    The death of Peaches depressed me for a whole day….we’re all so frail and vulnerable. We don’t need to torture ourselves on top of everything else.

  9. annemarie says:

    and now i feel bad because my comment is so worthless and unhelpful. terrible!

  10. Dj says:

    Everyone please stop flagellating

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