Grief

I should start with two quite contradictory points:

  • I am not the type of person to broadcast their personal problems all over the internet, in general.
  • This blog is the most personal thing I have ever posted.

On this day a number of years ago, I lost someone very close to me. It happened long enough ago that people have started to wonder when I will get over it, but also, long enough ago that I know I probably never will. There are some people who leave a huge hole in your heart that never ever closes. You never stop expecting a call from them; a hand on your shoulder in a place you once frequented; the soothing voice comforting you in the middle of the night.

When you get into that dark, lonely place, there is nothing anyone can say, because the only thing that could ever make you feel better is gone, and it is never coming back. Sometimes the only comfort is knowing that you aren't as alone as you feel. Sometimes all you want to find at the bottom of the great black pit is a name scrawled on the wall, next to yours.

Needless to say, many comics deal with bereavement, and often - most notably with characters like Spider-Man, Batman and Punisher to name but a few - these world shattering feelings of helplessness and loss are what drive the character on to greatness. Feelings of guilt and frustration lead these characters to search for personal atonement, as they dedicate their lives to righting this great inner wrong. Somewhere along the line, most comic book characters seem to come to the same conclusion: that while it is a wonderful thing to be inspired toward positive action by such negative experience, that raw, knotted feeling inside will never go away.

While comics are a great way to escape the day to day problems we all face, it can also be quite comforting to read about a character who is going through the same things you are. It can leave you feeling that somewhere out there, someone really knows how you feel.

The Crow

Eric surrounds himself with pictures of Shelly

"There is a man playing the violin, and the strings are the nerves in his own arm." - James O'Barr, 'The Crow'

An obvious choice, but no less relevant for that. James O'Barr created The Crow as a way of dealing with his own grief, after his girlfriend was killed by a drunk driver. In this book, O'Barr pours his own heartbreak onto every page, and what results is a very raw, haunting and beautiful work. It tells the story of Eric Draven and Shelly Webster, a young couple whose lives are cut tragically short in a random encounter with a group of thugs. As he lies at the side of the road dying, Eric witnesses the gang beat Shelly to death, and then sexually assault her afterward. He is then resurrected by The Crow, an ancient spirit with a thirst for vengeance.

While deeply traumatized by the events of his fiancee's death, throughout the book it is clear that this is not what truly breaks his heart. Eric's darkest moments come when he is reliving the happier times, and remembering how wonderful his life with Shelly really was. Because, as is so often the case with bereavement, it is not the death itself that rends the soul, but rather the memory of what once was. Eric is tormented by powerful recollections of his love, visions of happiness that plunge him headlong into despair.

As an exploration of loneliness, grief and tragedy, there is no book I could recommend more highly than this one.

Tainted

George's attempt to move on is instrumental in his downfall

"For a moment, the recollection is so complete that George imagines he can even hear the ponderous tick-tocking of the chiming clock that used to stand upon the mantelpiece." - Jamie Delano, 'Tainted'

Loss is a central theme of this Vertigo one-shot, in which an average white-collar worker is pushed to the very edge of his sanity by his own guilt and obsession.

The story follows a man named George Palmer as he attempts to confront his grief at the loss of his parents, and sister. He does this by renting out two of the rooms in his childhood home, as though doing so will enable to him to gain closure and move on. Unfortunately for George, the opposite happens, and the presence of other people in the house after so long triggers a wave of suppressed memories. He is suddenly forced to confront the truth about his past, and the subsequent feelings of loss and absolute helplessness are too much for him to bear. What truly drives George to the brink of madness is knowing that he cannot go back. What's done is done, and he can never change it.

15 Portraits Of Despair

Grief is a common theme in 15 Portraits

"There is joy in there, of course, and love, and touching. The presence that makes the present absence unbearable. Without triumph, without love, without joy, her work would be for nothing." - Neil Gaiman, '15 Portraits Of Despair'

15 Portraits is a segment in the Sandman one-shot Endless Nights, in which each member of the Endless has a chapter dedicated to them which is illustrated by a different artist. This section deals with themes ranging from isolation, obsession, and bereavement, each portrait a snapshot of a tormented soul. To read it is to ache inside.

Though the portraits differ greatly from one another, there is a recurring theme here that the true source of anguish is happiness. There is a sense here that one cannot know the true depths of misery unless one has first tasted the heavenly sweetness of joy. True agony, then, is knowing what you are missing - not the pain of that which you have never had, but rather the pain of missing that which was once yours, and is now gone.

I don't know whether this will help anyone else. Certainly it has helped me to share it. But if ever you want a comic that really knows what it is to lose the ones who matter most to you, you could do a lot worse than reading one of these beautiful, if anguish-ridden, titles.

Rest easy, man, and know that you are sorely missed.

132 Comments
132 Comments
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Posted by lykopis

My precious friend.

You are brilliant and extraordinary.

Thank you for this,

for sharing your experience,

for sharing you.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@lykopis: Thank you so much, you are a great friend <3

It was kind of scary to share!

Posted by YoungJustice

That was so beautiful.

Online
Posted by Raiiyn

@BumpyBoo: It's amazing isn't it... How someone can be so close to you, a part of you... And no matter what... Even when they're gone... I feel you BooBoo. And this is a beautiful blog.

Thank you for sharing.

Edited by BumpyBoo

@YoungJustice: Thank you

@Raiiyn said:

@BumpyBoo: It's amazing isn't it... How someone can be so close to you, a part of you... And no matter what... Even when they're gone... I feel you BooBoo. And this is a beautiful blog.

Thank you for sharing.

Very much appreciated, snookums! <3

Sometimes I think you just have to be brave and reach out, and just hope that someone reaches back ^_^

Posted by Samimista

@BumpyBoo: Aw sweetie. *hugs* It hurts when we lose someone we love. It leaves an empty hole in our heart. But, keep the memories alive. Know the person you lost years ago is still with you in spirit. No one ever truly moves on from losing someone.

I know this is going to sound very nerdy and corny as I've never actually lost someone close to me in real life but, do you remember VII? How we've grown to love a certain beauty who was filled with spunk? How we all felt the need to protect a maiden from danger? How we opened our hearts to her? Even though she's not real, she's one of the deceased that I truly miss. She may be fictional but Enix taught us that not even the dead can be brought back to life but their memory lives on. It's engraved in our hearts.

In words of Lady Summoner Yuna, "The people and the friends that we have lost, and the dreams that have faded...never forget them."

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Samimista said:

@BumpyBoo: Aw sweetie. *hugs* It hurts when we lose someone we love. It leaves an empty hole in our heart. But, keep the memories alive. Know the person you lost years ago is still with you in spirit. No one ever truly moves on from losing someone.

I know this is going to sound very nerdy and corny as I've never actually lost someone close to me in real life but, do you remember VII? How we've grown to love a certain beauty who was filled with spunk? How we all felt the need to protect a maiden from danger? How we opened our hearts to her? Even though she's not real, she's one of the deceased that I truly miss. She may be fictional but Enix taught us that not even the dead can be brought back to life but their memory lives on. It's engraved in our hearts.

In words of Lady Summoner Yuna, "The people and the friends that we have lost, and the dreams that have faded...never forget them."

It isn't nerdy or corny at all. Looking for another point of reference in an attempt to understand another person is a very sweet and noble thing to do.

And thank you so so much for your kind words. Truly, thank you.

Posted by Samimista

@BumpyBoo said:

@Samimista said:

@BumpyBoo: Aw sweetie. *hugs* It hurts when we lose someone we love. It leaves an empty hole in our heart. But, keep the memories alive. Know the person you lost years ago is still with you in spirit. No one ever truly moves on from losing someone.

I know this is going to sound very nerdy and corny as I've never actually lost someone close to me in real life but, do you remember VII? How we've grown to love a certain beauty who was filled with spunk? How we all felt the need to protect a maiden from danger? How we opened our hearts to her? Even though she's not real, she's one of the deceased that I truly miss. She may be fictional but Enix taught us that not even the dead can be brought back to life but their memory lives on. It's engraved in our hearts.

In words of Lady Summoner Yuna, "The people and the friends that we have lost, and the dreams that have faded...never forget them."

It isn't nerdy or corny at all. Looking for another point of reference in an attempt to understand another person is a very sweet and noble thing to do.

And thank you so so much for your kind words. Truly, thank you.

No thank you. Thank you for being a great friend and taking the time out of your day to always talk to me. I really appreciate it.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Samimista: That's just what friends do, and you always do the same for me :) I am here any time.

Posted by Samimista

@BumpyBoo: Anytime. =)

Posted by Chaos Prime

Simply Beautifully put :)

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Samimista said:

@BumpyBoo: Anytime. =)

That's lovely! <3

@Chaos Prime: My thanks, sincerely. It wasn't easy.

Posted by WarBlade539

@BumpyBoo: That was beautiful and insightful and one of the most heart-wrenching pieces I have ever read. It must have taken a lot of courage to share that with us and that level of love and dedication which it must have taken, is truly extraordinary.

Retirer la tristesse et la douleur de votre cœur, de vos proches sera toujours près de votre cœur. Si jamais vous vous sentez seul, il suffit de fermer les yeux et je sais que nous serons toujours à proximité.

Posted by sesquipedalophobe

Lovely.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@sesquipedalophobe: Thanks for reading! :)

@darkazrael999 said:

@BumpyBoo: That was beautiful and insightful and one of the most heart-wrenching pieces I have ever read. It must have taken a lot of courage to share that with us and that level of love and dedication which it must have taken, is truly extraordinary.

Retirer la tristesse et la douleur de votre cœur, de vos proches sera toujours près de votre cœur. Si jamais vous vous sentez seul, il suffit de fermer les yeux et je sais que nous serons toujours à proximité.

That is absolutely beautiful. I will admit I had to cheat and use Google translate but wow, very touching words.

^_^

Posted by WarBlade539

@BumpyBoo: It's nothing. Everything you wrote really touched me. Vous êtes vraiment belle, mademoiselle.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@darkazrael999: Thank you. It sounds trite, but I mean it. How was I not following you already?? *hug*

Posted by WarBlade539

@BumpyBoo:*hugs back* Would you like a piece of chocolate?

Posted by BumpyBoo

@darkazrael999: *sniff* I would like that very much! :)

Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

Don't pull yourself down. The person you lost wouldn't want to see you in such a state. It was similar for me when I lost my grand mom. Longer than anybody in my family, I spent days just crying. Every time I think about her I want to lock myself away.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Necrotic_Lycanthrope said:

Don't pull yourself down. The person you lost wouldn't want to see you in such a state. It was similar for me when I lost my grand mom. Longer than anybody in my family, I spent days just crying. Every time I think about her I want to lock myself away.

I am really, truly very sorry to hear that.

**giant hug**

And thank you, you are right. While it is important to let these feelings out, it is just as important to be able to move on. Sometimes I suppose it is just easier said than done.

Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale

I know of theses sour feelings all to well, but as @Necrotic_Lycanthrope said:

The person you lost wouldn't want to see you in such a state.

So try to find solace in the joy the brought you

Posted by Delphic

This is quite a beautiful blog you have written. Having just experienced the loss of my Grandfather, I can really understand what you mean by the pain of loss. How it is the memories of the happy times, and then the crushing reality of knowing that those moments that once brought us joy are never coming back is in fact what hurts us the most. All we can do though is try and keep moving forward. Thank you for sharing this though.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Delphic said:

This is quite a beautiful blog you have written. Having just experienced the loss of my Grandfather, I can really understand what you mean by the pain of loss. How it is the memories of the happy times, and then the crushing reality of knowing that those moments that once brought us joy are never coming back is in fact what hurts us the most. All we can do though is try and keep moving forward. Thank you for sharing this though.

My heart goes out to you, it really does. You are not alone <3

Posted by Blood1991

@BumpyBoo: :(

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Blood1991 said:

@BumpyBoo: :(

That is brilliant. We have all been there! Thank you :D *hugs*

Posted by Blood1991

@BumpyBoo: *hugs* You need any sort of emotional support you tell me. I may not know how to help, but I'm willing to listen and try and cheer you up.

Posted by slacker the hacker

You are very strong I also lost someone close to me.

Posted by BumpyBoo

@slacker the hacker said:

You are very strong I also lost someone close to me.

We are all far, far stronger than we realise. To lose someone close to you and still be here, you must be awfully strong yourself. It can be awfully tempting to just give in.

**massive bear hug**

Posted by slacker the hacker

@BumpyBoo said:

@slacker the hacker said:

You are very strong I also lost someone close to me.

We are all far, far stronger than we realise. To lose someone close to you and still be here, you must be awfully strong yourself. It can be awfully tempting to just give in.

**massive bear hug**

(Hugs back)

Posted by feebadger

@BumpyBoo: You. Are. Amazing. `~though it's not the name you truly want, scrawls name next to yours anyway~

Posted by BumpyBoo

@feebadger said:

@BumpyBoo: You. Are. Amazing. `~though it's not the name you truly want, scrawls name next to yours anyway~

No. You are amazing. And don't be so sure - it is certainly one of them.

Thank you very much, this means an awful lot to me.

<3

Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

@BumpyBoo:

It is easier said than done. But you grow stronger as a result of it.

*hugs back*

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@BumpyBoo: not sure what to say, other than i am truly sorry, and we have all been there, we miss that person, and to honor them , we have to stay strong, i know it's easier said than done but we've got to try, hope i helped a bit :)

Online
Posted by BumpyBoo

@TheAcidSkull said:

@BumpyBoo: not sure what to say, other than i am truly sorry, and we have all been there, we miss that person, and to honor them , we have to stay strong, i know it's easier said than done but we've got to try, hope i helped a bit :)

You don't have to say anything, knowing you have read and appreciated this is a great help, and an honour to his memory. But know that what you did say has helped a great deal.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@BumpyBoo: i'm glad i could help, take care :)

Online
Posted by nickthedevil

This was an amazing read. It's the entire reason I like the Flash and his Rogues. Honestly, I was in a darker place when I was introduced to the series, and reading about the problems they had and my own at the time really helped me out of it. Thank you. :)

Posted by BumpyBoo

@nickthedevil: This guy knows. **hug of solidarity** Thank you for taking the time to read this, I appreciate it.

Posted by Inverno

Sorry to hear about your friend. I some time ago learned a friend of mine suffered with depression and committed suicide. I felt mortified and useless for not being able to do anything. Even if people express grief differently, any help provided is appreciated. Thank you for posting this, friend :)

Posted by BumpyBoo

@CaioTrubat:

Thank you, and my sincere condolences to you too, friend. I can only imagine what you must have gone through.

Posted by Auralaria

I can't express the feeling I feel right now.

Posted by WarBlade539

@BumpyBoo:

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Auralaria said:

I can't express the feeling I feel right now.

Does this help?

@darkazrael999:

I got you some too!

Posted by WarBlade539

@BumpyBoo: :D

Posted by Auralaria
@BumpyBoo
I...think so? Nemi's face is always enough to offset a bit of sadness.
Posted by lykopis

**pilfers some chocolate and scurries back to shadowed corner**

Posted by BumpyBoo

@Auralaria said:

@BumpyBoo: I...think so? Nemi's face is always enough to offset a bit of sadness.

Then have more!!!

Posted by BumpyBoo

@lykopis said:

**pilfers some chocolate and scurries back to shadowed corner**

I only just saw this :) It's OK, come back. I got you some too:

Posted by lykopis

@BumpyBoo:

he he he

thank you!

Posted by BumpyBoo

@lykopis: LOL! She's right of course.

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