Every time I’ve sat down to write for the past week, I can’t seem to get any words past the current block in my brain. (I’ve also been totally exhausted most of the time, but that’s beside the point.) What’s been stopping me is the most recent in the string of deaths that have visited my heart this year.

This time, only a week after the first, I lost another coworker. He too was 39, the same age as my fiance. This time, though, the death was self-inflicted. I have spent the past week struggling to understand why someone in the prime of his life could possibly do such a thing. And this is why I have been unable to write – the words simply don’t seem to flow around this block in my head.

Conversely, I have spent more time than usual noticing the things that make life worth living. In this frame of mind, it doesn’t take much more than a baby’s smile, a beautiful sunrise, or the smell of warm redwoods in the sunlight. For me, continuing to live is easy. It really doesn’t take much to justify my continued existence.

So the question remains… at what point do you just stop seeing the things that make life worth living? This is my block, the concept I can’t seem to wrap my head around. Suicide is the ultimate negation, a denial not only of one’s own basic worth as a human being but also of everyone else in one’s life. Even I feel that rejection, and I only chatted with this person on a sporadic basis. He asked me out once, or rather insinuated that he might have, were I not already dating the person I am now marrying. I can’t help thinking, “What if I had gone out with him? Would things have been different?” Of course the answer is no, but this just goes to show how far-reaching the guilt of a person’s suicide can be.

As I have struggled to comprehend all of this, I have also marveled at how the brain shies away from the concept of death, particularly that which is self-inflicted. I still can’t comprehend the fact that my grandmother is gone, and it has been over two months now. And I truly can’t accept that this person I worked with, whom I talked to about how to update our website just a few months ago, is now gone. By his own carefully planned and implemented design.

Trying to grasp something this monumental tends to drown out almost everything else with the din of its passing. Hence, writer’s block, a feeling I am most certainly not used to. I use words to comprehend the world, to place it into neat, easily digestible packages, and thereby surmount the insurmountable. But sometimes, there are things that are just too large to place into words, much less digest.

This is one of those times. I hope it will soon pass .

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