I get these suicidal thoughts still, as I’m going around doing other things. A lot of times, they happen in the kitchen, but it’s not always there. Sometimes, it happens to me at other times and places, so it’s not entirely a kitchen thing.

The thoughts are distant in some way it’s difficult to describe, like a disembodied voice. Lately, I get a sensation like being punched in the stomach along with it, and I try to let that feeling be there, to not chase it away with other thoughts or concerns or with dissociation. I try to let it be, because that is how integration happens. You let the feelings be there, and eventually you can stand them enough that their explanation emerges along with them.

Today, it occurred to me that this is just a feeling that I could never get anyone to hear. I couldn’t hear it in myself because it frightened me too much, and I think it frightened the people I told too.

No one could see it as something that just happens, that is sometimes a natural part of the grieving process. No one could just say, “I know. That is how it feels.”

And I needed that. I needed someone to be able to hear it and to simply say, “I know.” That is how it feels when the person at the center of your life and at the center of the future you imagined for yourself is dead. It seems as though death would just be easier and more direct and more to the point than what you are having to do instead, which is to go through the motions of life, which is living a life you don’t want to live.

So I was cooking this morning. I was making wild asparagus, which I have had only once before, and this time turned out to be shockingly bitter. And I had that suicidal thought, that wish to die, and I just thought to that part in myself who feels that way, I know.

I know. And it’s okay to feel that way. That is just how it felt when she died, and it is how it sometimes feels now. And it is okay.