I don’t pray. I have no relationship with my religion. It’s ironic, seeing as how I have always been attracted to stories with an element of the fantastic. I have been baptized. I attended Sunday School. I made it to my First Communion. But I have never known what I believe. I’ve made a conscious choice not to dwell on it much.

People are always talking about praying during hard times. That’s always confused me. Wouldn’t that kind of piss God off? Like, “Oh, OKAY. You only talk to me when you NEED something.” Be clear, I do not intend to undermine anyone’s religion, or what tactic they use to find relief. In fact, I’ve thought more and more about prayers over the past two weeks. Maybe it’s like unloading. Just talking it out so it doesn’t live inside your gut. Because right now, I can’t digest anything. Food, emotions, thoughts. I have decided to try a prayer. But since I don’t know what I’m talking to, I’ve decided it’s simply a prayer to nothing except my own resolves.

I pray that this passes. I really do. I pray that some day I won’t wake up and mentally score what’s gone missing. I hope I can make it through the day without blurting out his passing.

I hope that one day I can find it in myself to accept what happened. Nothing I can do can change his death, but I can’t stop replaying the hundreds of ways it could have gone differently. I can’t stop picturing the months, weeks, days, and even hours before his choice that maybe, just maybe, something could have interrupted the path. Is there such a thing as a stay of execution? I pray that one day I can stop trying to think of the one word he needed to hear to stop this all.

I really hope I can stop finding him in every song I listen to, because some of the leaps I’m making are a fucking stretch.

I hope that soon I can sleep again. That my chest stops clenching every time I close my eyes. That I stop jerking awake every hour, wondering who’s dead. Checking my phone. It’s a strange thing. Death is like an infestation. When it’s wormed its way into your stronghold, you suddenly have a more complete grasp on your tentative status on the world. Who’s next? Is it my parents? A friend? Is it me?

I pray that I can eradicate these thoughts, because I feel like I’m one step to the left of insane. I pray that there is room in my identity to assimilate the information that suicide has touched my life. Right now, it feels like I have to give up myself to make room for that information.

I hope I get stronger. I hope I’m never angry at him. I pray that I stop wondering what it was that hurt him so badly.  I hope and pray that he’s okay.

This is a selfish prayer. I think I did it wrong.


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