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Painted Brain | I Decided To Have A Little Funeral For Myself
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • admin
  • March 21, 2016

I decided to have a little funeral for myself

I decided to have a little funeral for myself because, as it happens, I’m dead inside.
It’s not so bad, actually. I used to be plagued with horrible things called “feelings.” My face used to contort into peculiar shapes: sometimes my eyebrows would point downward very forcefully; other times, my lips would stretch across my face until my teeth were showing. But now, my face is still: a perfectly normal, nonthreatening, blank expression across my features.
As with other kinds of death, being dead inside can occur from any number of horrific events, trauma, for example. Some people are beaten to death with blunt objects and metal pipes. Similarly, harsh words and cruel actions can kill a person inside.  There is only so much pain the mind can take before it shuts off. And, as they say, the first suspects are always the family members and close friends, people who matter enough to you that their words can be fatal, that their dark thoughts can beat you within an inch of your life.
Trauma doesn’t just happen from prolonged exposure to pain and suffering. Sometimes, it only takes one shot: clean, straight to the head. Something big, something devastating.
Something you can’t recover from.
But there are many ways to die: depression, which is really cancer of the mind; anxiety, which is more like heart disease, especially when it culminates in a heart attack – sorry, panic attack. Sometimes, you just lose your wits, little by little – like when your whole body starts to break down.
My cause of death, as it were, was of the “peaceful surrender” variety. Sometimes, people just lose the will to live. It’s too hard, too exhausting to put up with the world. You see no point in trying, when it costs you every reserve of energy to not be miserable. Survival just isn’t as important to us. So we die.
It’s not as dramatic as it sounds. At least, I don’t think it is. I wouldn’t know, I haven’t been in touch for a while. Hell, maybe it is. But that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? I don’t have to be worried about the effect it’s going to have because I’m already dead. What more can Life do to me? You want to make me cry? You want me to throw things and scream? You want to make me laugh? Good luck.
I’m more of a ghost than anything now: dead, but still there. I can still see, hear, think, I remember what it’s like to be alive, to feel things, but I don’t experience it anymore.
It was a lovely service, my funeral. I brought flowers. I brought some old relics that used to mean something. I said a few words.
It was very nice, very classy.
But then, we tossed everything into the pit, covered it up. I was gone, and that was it.
As I said, it’s not so bad now. Nothing hurts. Nothing bothers me. I’m there, but I don’t have to go through all the unpleasantness I had to deal with when I was alive. I don’t have to be sad or angry or wait for happiness to fade. I’m okay now, much better, in fact.
At least I think I am.
Michela Marcucci is a young author and poet. This is her first contribution to Painted Brain News.

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