My Friends...The Dead.
Why do I often seem to relate more to the dead, at times....then the living? What is it about War and Battle, the hand to hand fight, the rats, the horror of rotting corpses and living among the dead that draw me in like a old, familiar friend.
I've searched for those answers all my life and never have come up with an adequate answer. I just know that there is something inside of me that really has empathy with the combat soldier...living and dead...and I have felt that connection in a very powerful way since I was but a wee lad.
"They must go forward, they HAD to charge that wall" as they said in the 69th NY Regiment of the Irish Brigade who were honored at Fredricksburgs VA yesterday on the 150th Anniversary of their charge up the bloody and impregnable Stone Wall (pictured above today...below in 1863 after another the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863) at the foot of Marye's Height's.
In December of 1862 nearly 3,ooo men died trying to reach that stone wall pictured above. They were led by the famous Irish Brigade made up of Regiments from New England and New York. None of those men could get within 50 yards of the wall because the Confederate Infantry men packed behind it cut them down like blades of grass before a mower. 150 years later they are remembered by young children placing flowers in their memory on that very same stone wall now know to history simply as: The STONE WALL...at Fredricksburg,
I believe at times that I relate more to the dead out of envy...their war, as it were...is over. The rest of us must carry on. And I fought the good fight for many years but there was a time...an event perhaps or just a moment of SATURATION when enough was enough...I could not comprehend any more HORROR and I stopped relating to the living and sought the ranks of the dead.
I am talking about the moment of my suicide attempt...I think it was nothing more complex then I was over-filled with grief, sorrow, pain, suffering and guilt among other things and ALL I could think of to do was DIE.
A cop-out? Sure that is easy to say now but doesn't help clear up for me what was happening between me ears at THAT TIME.
Today much healing has taken place and I see things and feel things much differently. But I believe there will always be a transformation toward healing taking place. My conclusion is that I am a human being who has an understanding of something NO ONE can understand and that will always create an imbalance somewhere, some how in my life today. It is living with that imbalance that becomes my daily challenge....