Tag Archives: suicide

This Life

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This life.
This tender, fragile, vulnerable life.
This perplexing, demanding, chaotic life.
This fulfilling
this disappointing
this crazy, ever-changing, remarkable,
normal, exceptional, precious life.
How my heart breaks for this life.
How my heart swells, bursts open,
bleeds for this life.
How I’ve had to be strong for this life.
How I am grateful, so grateful,
ever so grateful for this life.

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My heart is heavy tonight as I think of a dear friend’s partner who just last night succumbed to the story of his suffering and chose to bring an end to his time on this planet. I’ve been forthcoming about my own depression on this blog, imagining the peace that non-existence would bring. I feel so humbled and so shocked to hear that this brother took action on those same kinds of thoughts. In my darkest moments I’d always see my children’s faces and feel a deep conviction that I could not do that to them.

But this man had no children.

Recently my dear friend had wanted to reevaluate their relationship and had stepped back in order to redefine herself, her goals, values and priorities. I’m guessing that in the face of this change, he felt deeply lonely and believed it would always be this way. My heart breaks for him.

I remember that when my marriage ended I was flooded with feelings of worthlessness and shame. I kept wondering what I had done wrong, what was wrong with me. I kept asking what I could’ve done to avoid my husband leaving. I remember that feeling of loneliness and brokenheartedness, crying until I had no more tears, so much anger, the belief that the suffering would always be this intense. I remember the lonelieness and the pain of isolation.

But I was so fortunate. I had a therapist that I had been seeing for a while. I found my way into CoDependents Anonymous (CoDA) meetings. I had friends and family, and even though they didn’t always show up in the way that I wanted them to, they nonetheless provided support to get me through. And then there were countless beings out in my community, here on this blog, on FaceBook, on Instagram, on Insight Timer, in the yoga studio, teachers far and wide, mentors, guides and wise ones who provided words of encouragement, prayers, well-wishes to get me through the darkest moments.

I reached out so many times for help, and I got help, and still there were times that I just wanted it to be over. There were times that the pain was so intense that I didn’t want to have to live through any more of it.

So in a way I completely understand the reasoning behind this brother’s decision to just be done with it once and for all. I understand in a way that perhaps most people cannot possibly understand. And so I feel so shocked, so sobered, so humbled by this event. I want to be there for my friend. But there are no words that can make this better. Only breathing, one moment to the next, just taking care of basic things like eating a meal, taking a shower, trying to sleep, just one thing at a time.

Friends, hug your loved ones close. This life is so fleeting, so precious, and you may never know who is struggling on the edge of oblivion, trying to decide if they can keep going…

How To Avoid Suicide

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It feels too hard,
and I don’t want to try any more.
I want to quit, to give up,
to run away,
shut the world out,
shut down,
close my eyes
and never wake up.
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Breathe.
BREATHE.
BREATHE NOW.
********
Call a friend.
Let them listen.
Cry.
Cry more.
Cry even more.
Thank your friend for listening.
Let your friend pray for you.
Cry while she prays.
Cry when she stops praying.
Thank your friend for her prayers.
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Now. Make lunch.
A picnic lunch.
Pack it up.
*********
Now take your kids and go outside.
Meet up with a young woman
who has gone through similar struggles.
Listen.
Hear her.
Listen more.
See that you struggled
so that you could understand her,
see her,
help her.
HELP HER.
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Get out of your head
and into your heart.
Think about someone else.
Realize your struggles weren’t in vain,
because you can help someone
move through theirs
with more grace and ease.
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Drive back home.
Take a shower.
Make dinner.
Read your kids a bedtime story.
Write in your gratitude journal.
Go to bed.
There, you did it.
You made it through another day.
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NOW,
REST.

She Would’ve Been

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Today my grandmother would’ve celebrated her ninety-third birthday
She took her life in the month of June of my twelfth year…
and now, twenty-five years later,
I wish I could’ve related to her as an adult,
asked her to tell me stories of life
growing up in the 20’s and 30’s

I have never judged her for her decision
because, like all of us,
I too have experienced pain and suffering,
and can understand wanting to escape such misery

But I miss her still
and wish to hear her voice,
her laughter.

Being an adult now,
and knowing a little more of the way of sorrow,
I would like to put my hand on her shoulder
and whisper
You are not alone.

I wish I could know
the woman she would’ve been
if we could sing “Happy Birthday” to her, today.

It’s fitting that her birthday falls so near to Halloween,
a time of honoring ancestors and seeking their wisdom
as the veil between the two worlds wears thin.

Wherever you are Gram,
Know that I love you,
and honor the woman you were,
even as I long to know the woman you would’ve been.
Whatever of your being that remains, dear soul,
I hope you know the joy of the dance of existence.