(Written several weeks ago, I had hoped to post it sooner, but have been offline more often than online.)
A previous post mentions a person threatening suicide on Facebook. There is probably nothing else on earth I take more seriously or pierces as deeply.
I think of the people I’ve read/heard about killing themselves. Too often you don’t get to know what great people they really were or what great things they accomplished or how their lives touched others; all that stays is a dark, lingering legacy of suicide and difficult, sometimes unresolvable, grief and a chaotic mental twister of unanswerable questions.
Suicide does not scare me, in fact, I understand going to that dark place and staying there. One can only take so much negative news, rejection, betrayal, loss, etc. So yes, I thought about it enough to research it. I had to go there; I had to take myself to that scary, unknown, uncomfortable place of looking straight at it and figuring how I’d do it…even knowing fully the pain I feel when someone else commits suicide.
Recent events had me reflect why I said no to suicide:
- I have animals I needed to take care of.
- It would completely devastate my elderly Dad, family, and friends; they would most likely carry that pain and regret to their graves.
- It would be like a slap in the face to anyone and everyone who ever prayed for me or helped me at any time in my life.
- People I don’t even know right now would be deeply affected by it.
- I didn’t want to be known only as the woman who committed suicide.
- My role models never chose suicide, no matter what they’d been through.
- I think of Denzel Washington in “The Hurricane,” a movie about a man wrongly convicted of murder. Although imprisoned he nurtured his spirit and mind toward kindness, peace, strength, resilience.
- Some of my family members are/were from “The Greatest Generation” (Tom Brokaw’s book) who endured much more than I will ever know and they made it through (and never once did they complain. The only marks left were their strength, compassion, service and resiliency.)
- I think of those who survived the unthinkable Holocaust and chose to live to make a difference.
- Regardless of faith or faithlessness, I believe it is not my place to take my own life. Life is sacred.
- Suicide resolves nothing, it heals nothing, and it transforms nothing. I believed the lie that suicide would relieve me of my pain, but in reality, it only transfers it to others and compounds their existing pain.
- By my nature, I never want to bring pain into other’s lives.
- I would not want others follow in my footsteps thinking since I did it, it’s okay for them too.
- I do not miss the irony so many people are living to die while others are dying to live.
- I am reminded of Cyndi Lauper who contemplated suicide at one point her life and didn’t – life got better. It always does.
From my walk with suicide I penned:
“Stay intricately connected for suicide calls to the harshly rejected.”
Suicide or significance and service. No contest! My life is to live in gratitude for ALL I have received in my lifetime, and pay-it-forward.
I have been given much, just as every person who reads this blog has. ..Sometimes we just don’t see it or feel it when we are stuck in that deep, dark place where the lies inside our heads repeat like clanging churchbells.
Would I do it again if I were in the same situation? Yes. Why? Three reasons: I recently helped another dear soul on Facebook find the light and resilient heart inside herself and say no to suicide. The feeling I got from that is enough to carry through the rest of my life with profound gratitude and awe.
Second, the words of Buck Brannaman were resonating in my heart so much I could not deny the opportunity to reach out. Buck and his older brother were severely beaten in childhood. Buck went on to heal his broken life in an extraordinary way; it is quite remarkable, inspiring and true. There’s a documentary on his life if you wish to see more, Google it. Because of his own abuse and healing he said if he saw someone mistreating a child he would not miss the opportunity to speak up. I felt since I knew of this situation and I could help, I had to.
Third, the song by Whitney Houston, “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” kept haunting me, the part where she repeats, “I’m gonna be alright, I’m gonna be okay, I’m gonna make it anyway.”
[May 23, 2012 update: My expansion of thinking on this topic has become limitless by space and time. I think about those who chose to serve our country, who died defending MY freedom (and yours!) no matter where you live. I think how tremendously grievous it would be for me to take my own life when they died defending mine.
Every act of ours touches lives we may never see or know…it is that ripple effect of tossing a stone into the pond. I could have died in the car accidents, especially the one on the freeway. I could have been aborted before birth instead of being put up for adoption. For whatever reason or reasons, I am still here, and you are too. If I remove all human thoughts of mine and get back to the spiritual growth I can say I’ve graduated to a deeper level of intention, wholeness, faith, understanding, compassion and empathy.
If my intention is truly to grow as a spiritual being, does it matter what form it comes in?]