Saturday, July 28, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
Three weeks ago, one of my dear friends, a wife and mother of three, took her own life. It has stunned me and sent me into a different kind of grief. I am in a state of reverberating shock, like a gong in a bell that just keeps going off. There are so many questions without answers, and the answers that we supply are based on speculation, so much so that they aren't really answers at all. It's a slow weep and a heavy weight overlayed with mystery. While we adults are sorting it out, there are three children forever impacted by this deep loss. What does it mean to them? How will they interpret their mother's death?
My pastor friend, Robin, who has survived both a family suicide and in a separate experience, her mother's death in a car accident when Robin was a child, has entered the sacred waters of writing about the impact of maternal suicide. It is hard to find information on this topic, outside of generalities and government statistics. People who will talk about the emotional cause and impact of maternal suicide, are rare and therefore valuable. I am linking to her blog here: Metanoia. She has written three posts about maternal suicide and you will have to scroll down to find all three. I recommend you read them in order--part I, II and III, the last one which she posted today.
I appreciate her reminding us again, that no one "commits" suicide, anymore than they commit cancer. It is the end and final step of another kind of disease: deep depression.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
This is different.
I have lived nearly six decades and suicide has never entered my personal sphere of experience. On the 4th of July, while we were out boating with friends and family, another friend, in the pit of discouragement and likely a drug-induced haze, took an overdose of meds and began a rapid downward spiral. Four days later, she was gone. A pastor's wife, a mother of three young children, a beautiful, loving friend to me, my daughters, and so many others.
This is not the same as my grief for my son. That was clean. Pure untainted sorrow. Tears flowed.
With this, grief comes after.
After the plaguing questions, the hindsight regrets, the shocking anger, the self-recriminations.
How did we miss this?
Did we understand her so little?
Were we blind, deaf, silent to her need?
Did she withhold information from us?
Did she do it in a rage, a fog, an impulsive desperate moment?
How could she do this to her kids?
She is in Heaven now. I believe that. But the hurt and pain left behind?
How does that get fixed?
Slowly, I think.