Friday, August 15, 2014
First, it was simply the message that a beloved actor had died so tragically. And as I expected, that news triggered my own loss of our son, Matt, and the initial devastation of those horrific days. I went back to the brutal disconnect between the darkness of suicide and the brightness of his smile and depth of his love for all of us. Once again I was jerked around by the sorrow, the public stigma and the preciousness of his life.
Then my mind and heart went directly to Robin Williams' family and the harsh awareness that their grief was so cruelly public. Knowing the sharpness of this kind of experience, I long to comfort them and all of us who have had to walk the hard road to recovery from this kind of grief.
Next, I began to hear comments on the news, read editorials in the paper and hear "experts" interviewed on talk shows. There has been a deluge of reactions and responses. . . and that is not
a bad thing at all. Even though it isn't all necessarily true or even helpful, talking about this is a positive change.
Today, I have received a message from The Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors and a report from The Association for Suicide Prevention, both expressing hope in the conversations that are being triggered as society begins to understand.
So, I hope that these conversations will be ongoing and lead to more of the excellent research that is already being done. I hope that you will find the courage to talk about this, too. Send your heartfelt condolences to families who have lost loved ones this way . . . speak out when groups say harsh or hurtful things about people who make this choice. Remind everyone that no one takes this final step unless there is intense pain that they cannot bear. There is no one to blame. There is only the need for compassionate, patient and tenderhearted attention and professional care for those who find life unsolvable.
There is also the mystery that the love we have for them grows stronger and more real with each year since they died. And their presence with us and in us becomes a beautiful legacy we honor and cherish by how we live.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
it is the quiet of the moon, shining in the grey blue sky
the brisk, unexpected cool of this August morning
the stillness of daybreak holding its breath
the delicate birdsongs giving birth to a new day
such simple elegance
fills an empty heart
soothes a battered spirit
and allows the spark of gratitude to ignite trust
sitting in the midst of beginning
something tentatively eager opens in me
and I can breathe