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Conversation With Myself

  As the new year begins, my mind wanders and wonders as time passes slowly and silently one second at a time. The past, ever so distant, is now present within my thoughts and I wonder why, why suicide has been such a sorrowful part of my life? Since I was a kid to now, I have lost many loved ones and dear and close friends to suicide. I am filled with sadness as I remember them - knowing that grief has no expiration date. Suicide scares me for the suffering and heartbreak it has caused me - the mental anguish, the burden of struggling on with my life, feelings of depression and despair, of helplessness and hopelessness. My mind travels back to the mid 1990's when I was lost and wandered everywhere but went nowhere. I was told to "make yourself necessary to someone." Months later I adopted a kitten. When I left the shelter I put her in my coat pocket. And as I drove home that day, I had in my pocket a small bundle of hope. She became my hero. And during the very difficult

PHOTOGRAPHS & MEMORIES

  "All I got is a photograph and I realize you're not coming back anymore." A photograph may be just a brief moment in time, but that moment holds a vivid memory of all that took place that day - before the picture was taken and afterwards. It was a day filled with joy and happiness, laughter and love. A wedding day or honeymoon photo, a son or daughter's first day of school, high school or college graduation - a best friend's birthday party or that special weekend getaway. Then suddenly, on a day always remembered, the heartbreaking news - a loved one has died by suicide. Then in an instant, the joyful memories of those photographs are shattered - replaced with solemn sadness. What do we we do with those photos and the memories they hold? Do we continue to display them or do we box them up? As time passes and the pain not so penetrating, we take out that box and slowly go through the pictures. And as we do, some will make us cry, some will makes us smile or laugh

A KISS, A PROMISE KEPT

  We fell in love, Anne and I. It was a magical time of joyful happiness, of simple surprises, of dreams coming true. Once in a while, we would play a word game, "Name the..." - as in name the capitals in Europe, rivers in the USA, etc. Going back and forth until one of us got stumped. On our last night together, Anne told me she completed all the paper work for us to take a two week summer school class on the poetry of William Butler Yeats - at the University of North Carolina. We were great admirers of Yeats and his poetry. Then she said, game time. She would quote a line from a Yeats poem, then I would have to quote a line from the same poem. Anne: "Brown penny, brown penny."                                                                                                Me: "I am looped in the loops of her hair." Anne: "All things can tempt me."                                                                                                  Me:

A DAY IN A LIFE

  " I heard the news today...the news was rather sad."  Lennon/McCartney On this day years ago, September 26th, it was a bright blue beautiful day. As I walked to get the bus for school, I saw my grandfather, George Frawley, and said, "See you after school." He waved and shouted, "Ammonia and pneumonia!" Just about everyday he challenged me to learn to spell two new words. But that was the last time I would see him. When I got home from school, he wasn't home. So I sat on his front porch and did my  homework. As I waited, he was deep in the woods across the street - standing on a stonewall, a rope in his hands -  suicide. The next morning my parents told me that my best friend, my hero, the man I called Grampa was dead.  On that afternoon I had dreams of the days and years ahead with my grandfather - and in an instant all dreams were shattered. And I have wondered to this day, if he knew that morning that his wave was a final goodbye? But what remains
Suicide: The Savage God In his book The Savage God, A. Alvarez quotes the Russian writer Boris Pasternak, "You have no conception of the inner torture which precedes suicide." Pain! The pervasive pain that leads a person to that moment of no return. And there is the paralyzing pain that breaks the hearts and shatters the souls of those who have lost a loved one to suicide. Between the ages of eleven and twenty-three,  I lost the two people I loved the most to suicide - my grandfather and my girlfriend. For decades their deaths consumed me as my mind raged with the solitary question, why, why, why? Why did they do this? Why did they do this to me? Never once did I think of the pain they suffered that lead to their deaths. But I was well aware of the pain their deaths caused me - decade after decade. How can you recognize, how can you describe, pain you cannot see - the path of pain that leads to suicide? It is simply impossible unless you have followed that
The Day Before "Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away..."  Yesterday...the day before we received the tragic and devastating news that our loved one had died. The news of the suicide strikes us like a surging shock wave, we are stunned and stumble - we are overcomed as silent screams rage within us, our eyes tear, we shiver, trapped between disbelief and the painful words we heard. Unexpectedly our minds suddenly flash back to yesterday, as if confirm that the words we heard cannot be true - the day before when our lives were full of shared dreams and promises, love and laughter. Maybe we had talked on the phone, gone out to dinner or to a movie. Maybe we walked along the beach or strolled through a park and enjoyed the warmth of glorious sunshine and each other. But whatever we did on the day before, it is now a memory to behold. And now there is heart break and sadness. A loved one has died and we are lost within ourselves - knowing that our sor
When The Holiday Season Is Over When the holiday seasons is over, January can be a cruel month, a bleak cold-hearted month. The bright rainbow colors of Christmas have faded. And the dark desolate month of January is upon us.  - a month of depression, despair and desperation. A month when sadness creeps into one's soul and lingers and festers until one starts thinking of the need to escape, to leave life behind - because January is a suicidal month. But before you start making plans, remember these words: If you kill yourself, it steals life from the living and the dreams of those that love you. Your loved ones will suffer agonizing penetrating pain that will pierce their hearts and souls. Your death will be so incredibly devastating that your loved ones lives will never be the same again - their wounds will never heal, their broken hearts will never mend, their tears will never end. So STAY! If you are thinking of suicide, STAY - your family and friends need you