Posts Tagged With: suicide

Poems: Experiential & Elaboration

Camp was good. Life has been busy since then so I’m behind. Maybe eventually there’ll be a post here about camp, but maybe not. I make no promises. Anyhow, for now, here are two poems that I had written before camp, but hadn’t had a chance to put up. The first is based on experience, the second is an elaboration on this Pinterest quote about an oxymoron we moronic humans often live.

I miss you every day,
Both in ways I know and can’t explain.
Remember when you said
I’d forget,
No one cared,
That the world would be better off without you here?
You were wrong.
You took your life (relatively) long
Ago,
And I know
That my grieving will never end.
The world’s a darker place without you, and
I know reliving choices…regret,
I know regret won’t help me get
Better.
Bet whether
You’re in Haven or Hell,
Well,
That’s at least partly my responsibility
I can’t help feeling your choice was affected by disability.
It’d be fine
If we could switch eternal destinations,

Your past versus mine…
But, much to my frustration,
Things don’t work that way.
Everyone pays for his deeds.
God, please,
Did you help him see at the last instant?
I can’t
Handle life with a smile as I used to.
People ask if I’m ok. Do
I need someone to talk to?
But talking doesn’t help me get over you.
I hate depression like some people hate cancer.
As with that there is no answer,
No cure.
I watch depression’s vicious cycle take more
Into its grip.
I watch as they slip
Beyond where I can reach,
And I die a little more each
Time.
Not all truths rhyme:

I’m beginning to think there’s nothing I could change even if I could rewind.

So I’ll drink another draught from the cup of sorrow,
Sleep, awake, and face tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And she wished upon a dream
That her secrets would be seen
For what they were by some wild, keen
Man-child.

And that he would excavate her soul
Unearthing pieces, sketching a whole
Portrait of her true person
He heart in the nude, un-shrouded from role
Playing.

And in her fervent prayers and fears
She hoped his heart would ever steer
Closer to the truth of her feral, rearing self.

That someone be less afraid of
Her ugliness than she.
That man-child, made of tender persistence
Could see in her beauty…
Mine her depths,
Find something to cherish
In the wreck,
Fight and not perish
Against inner battlements she’d set up.
That he might, somehow, fall in love.

I tend to like the first one better. I’d love to know your thoughts and/or critiques!

 

 

Categories: Poems | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

The Word, My Wounds, etc.

Yesterday I watched a Ted Talk about traveling the world for practically nothing; today I did the same old things I’ve done for years, the rhythm of life (or farm life, at least) things. Chase and catch sheep, trim goat hooves, call the chickens over to be fed. There is something to be said for sameness and slow life. The hustle of a grocery store isn’t for me forever. Maybe the bustle of the school is…the squeak of shoes, the voices and laughter, the smell of pencil shavings and “teen spirit.” I got fingerprinted today, so I finally have everything done to be a substitute student teacher, inconveniently at the end of the school year. Maybe I won’t even be here next year. Oh well…

~~~

I wrestle with myself over things often. My mind churns things over and over and over. Do all problems have solutions? I need to get back to reading The Word as they stress in every Sunday School class ever. I used to be the one who raised her hand when they asked who read daily, but lately that wouldn’t be true. Reading those same old words over again: the stories, the advice, the temple building instructions and genealogies, Israelite wanderings and Psalms, prophecies and warnings. Someone told my mother their family didn’t think The Word was relevant in today’s world anymore, but having lived in today’s world I tend to disagree. It may not always seem so at face value, but it is. There is nothing new under the sun, and no one understands what happens here under the sun better than God, so I would think that His book would be worth reading, especially for those perusing truth or meaning or wisdom. But I suppose that makes me a hypocrite as I’ve failed to read it lately. That needs to change.

~~~

A note on grief and healing and the like…I found a quote that I pinned on my loverly pinterest which read “Time heals nothing [.] It just replaces memories [.]” There is some truth in that, I think. But so many memories cannot be replaced. Such a big chunk of my life is gone, a person missing, and although the hole closes over in ways with time in many ways it doesn’t. I can keep living and I can ignore the thoughts and memories, both good and bad, that used to haunt me every hour, caught up in present occurrences without the person I devoted hours of my life to, but I cannot just ignore them forever. They come to the surface sometimes, now and again when I least expect them, and (to quote another pin), “It is in these moments of tender and ridiculous nostalgia that I know something inside of me is still broken.”

I’m still broken. I’m not healed even though it’s been months and months since October, and I don’t know how to deal with that. I’ve thought and rethought memories that are too late to change. I’ve faced the truth that my friend is probably in Hell–I’ve not always pushed thoughts of this self murder of the person I knew and loved so deeply to the side. I’ve wrestled with God. I’ve thought a lot, maybe too much, and that thinking is not done, it still occurs. I guess, like Jacob, I’ve wrestled with God, and I think maybe, like him, I will always have a limp. That I will never heal fully. Things might never be ok again, at least in reference to this. That’s a hard pill for me to swallow. The only thing that eases my swallowing it, the “spoonful of sugar” that “makes the medicine go down is this final pinterest quote I would like to share, with the disclaimer that I recognize that no one can be truly healed apart from Christ, that is this: “Only the wounded healer can truly heal.” God works in mysterious ways, and I’m not really excited or happy about the way he chose to work here, but I will acknowledge that he has used my experience with suicide to help others. Take that as you will. That’s all for now. Fare well.

 

 

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Oh, Death

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t feel invincible. I don’t feel like a young immortal, for I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I have drank from the cup of bitter darkness. I have loved and lost, and I live still. I am not afraid of my own death, though I wouldn’t call myself ready. I want to hear “Well done good and faithful servant.”, but truly I will never deserve those words. I’m told it’s unusual for one of my age to be so well acquainted with the end. Talking with a coworker: “I mean, my Grandma died, but nobody, like, my age.” I’m told it’s unusual, but some days I’m not so sure. The people around me don’t mostly seem to have lived otherwise…He lost his little sister to Heroin while high school aged, he lost his to cancer, her best friend died in sixth grade, he lost a fellow soldier, she lost her baby, the life inside of her, he lost his older brother to suicide, he lost his mom. Maybe it is good to come to know harsh reality young. The people who have are different, deeper. Though I don’t know if the depth is worth the blackness that crawls into the souls of some. For myself, I’ve always held that I would rather know truth than ignorant bliss no matter what the cost.

Death isn’t the worst. “Let the dead bury their own dead.” What is worst is those in the living death of depression. I hate depression. I hate the attacks of the evil one, and I hate the empty look it brings to the eyes of those I love. I hate that I cannot rescue them. I hate that depression is something that has to be slogged through, in many ways alone, over months and years. It is imperfection, a flaw in the world caused by sin, as with all the other flaws. They say it’s a “chemical imbalance”, which is all fine and good, but few want their brains to be tampered with. Happy pills may work, but they aren’t always the answer. Maybe it is because I push deeper, because I want to be more than shallow and surface that I see it so much.

There’s a darkness too deep to be healed in a heartbeat, there’s a lostness that I can’t rescue people from. God. Only God can. Yet he seems so silent. There’s a truth deeper than devotional books and three point sermons…sometimes I hear it in the hymns. Depression isolates, it blinds, but really everyone is going through the same things at one level or another. It’s scary, I listen to the people, I talk to a lot of people, and the same lines echo over and over again. “The world would be better off without me.” “I don’t make promises I cannot keep.” “I don’t think I can win this fight.” “I am worthless.” Bandaid fixes don’t work. Rich Mullins said he was told “God loves you man,” in his dark days, and his response was one I’ve heard repeatedly too. “Big deal. God loves everybody…that just proves He ain’t got no taste.” What words are you supposed to use to refute that?

Sometimes there are no words. We are ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and so much– so complex and yet so simple–in the in between. I won’t apologize for writing about death so much lately. I know it makes some people uncomfortable, but it is important to speak on. Maybe soon I will talk about life or some such thing to add variety, but for today I’ve rambled on long enough, so I’ll end, quoting Rich Mullins once more.

“I can hear the wild wind howling, and I can feel it in my bones.

And I know that the howling will take me Home.”

 

 

 

Categories: My Life, rants | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weak & Wounded

Did you know you can die of grief and stress? A troubled mind causes heart-attack-like symptoms; they call it Broken Heart Syndrome–dying of a broken heart. Usually the syndrome occurs in older women, but I wonder if whether or not it happens is linked to mental strength as well as physical? Right now I’m the weakest I’ve ever been. The nightmare my life has been since October nineteenth has to do with much more than just my friend’s choice. Every time I’m halfway coping another trouble wounds me deeply. They come from out of nowhere. The people around me try to help, but they cannot live my life for me.  I’m not the only one with physical pain due to heart wrenching emotion. We are all more than a little messed up right now.

I wish I could go back and wake up that Sunday morning and listen to the gut instincts I had all day. The Holy Spirit can be ignored; I may have been guilty of that. I felt I  should not let our mutual friend come to youth group with me, but rather stay with him. I thought I should have followed him into the woods–because isn’t that what we all want, to be followed by dogged love? I had the urge to randomly stop by the house on the way home. I knew I should have checked my facebook sooner when I felt the nudge instead of putting it off and telling myself to stop being addicted to social media… I know, I can’t live in the past. I go to work and act like I’m ok every day. If I act like it I feel like it more or less eventually, but then reality brings me back down.

The last thing I want is to go to another funeral thanks to suicide. I hate depression like some people hate cancer, because it steals the ones I love, if not physically then mentally. But reality is if I keep loving the people long enough eventually I’ll find myself at another mourning ceremony courtesy of depression. They lean on me. I do my best to keep them alive, for both their sake and mine. But the balance between trust and betrayal is terrible. I’ll break trust so they can continue living, despite the fact that their lives feel like wretched, pointless torture. And then they’ll hate me. Last time breaking trust only made it worse.

I am worn, and I am tired, and I am empty. I can’t sleep tonight. My hair is falling out. My immune system is suffering. Mental stress is catching up to my body, but life does not relent. There is no time out, there is not pause button, there is no relief. Don’t pity me. I’m not saying this here for pity. Rather, I’m typing it out because it is a part of my journey, plus, since these words started circling in my head an hour or so ago they would not cease. If I fought them long enough they would have been gone by morning. They were being stubborn, and I didn’t want to lose them–that is how writing works for me. Maybe now that the words are all typed out I can slip into the gentle oblivion of sleep. We’ll see.

Categories: Journey Prologues., My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Missing

You missed the first snow today. I remember when you used to wrestle the Vo Tech kids in the snow and put snow down the back of my neck on the bus, or touch my cheek with the back of your cold (yet warm, very alive) hand. I remember how you would laugh and smile then. Back then it reached your eyes. And you would get off the bus and start pelting your brothers.

I wonder if where you are there is beauty. I hope you made it to the beautiful place; I hope I will see you again, but I am unsure. Sometimes I doubt. I wonder what the dark place feels like. I know God has mercy, but I also know you had to choose. I know depression had your mind in its grip, had you believing lies and half truths. I know you knew truth. We talked about it so many times.

I facebooked the lyrics to a song you liked before you chose death. Technically it was a status, but really it was to you. We talked through lyrics like that. “Dreamer, child, be cautious of this world. She has an appetite for boys and girls, and she’s hungry for your soul.” I told you that your ending yourself was what the darkness wanted. It wasn’t an end to the pain as it seemed, but an embracing of pain forever. It was closing the door to hope.

I see the darkness reaching out for the others now. It wants to suffocate them too. But what Satan meant for evil…your death is driving some of them to find truth. But the darkness fights for them all that much harder then, afraid they’ll be lost to freedom and light. Maybe they shall be. I hope.

You are ever in my mind. Things come back…memories, words that I had forgotten. Oh so many memories. Occasionally I still catch myself thinking of something to tell  you, only to realize that I can’t . Your family is lost without you. You never realized how many lives you touched, though I tried to convince you. “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”

You had great flaws, had many weaknesses. I cannot begin to count how many times I backhanded you for swearing…But I loved you. Love covers over a multitude of sins. I was attached to you, and I still am, only now you aren’t here, and there is ever always this empty ache of something missing. I don’t want that ache to ever go away.

Categories: Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Muddling on

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf I told you everything that is happening in my life right now you would think I was making it up because it sound more like science fiction than reality. It’s odd, because I’m living under the shell of normalcy– I go to work every day, I’m applying for college–but none of that really matters. It’s the conversations in the wee hours that mean something to my numb heart. Answering questions about Hell and “Have you ever been depressed?”, acknowledging together that the hungry darkness doesn’t want to stop with taking just one soul, trying to help with unnamed problems…many other things I will not tell you here.

Sometimes I don’t know why the people trust me. God knows, many days continuing the fight seems just as impossible to me as to them, but (as a new friend of mine likes to say) “I know the rules. Muddle on.” There is nothing new under the sun. Man is still born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. And that trouble is heavy. The darkness is deep. There is no way to prevail without God, yet  I talk mostly to those who have not yet chosen Him. It gets sad sometimes. Someone told me the other day “I am a perfect, wretched soul.” Truly, God has planted eternity in the hearts of men. Yet we can be so close to truth and still so far away.

I am not better than them. I am human. Maybe I was unfairly blessed to have God in my upbringing, but that is the only difference. It is amazing that even with all the study of life and psychology and the human condition we cannot understand them. They are uncondensible. The only words that get them right are found in lyrics and the Bible because both are vague enough to retain the mystery. I laugh when people call the Bible God’s love letter. Have they read it?

But I am getting off topic. My train of thought is a train wreck of late–even more scattered than usual. I’ve been wanting to write here though. Again, I have no perfect ending, nothing to say except that I covet your prayers. I try to impart wisdom in the wee hours; I am struggling to live wisely myself. I am discovering how important it is that my hope is built on nothing less and nothing more than Jesus, that it be found in Christ alone because all else will fail. I am fighting emotions and lack thereof. “I’m not all-right. I’m broken inside.” But I don’t want pity; don’t worry over me. So long for now, friends. I will be back sometime, writing who knows what. It takes so little time for everything to change.

 

Categories: Journey Prologues., Ponderings, rants | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

For Good

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI prayed so hard that this day wouldn’t come. I never wanted it to come to this. That one of my very closest friends would hang himself…I had hoped that he wouldn’t have the nerve. I had prayed for him more than I’ve prayed for anyone else ever, even years before I knew he had had these thoughts. Now there is denial  and anger and there were tears, but mostly I am okay now. I am here to love and help the people, to be their safe place, to point them to God. Because that is who I am. That is what I do always.

I have few regrets. I wish I had checked my Facebook sooner, wish I had stopped and chased him that day. That was what he wanted–for someone to chase him and prove he was loved. But we talked about God, and that is what matters. Take it from me…don’t chicken out. Life is short and fragile and uncertain. Fulfill the great commission in a good and gentle way always. Make the most of every opportunity, for the days are evil. Love the people. Point them to God. That is the only thing that really matters in the end.

God is using this. It is one thing to say that God uses evil for good, but it is another thing to  see it all around you. God has opened doors for me to minister to so many more beautiful, broken people through this. He is reaching them. And there are Christians praying against the darkness which still wants to use this for its purposes. This is a very real battle here, but what God is doing is nothing short of amazing. I serve a great, powerful, and very good God.

The story isn’t over yet. I don’t have a conclusion for this post. I am still in the midst of everything: mourning the loss of a friend, hoping he made the right choice about God in the end, watching open mouthed as God brings both people I had been working to love and people I had subconsciously labeled as nearly hopeless cases to Him through this. I pray that He gives me the right words to say. Right now I know that I am undoubtedly right where he wants me to be, and I know that he is using me. And that is amazing. Now I just pray that my humanness doesn’t get in the way and mess things up, though God works in weakness.

I guess, for now, if you take anything from this post it should be this: God is good. God is good absolutely positively all the time.

 

Categories: My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

In Which I Think

I thought today, walking down my driveway in bare feet and observing the violet butterfly which flitted around my ankles, how good I have it. We talked about that in class today, we threesome. J. Said that things were better now that his Mom remarried. All he has to worry about now is his real Dad doing something stupid and destroying the family name. Before, he said he had watched his Dad  hold a gun in his mouth, finger on the trigger. I said he had it bad, but he denied it.  I know he has friends who have seen worse. D. Said he had it bad, but J. and I disagreed. I know D. struggles with depression, but I also know that his life is like mine-easy. Caring Christian parents, and a loving household are things easily taken for granted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I thought today while hanging up shirts on the clothesline how we have it all wrong. So many of the emerging Christian teachers want to teach at Christian schools, but that’s  not where  most of the hurting are. Most of those who hurt the worst can’t be found at Christian schools for lack of religion or money. We say we want to  be able to make a difference, but we’re going to the wrong places. We send undercover missionaries to other countries, why not here? There are many more stories like J’.s.

I thought today, bringing in a full laundry basket and enjoying the sun’s warmth of what a friend of mine mentioned that his pastor said on Sunday.  “Our problem today is that we don’t read the Bible.” I tend to disagree. You can read the Bible and still be apathetic. You can read the Bible and keep it to yourself, within your Christian school for instance. Our problem is that we don’t know how to share God with a world resigned- a world that, in many ways, isn’t even seeking. Our problem is that we’re not even reaching our own youth, let alone the world.

I think today, reclining on my bed as I write these words out longhand, that whatever I do, whatever my future holds (which is  a matter I’ve been pondering a lot lately) that I want to reach those ones: the lost, needy, and ever running. They hide under a facade. Often times they’re the funnest and funniest kids in school. But they’re hurting. They hide in music, words, and laughter. They never allow silence long enough for reality to creep in. they’re far from perfect- often judged “the bad kids” –  but they need God just as much as me and you.

Categories: Ponderings | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Fishing in the Twilight Zone

My latest ambition is to become a truckdriver…or a psychiatrist.  I’ve been pondering lately a conversation I had not too long ago, a conversation about a friend of a relative who committed suicide. Pondering “How do you reach people like that?” The drug addict recluse who is probably already hostile to religion and God. How do you reach him? I’m sure there are plenty of ways besides becoming a truck driver or psychiatrist; those dreams probably won’t last more than three weeks, but the question has and will. How do you reach them? Playing it by ear, twitching the fishing line with a practiced concentration. The problem is I can’t be a fisher of those fish unless I have a line that reaches the twilight zone; I can’t be a fisher of men that I hardly interact with beyond rubbing shoulders in the grocery store.

“Not all who wander are lost.”: this is a quote I have been enamored with for quite some time. If not all who have “the curse of the gypsy’s blood”  are lost doesn’t that imply that some of them have the map to the treasure the others are unknowingly seeking? Doesn’t that imply that some fishers of men do fish in the twilight zone against seemingly impenetrable odds? Doesn’t that make you want to be one who wanders but is not lost? Observing truck drivers in a restaurant  the other day, picking up a magazine with pictures of Yosemite climbers’ camp 4, reading a book about miners. The fringe, the abnormal, the deeply beloved by God…sometimes I wonder if that’s where I’ll end up. Occasionally orphans in Africa are the ones that burden my heart, but most often it’s the people I don’t know how to reach: the people in my future, the people now.

It’s so easy to live for tomorrow, but remembering the people I am in contact with today is so important. If I live my whole life for tomorrow I will never make a difference. (Can you tell that I’m trying to tell myself this?) Today, right now, I’m in contact with a guy from juvie, a friend from an abusive home, a wondering intellectual. What to say to let Christ work in and through me today? These are the questions of the here and now: the case by case split second decisions, I don’t always make the right choice. But I’m learning; I’m growing day by day. I don’t fear fear, I fear stagnation. I want life without limits, love without conditions, caring without trusting. A friend of mine once told me “You can take the tiger out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the tiger.” It’s just that some of us have a little more jungle inside that others. If the hard to reach are tigers I guess that means I’m fishing for catfish…I’ll let you decipher what that has to do with being a truck driver or psychiatrist.

Categories: My Life, Ponderings | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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