Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blogging Survivors of Suicide I

I'm going to a meeting tonight. I haven't been in over a year: I've mostly been out of town on Thursdays. I tried to go two weeks ago, but it was canceled, so . . . maybe tonight.

I'm in a very different place than I was a year ago. It's been about a year since the Hebrew verb "to kill" became a central feature of one of our three-hour classes (to kill, to be killed, to have killed, to kill oneself), at the end of which I dissolved into very public tears. A few nights ago I was at a meeting at which someone eagerly shared with us the "dry bones" verses from Ezekiel, telling us that it's one of the most important passages with which she prays on her annual retreat, a time each summer during which she seeks re-creation. That's one of the passages of which I now steer clear, being as how dead bones and sinews are not, in fact, ever put back together, but I found that I had no need to say anything. I just let her have the pleasure of sharing a piece of Scripture that has life-giving meaning for her. No commentary from me required or desired.

But I am terribly, terribly sad. I am sorting and clearing through our house and it's taking a very long time, because I find things, and memories pour through me and I am immobilized for the next few days. I've actually spent most of today doing the denial thing by reading a very good mystery, after a little meltdown last night. But this evening, as I started to get ready to go out, I found myself imagining early summer evenings in this kind of heat 20 years ago: bringing the kids home from the pool, no one changing out of already-dry swim suits, making sandwiches for dinner, my children running around with those from next door in the waning light, popsicles for all, an hour of stories, settling my daughter into her bed with a cat picture book and listening outside the door as the boys chattered to each other in the dark.

Another person's life?

There's no predicting what will happen at this meeting. But I am feeling the need for some connection.


Magdalene6127 said...

What a palpable ache is in these words.

Sending much love.

Cassandra said...

I have no words, but I am very moved by your writing.

Thinking of you.

Purple said...

I hope the connection you were seeking did happen.


karen gerstenberger said...

I don't know how to say it, but I get it. We were just talking tonight about how, 10 years ago, so many things were unthinkable, and those things have happened, to us and to others we know.

Going through a house that holds years of precious memories is like walking through a minefield. Just looking for something in Katie's room can trigger what you are describing. I am glad that you can at least see some painful situations ahead of time, and avoid them.

MumPastor said...

This gave me chills, because your last paragraph is my life right now. And who knows what the future will hold? Even as I struggle to get everyone in bed and settled so I myself can finally get some rest, I need to remember how precious it all really is.