“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
~ Agatha Christie
I write a lot about death and dying, suicide, grief and loss. And in between I write about the ways I try to meet Life, often fumbling around in confusion and doubt.
I’m frequently anxious and afraid, but I try to meet Life anyway.
My husband has had suicidal gestures.
I wrote about the last one here:
I wrote about it as a story, but it really happened to me and my husband. I don’t know what I should have done, I only know what I did do. The very next day I turned to his church for help. And they did give us some help.
I spent 8 hours with a friend of mine yesterday who overdosed on Tyenol PM (acetaminophen with a sleeping aid in it) twice in the past 3 months. Two weeks ago was the last time. She’s in a really bad way, but I met with her and made an effort to relieve some of her pain, just by being present because she was having a hard time being alone right now.
I took her to my husband’s massage therapy office and he gave her craniosacral therapy (a type of bodywork) and massage therapy. I took her back to my home and we talked while tidying up (she likes organizing so I gave her some things to help me with). Then we went to pick up some groceries for her because she’s currently staying with a friend but she has no permanent home right now. She is temporarily separated from her children, too.
I gave her a toolkit of books on mindfulness and Pema Chodron’s The Wisdom of No Escape, guided meditations to listen to, and a handwritten letter. She did say on facebook she did feel loved. I hope she’ll be all right; I know she still in a delicate mental space. I know some of what she feels because I have grappled with suicidal ideation before, I just never had the ability to carry out my plans.
I do have fear and worry, sometimes. And I accept my sensitivity and my difficulties with meeting Life and I march on anyway though it’s very hard to dance with Life, sometimes.
My moments of joy and wonder are there, and I find them when I’m out and about in Nature. I find great peace there, too. I bring back these moments in pictures, so that I don’t forget the good things I experience.
I find peace in writing. I find peace in creating art.
I find peace in holding my children and, when I’m not fearing him and I’m not angry with him (because yes, my ego gets the upper hand sometimes), I find great peace when I hold my husband.
I found some peace in trying to meet my friend where she was at, with compassion and without judgment, and though I left her at her friends home, my heart was heavy. I have to entrust her to the Universe, knowing that I did what I could, and she has to find the strength to meet Life on her own.
[Please, God, help my friend find hope and courage to live. I know my efforts are small in comparison to her grief.]
I am humbled at all my confusion sometimes and grateful for the moments of clarity that I have experienced. I marvel at both the ecstatic joy and the immense sorrow I have felt.
It’s really all the same, to me, in the sense that as long as I can feel, I know Life is living through me.