I heard the news about Anthony Bourdain.
I read about Kate Spade earlier this week.
My heart feels heavy.
Suicide is never easy.
One of my first intuitive hits I can recall happened I was 7 years old. Alone in the house at night. And it just came to me that my aunt had committed suicide.
I knew was true. It was so clear, the energy passing through me. I was terrified and I wasn’t even sure I understood what it all meant.
The phone rang several times but I was afraid to answer. I knew. And I didn’t want to know. It was too big to pick up that phone. Waiting for my parents to return home was torture. I sat in the dark wrapped in a blanket waiting in their bed.
Later when my parents arrived home, the phone rang again. I heard my father tell my mother it had actually happened. I was in bed in my room by then. That’s when the wave of sadness flowed through my body. It wasn’t mine just then, it was hers.
I felt disturbed for weeks about what happened but I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I just carried the stone in my heart. I felt an enormous heaviness about the part of her that had been suffering going to those lengths. The part I didn’t know and didn’t see. The part none of us knew about.
People talking about it said, She seemed to have everything going for her. So much to live for! But, what does that even mean? What does it matter what we think anyway?
In my life, I have lost another family member to suicide. And another. And then there have been a few attempts too. Also, my stepdad died with a drink in his hand – technically not, I guess, suicide. Another aunt electrocuted herself in the bathtub — drunk and on accident.
Times like these can feel really really hard.
None of us can ever really know what is happening to someone on their insides unless they choose to tell us. It sucks but that’s the truth. I have sat with friends in the healing room who have openly contemplated taking their own lives. Friends who have come to that place of, What’s the point of going on?
It’s nearly impossible to prevent someone from taking their own lives if they choose that route for themselves.
What I can do is make a new commitment. And my commitment right at this moment is to be an even better listener and lover of hearts, to be someone who keeps the conversation open and doesn’t shut it down by saying stupid things like, But seriously, you have so much going for you!
I will talk even more openly about my own depression and the stories I have carried.
This is what I can do.
As a little girl in that time holding those big feelings about an aunt’s suicide, which my mother described as she kicked the bucket, I remember feeling I needed to create a shrine for her of sorts. I remember feeling I needed to DO something with the bigness of the energy I had been carrying.
It wasn’t enough to simply close the door. I needed to create a remembrance of her. I remember thinking, this is what I can do.
And so, I went out to the garden and cut some flowers. I also took some mud and rocks–I’m not sure why the mud but I always trust my knowing. I put some Barbies together with the flowers in the mud and I sat and sent love to this Aunt who I really didn’t know well at all but the deep sadness I felt I could absolutely connect with. It helped me to feel better. And I absolutely know it helped her in the transition.
My parents did not know, I knew not to show them… they wouldn’t get it and would probably make me take it down. Each of us needs to honor our own spark around stuff like this. I am so grateful I knew even then how to do this.
If you’re feeling like you don’t know what to do but you feel moved to do something still, you might try lighting a candle and take some time to send your love to the ones who have gone.
Send your love. Give room to the feelings that are coming up for you. This helps them too.
Though I don’t believe this is the time or space, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that often we assume money makes it all better, and that success and fame make it good. And sometimes there’s such a huge take away from happenings like these…and beautiful souls like these are teaching us and REMINDING US that on the insides there is a whole world that needs attention and love. We can’t forget.
I will never forget.
I wrote a post years ago when Robin Williams took his life, it is called, Rainbow Suspenders Are Forever. Also, Send Your Love, Not Your Worries. May those posts serve you, or perhaps a friend who needs to hear it.
Lots of love to you today thanks for riding with me. 💞💞💞