I am in re-entry mode having been on vacation this past week. With no internet access and only a bar or two on my phone, I did my best to stay connected…to write a few lines every day. But there was something about being away for a few days…unplugged from my usual routine. It took me several days to finally breathe it all in. It was lovely while it lasted.
But the news of the world seeped in all the same. There were the untimely deaths of two celebrities, the escalating news of the inhumane treatment by our government, on refugee children at our southern border, and the increased isolationist tactics of our president from our greatest allies. As you can see, I didn’t completely unplug.
Being a mother, the stories of young children being ripped from their parents arms and held in scary warehouses affected me deeply, but it was the news of recent suicides that gripped my heart.
I know suicide. My father died staring down the barrel of a pistol, his own finger on the trigger, 38 years ago. 38 years. My mother abused opioids and herself into oblivion…a slower death, but suicide nonetheless. And I have entertained this monster myself on several occasions. Love for my children and a sense of responsibility for them was the only thing that saved me. Even now I rely on antidepressants and therapy to keep me afloat. Suicide is no respecter of persons; not impressed by smiles and projected stoicism in the face of adversity, of life’s ups, and bottom of the barrel, downs. It’s a greedy master requiring everything, for nothing in return.
Why am I talking about it? Because we all need to call it by its name. Suicide. It needs to be okay to say it…to ask for help. Ignoring suicide doesn’t make it go away. Keeping it locked away just emboldens and empowers it. I have faced this beast and declared, “no more!” Not because I am particularly strong. I’m not. By grace and through the power of love I have l survived.
My hope is that we begin to open our hearts to those who are other; to be safe places for our brothers and sisters…to begin the process of bridging our differences, to find healing. May we learn to listen to each other. May we be kinder to one another, as if our very lives depended on it. Because, the truth is, they do.
Peace my friends. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it. More than anything, please know you are not alone.
US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 10 June 2018
night falls intensely
tree knob, eyes blinking
beneath deep green cover
a super storm was brewing
dusk softly shaded,
kissed by a breeze
when it’s silent
feels like rain
how can we be quiet?
A ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.