Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rippling Effects of Suicide

[Written Saturday morning]

Richard and I went to a garage sale at our neighbor’s house this morning; I was excited to get out of the house and go to a sale or two.  To my surprise I found some really neat horse t-shirts and jackets.  The jackets had beautiful horses and my name embroidered on them, I was so very happy! 

It’s not very often I find horse stuff at garage sales, but with my name too, that’s a first!  There is no way in the world I’d ever be able to afford things like these retail.  Our neighbor and their friend were hosting this sale…the friend was the one who showed me a new jacket and told me how much his wife had spent for the embroidery.  Holy cow!

I bought a few really lovely items and the man threw in the coat he’d pointed out to me, wow!  When we put our treasures in the back of the car Richard mentioned he didn’t know our neighbor’s friend’s wife and I shared the same first name.  I could tell by his tone of voice I should have memory of this man and his wife…we got in the car and it dawned on me, I slowly asked Richard if his wife had been the one who committed suicide, he said yes.

I don’t know where all the oxygen went in that moment, I could not breathe.  My joy had turned to a still, silent sadness.  I did not even know this woman, when I heard about her suicide last year at Christmas I felt the same thing.  Oh yes, the rippling effects of a suicide on its community, it simply does not begin and end with the person(s) who killed themselves.  This man and our neighbor had the difficult task of going through all of her belongings, pricing them, reliving the tragedy.

Not too long ago a woman from our Brain Injury Support Group back home committed suicide, yes, we have the same name…

Should any of us doubt the importance of carrying the light forward, this is a good reminder.  I don’t want my name to be associated with a pain that oftentimes cannot be healed and this took me back to last month’s post on suicide. 

As I finished writing this post, I went on Facebook and this was posted…I am in awe of the timing, this was posted by Grieving Mothers at

“A few years ago, when a young man died by his own hand, a service for him was conducted by his pastor, the Reverend West Stephens. What he said that day expresses far more eloquently than I can, the message that I'm trying to convey.  Here are some of his words:

‘Our friend died on his own battlefield. He was killed in action fighting a civil war.
He fought against adversaries that were as real to him as his casket is real to us.
They were powerful adversaries.
They took toll of his energies and endurance.
They exhausted the last vestiges of his courage and his strength.
At last these adversaries overwhelmed him.
And it appeared that he had lost the war.
But did he? I see a host of victories that he has won!

For one thing - he has won our admiration - because even if he lost the war, we give him credit for his bravery on the battlefield. And we give him credit for the courage and pride and hope that he used as his weapons as long as he could.

We shall remember not his death, but his daily victories gained through his kindnesses and thoughtfulness, through his love for his family and friends...for all things beautiful, lovely, and honorable.

We shall remember not his last day of defeat, but we shall remember the many days that he was victorious over overwhelming odds. We shall remember not the years we thought he had left, but the intensity with which he lived the years that he had.

Only God knows what this child of His suffered in the silent skirmishes that took place in his soul. But our consolation is that God does know, and understands.’"


It is Tuesday, July 10th, I am wearing one of my namesake's t-shirts.  Her light is gone from this earth but mine remains, in honor of her and all others, because no one is insignificant.


on the way said...

Thank you for this post and for stopping by with such kind words on my blog too. As someone in a battle that I'm not sure I'll win these words mean a lot to me.
Right now there's nothing more I can say but I will stop by again soon.
Take care

ResilientHeart said...

Thank you so very kindly for your comment, I am sorry I am this far behind responding...wow, almost 1 month behind...geeeeesh!

Hugs to you, please do take good care. Best to you - today & always. :)

Feel free to stop on by any old time. :)