Deafening Defeat…

My anger quelled today. I realized a number of things that were flawed in my thought process about my aunt dying at the hands of the pandemic.

The magic that I believed in was tested and I feel like I partially failed at that test. Here’s what I learned.

Anger is Part of the Normal Grieving Process

My anger was bad, but it was part of my personal grieving process. Had I acknowledged that fact, I would have come out of it a lot faster.

When you lose someone you deem special, and they go so fast that you feel like you barely even had a moment to digest what was happening before the outcome, it is frustrating. I will always miss her laughter as well as the fun conversations we would have. This is hard to accept because I really enjoy her jovial personality and all the amazing times I have had with her. Knowing it won’t happen again, gives me a loss of control which is frustrating and enraging to me.

You Can Have Trust or Control…

I did a bible study a few weeks ago that had never left me. The Bible study devotional said:

“Nothing is going to happen without me being forewarned and prepared to face it.

The problem, however, is that trust and control do not coexist. You can have control or you can have trust, but you can’t have both.”

YouVersion Bible App

Reading this really opened my eyes to some truth I never realized. I have spent my life thinking I was trusting when truly I was forcing myself to be controlling of each situation in hopes I could navigate the outcome somehow. I am now making a conscious effort to be more trusting.

I have to tell you, choosing to trust is a more beautiful way to live. Living with trust over control is also one of the most challenging things I have ever had to do. I didn’t realize how much effort it is to change an adherent quality of myself until I started making an effort.

With all that being said, by honoring my journey to choosing trust over control, I have quelled the anger of my aunts passing by remembering that I have to trust that this was meant to happen.

Additionally, a conversation with my aunt B. opened my eyes to how being inquisitiveness doesn’t always serve us. Sometimes you have to accept the intricacies of human existence as it is because you cannot change the past. Why question what happened when it all worked out as it should? (But I suck at this because I need answers when frankly there aren’t always answers readily available.)

Love is The Beginning & Love is the End

The last thing that helped stop the angry and frustrated thinking was remembering that I loved aunt Joanne. I loved her like a mother figure, like someone who believed in me with fierce loyalty no matter what I did. I never felt as if I deserved that level of faith, but if she was capable of that for me, don’t I owe her my loving support in her departure?

Love begot the world, and love will be there in the end. She was loved and maybe she didn’t hear it enough, but at the end, we made sure she knew how loved she truly was. We comforted her with our voices while she laid in a coma, telling her how much she meant to us. I will never be able to thank God enough for that.

The pandemic is terrible. Many people are dying alone. It’s enraging and devastating, but please try to take a moment to pray that God is opening his gates to all these souls, even if they haven’t had the chance to come to Him before dying.

I could never believe anyone is unworthy of the love of our Lord, no matter what the Bible or religious leaders teach. The Jesus I have come to know is so full of love that there is no way he would leave even the worst of us to burn in some hell fire. That love from Jesus makes the anger within me feel less severe.

I didn’t intend on turning this post into a religious one, but when death, grief and loss are involved, it’s hard not to share faith and belief.

Today I am grateful I found a way to let go of my pain and anger. The feelings are still raw and the wounds deep, but I know that I can’t be angry forever. Thank you all for not judging me as I ranted about my disgust and rage yesterday. I am only imperfectly human and the shock crippled me.

Rest In Peace my sweet Aunt Joanne. You are loved everywhere you go and missed deeply. Your loss is not what I would have ever wanted, but I’m eternally grateful to have had you in my life, to have had your love, and your faith in me. Rest easy my angel. 🙏

If I Shall Die Before I Wake…

People are sick.

People are dying.

My family barely braced for the loss of my aunt Joanne, before she was gone faster than a speeding train.

I am feeling the pain, agony and desperation of loss in the air and it’s suffocating me. I feel like each death is leaving its mark on me.

Death is a part of life. I know that but why does someone have to die alone?

I just hate life today and I hate this whole fucking Covid situation. I have always had trouble doing this goodbye thing. My stomach is in knots, I can’t sleep because I loath nothing more than grief. I don’t do well in situations that are fast moving. It’s the one thing about faith I have struggled with.

Today I am struggling to understand why I am forced to say good bye to someone who is so special to me. It’s making my heart really heavy. I feel about as useless as I can feel. I hate feeling useless, and I hate saying good bye. So I won’t do it.

For you aunt Joanne, I say my final “oh Haaa.”

The Truth About Suicide for World Suicide Prevention Day

Suicide is not selfish. Suicide is deep and inescapable pain that could only be ended when life is over. September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, educate yourself on suicide and save a life.

Today is “World Suicide Prevention Day”. It’s a little ironic that it is one day before 9/11 when a group of men decided to commit suicide and take the lives of many innocent people while ending their own lives.

I have struggled to understand suicide until I myself was forced to face the overwhelming feelings of wanting to end the pain during some tough depressive episodes. I was surprised to learn that suicide isn’t isolated to just those who suffer from mental health disorders, which I had always believed, however, suicide affects many people for many different reasons. I feel blessed to have had a strong support system in my toughest and darkest moments.

What World Suicide Prevention Day Means to me: My Suicide Stories

Today is an important day for me because I have struggled with suicidal thoughts and ideations for many years. Trying to remind myself that I am not a burden to those I love is the hardest thing to do when I feel as low as I could be. Many times, I fought for my survival before I would reach a point of Suicide because of TJ.

When I was 15, TJ, the first man I ever loved, took his own life. I spent 17 years blaming myself, feeling enormous grief, and struggling with the agony of knowing he was gone. Until recently, when I spoke to his brother about what really led to his decision, I blamed myself for being the last one to speak to him before he made the choice that changed my life forever.

I didn’t know then what I know now. What I learned through my own depression is that suicide doesn’t discriminate about whether someone is beautiful, popular, easy to get along with, caring, and honest, suicide is an inescapable depressive state where your mind is at war with itself and has convinced you that if you live, the people who love you have to be burdened by your pain and hopelessness. That the people who love you will always have to work exceptionally hard to remind you that you are worthy and that you will be okay.

The simple truth is people who commit suicide do so to save the people they love from having to be burdened by their own deep sadness and pain. Suicidal thoughts don’t see another option when you are staring at the abyss of deep and endless depression. The depression becomes all consuming, sucking away your energy, all the positive thoughts, all the love you have, and all the reasons you are worthy. Depression doesn’t fight fair, in fact it fights you with your deepest fears, your worst memories, your hardest losses and all the self conscious parts of yourself. It reminds you constantly that you are worthless, ugly, unloved, unhappy, and a huge burden to the people whom you love.

Most people say to me when I’m low, “what about your children? What about your family? You have so much to live for and so many people who love you. You are so kind, beautiful, talented and you are better than this.” I have even heard people say, “snap out of it, stop being dramatic. Your life seems so perfect. You are going to hurt so many people. Don’t leave me because I love you and it will kill me to see you gone.”

The reality is this, when you are at the edge of a cliff, you have already made the choice that the ones you love are better off without you and the burdens you believe yourself to be (no matter how untrue it is). In your mind, you are staring into a great void. You have been fighting for days, weeks and years to convince yourself that you are worthy, but you have failed at doing that and the only way to escape is to end the pain, to stop the thoughts and be at peace. There is no, “get it together” switch inside the mind. Being attacked by the mind is a war far greater than most people realize.

Depression illuminates the brain and sets your mind into a free fall of all the sadness and negativity you have ever experienced. It’s traumatizing to experience painful memories all over again in vivid detail as the brain fires off one thing after another.

I used to have panic attacks when I would think about suicide, then I started to embrace that I wasn’t enough and never would be. Many of you have never, and hopefully will never, know what it feels like to stare into the darkness and how much strength it takes to come out of it with your life. I don’t have a desire to die, but many times I had a desire to end the torment so I can be at peace.

Today, for World Suicide Prevention Day, check on someone who you feel or know is struggling. Take it from me, if someone would have checked on me during my hopelessness, I may have had a reason “why not” to resort to suicide. Someone sharing that they care in my darkest hour may have given me a small glimmer of hope to get help before I found myself writing my final goodbyes. A phone call, not a text, or a visit can save a life. Be someone’s hero so you never have to attend their funeral and feel the blame of not having done something to show them you care.

Learn more about Suicide

A great resource is The Depression Project. They share incredible information about detecting whether or not someone you love is at risk for suicide. The Depression Project started the Semicolon Project

Suicide is a complex issue involving numerous factors and should not be attributed to any one single cause. Not all people who die by suicide have been diagnosed with a mental illness and not all people with a mental illness attempt to end their lives by suicide.

Learn more at The Depression Project

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

Andrew Solomon delivers a deeply profound truth during his TED Talk entitled, “Depression, the Secret We Share.”

We know depression through metaphors. Emily Dickinson was able to convey it in language. Goya in an image. Half the purpose of art is to describe such iconic states. As for me, I had always thought myself tough, one of the people who could survive if I had been sent to a concentration camp.

He continues to say,

One of the things about depression is that you know it’s ridiculous. You know it’s ridiculous while your experiencing it. You know that most people manage to listen to their messages and eat lunch and organize themselves to take a shower and go out the front door and that it’s not a big deal, and yet you are none-the-less in its grip and you are unable to figure out any way around it.