Friday, September 21, 2012


sometimes a topic gets into my head and begins swimming around,
and i am forced to deal with it, to process it, and then do something with it.
this post is a direct result of what has been brewing in my head for a few weeks.
i continue to write, tweak, and change it...
i am not going to sugar coat this one; i'm gonna rip it off like a band aid.
writing helps me process. and i always feel much better afterwards.

three years ago, my brother, william died.
it was sudden. it was unexpected. it was the worst day of my life.

william died from suicide.

i can say it now. i can say it with my own voice, not a whisper.
and it feels good.
the ability to say those words carry an air of peace with them.

a few weeks ago, i was getting to know someone new and we were discussing our families.
i was explaining the circumstances leading up to dad moving in with us.
and my voice did not waver.
i didn't hesitate when saying how william died.
i know that sounds crazy.
i've told the story many times over the years to different people.
and yet, now, it feels different.
i know that grief changes and evolves with time.
it has a way of showing up at the most unexpected times.

it's like when a vase breaks, sending bits of glass smashing onto the floor in a zillion pieces...
at first you work diligently to clean up the water and flowers,
then you pick up the larger chucks of glass to get them out of the way,
you find your broom to start sweeping, cleaning it up as well as you can,
but then one day, you find yourself stepping on a sliver of forgotten glass,
and the pain from the glass cuts straight through you.
and in that instant you are transported back to the very moment the vase broke.

there are days when i find one of those slivers of glass...
it can be just a brief prick, like seeing his doppelganger,
or it can turn into one of those thoughts that stays with me...

right now, there is one tiny sliver stuck.
it's not the kind of thing that has me crying every second of every day.
it's more just a global feeling of "i miss him".
then there are days, like this week, when i'm so angry that he's not here to help with dad.
and i want to throw something...
i want to hear that glass shattering...
and i find myself wondering why...

but, do we ever really know why things happen...
why someone is born with curly hair instead of straight?
or why one person loves spinach and another pork?
why some people are dog lovers and others enjoy the company of cats?
why someone loves the city life versus the country or the burbs?
why, during this season, is someone a red or a blue?
and the ultimate...why are the circumstances always different when someone dies?

every 14 minutes someone dies from suicide.

when someone takes their life, we may forget that they died after a hard fight of their own;
it may not be visible, like losing their hair or physically watching their body decline...
their internal struggles are blurred by their smile and laugh.
they can be so sad inside and yet no one knows.
i think that is why people whisper...
on some level we feel like why didn't we know...
why couldn't we help...
the looking back makes it so hard...

by no means do i understand suicide.
it stirs up feelings within me that can't easily be subdued or fully explained.
so, that little sliver of glass feels like it's stuck between my toes,
and until it works it's way out, please be patient with me.
to further complicate things this week,
dad was admitted to the hospital.
they are working at getting him stable and adjusting his medication.
he will be there for a while.
it helps knowing he is somewhere safe; getting better.

so for today, i am going to remind myself to continue to breath in and out.
and that there is always, always someone there to listen...

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, a moving thought written in such a way that everyone who reads it will understand your journey and will celebrate where you are today. I admire you so much!