Please Scream Rather Than Leave A Note – Suicide In Our Lives

spade

Kate Spade / Anthony Bourdain


The other day, I read a NYT article that indicated suicide rates are rising at an alarming rate since 1999. The same day CNN listed a similar statistic at 25% since 1999. This was the day after Kate Spade had taken her life. I thought it a natural followup of a tragic event. This morning I woke to the news of Anthony Bourdain. His series ‘Parts Unknown’ has been receiving high ratings on CNN for years. These are two prominent members of our society based upon their achievements over decades. Yesterday at a conference, a colleague of mine made the poignant statement, ‘suicide isn’t selective’ in its victim.
 ~
I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around this. The first time I experienced suicide was when a friend of mine’s lover took his own life because he was terminal with cancer. I remember he lived a block away from me, and I probably could have heard the shotgun had I been on my deck, but I didn’t know about it until the next day. I remember his partner’s grief, and all the confusion that followed.
 ~
Years later, a man named Spaulding Gray wrote a wonderful piece called ‘Swimming To Cambodia’ and I immediately fell in love with his writing, his persona, though I remember being tempered when once interviewed, he stated that when he knows he is too sick to enjoy a quality of life, he will jump in the East river. His body was fished out of that same river two years later. I was devastated. and again not fascinated, more sickened by the reality of such a gesture.
 ~
In my own family, we have experienced such a tragedy, and there are never answers beyond the telling statement that depression is often a leading component in a person’s choice to take their own life. I’ve seen it too many times to count, and I still cannot wrap my head around it.
~
I know in my life I’ve struggled with depression more than I would like to admit. I’ve felt the dark moments that I suggest to all of my students as they go on to college or just live their present lives that when those moments arise, they have to call someone, they cannot allow themselves any other choice. I recognize the hypocrisy of my emotional reaction to this terrible outcome in the lives of so many people in our society and world.
 ~
Yet, all I can do today is speak to it from my heart. I didn’t personally know Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Robin Williams, countless names in the public eye. I don’t know the names of all the people that the reader’s of this commentary have lost over the years. I only know the pain and confusion is real. I only know when my dark moments come, I cannot help but reflect upon the realities that exist around me on any given day.
 ~
I can only suggest that people use the hotline – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, rather than accepting someone’s final option as the only answer. There have got to be solutions, and more importantly there has to be a greater awareness and acceptance around the stigma that is attached to mental illness and depression.

AP File Photo

Advertisements

Finding Voice

I walked outside and screamed at the bottom of my driveway,

only because I knew no one would notice,

well, they did, and their doors shut,

I stood in my neighborhood and felt completely alone.

 

The manicured lawns,

similarly styled rose gardens,

the roof repair and invisible fences,

street signs that suggested we all slow down.

 

I glanced around and decided to scream outloud again,

more doors shut,

the street seemed to empty in a silence

more apparent than I’d noticed before my unravel.

 

I stood there for a long time

watched kids on their bicycles take the corner before

having to coast past the man at the end of the driveway,

I realized for the first time I might have been noticed.

 

I walked back up to my garage,

played some music while drilling some wood,

the sweat on my brow, I wiped with my forearm,

I glanced at the street, a squad rode by … I waved.

In Depression’s Grip

I wouldn’t say imagination,

instead, a spiral of twisting metal,

cracked concrete well below,

the shavings of slivers and dust where the legs go.

A night sky that looms in sunlight,

clouded thinking,

to the degree of a natural flight,

over here, this time, that afternoon, one year

in my life.

I sometimes want to cry,

cleanse the rings of deceit around my eyes,

then it’ll be okay.

Though that song plays out its course,

like a top 40

I tire of hoping for predictability

shed some light on

what the hell is the matter with me.

A rant,

is an opportunity,

if we can remove ourselves from

commonality.

I remember the time I was told to stop boring people

with sad old cliches.

It worked,

I no longer use cliches.

I wonder about tomorrow

as fatigue melts away my desire to go away.

Losing Sight

Motion

a cylindric mechanism,

always feeding upon a circular

atmosphere constant, needy response

to the world around no matter

time of day, an attitude

Complete

we are so fluid though

running through miles of tension

in search of an anchor to compensate I

we want to know a weighted yes

to the dreams we have

Believe.

in those of us nearby

simple recall when the nigh speaks

peril a spiritual loss of energy in hope

dark shadows search suggestively

their inside bold voice

Compel

a beholder’s actual fear

that part of life’s proposal forgotten

yet, we can remember, we can ignite

a natural fire of forgiveness, might

any of us any day, hour

Decide

just now is a good time

the best opportunity to react, ask

hold court, a dialogue a piece of … life

for it isn’t inevitable to an ideology

of grace and elegance.

Delight.

Hummingbirds Help

Seek a quiet moment …

~

Between the avalanche of emotion

That buries the crisis of reality

~

A figure appears

Hidden within the numbers

Dialogues that drift into the open air

Of dreary daylight

Everyone listens

Synchronized conversation

In hopes that our own world

Might be less restrained

~

Believe in your moment …

~

Upon the circle of life

We are all travelers

~

When a pain stirs in one’s heart

The feeling might bring memory

Of a different time

That opportunity when realized

Suggests a freer mind

Relates a rite of passage

Or, response to suggestions

All driven by spiritual passions

~

Will you feel better when the darkness …

~

Have I ever told you, in all honesty

My world is smaller than yours?

~

Self – righteous quandaries

Value driven requests

Plead your case

Drive your base intentions

Away from a common day

All too late

Longing to hide our lives

Within the human race

~

While a glance among the vibrant morning clouds,

Remind us of simple Grace; His quiet elegance.