Another Steps In

Remember the word invaluable

its mystique left in its own mythological

persona, that feeling of worthiness

beyond the normalcy of our lives.

 

Remember we always believe,

seldom do we allow ourselves

to fail the resilient nature of

respecting the human condition.

 

Remember we tend to pretend

‘everything is alright’

‘we should get together soon’

while our facade takes us away.

 

Remember all the questions

that will arise

when one makes a choice

no one else can understand.

 

Remember the fascination we have

with living breathing smiling

human beings

remember we are all the same.

 

Remember to never take for granted

the actions of one have nothing to do

with you.

A Teenager Committed Suicide

Yesterday, a former student took his own life. The circumstances are horrific to realize that life had come to such terms. It is also ironic for many people including myself. We all have dark moments that cause us to imagine a deadly option. This young man somehow felt there was no one he could speak to that might help him through his crisis. In my life the issue of suicide has always been thought to be a cop-out and an easy option, a valueless choice for those around their lives.

I have students crying in the hallways today. I had a student contact me yesterday evening in tears – we spoke for several minutes, and I invited him to come by. This situation has impacted a lot of people including those that have the feelings themselves. Nobody really knows what a person is going through when they choose this deadly way to stop the pain. Nobody knows the tears in the final moments because we just don’t understand. I do.

I believe suicide is a mental illness beyond the circumstances of finality for a person suffering from inevitable mortality. That is the only time when such an act seems feasible. I say that again knowing in my own life there are times when the world I live in becomes exhausting and I no longer like the loneliness I feel. I am especially mortified by this situation with our student. He touched a lot of lives. I watched him laugh both in the classroom and with his friends. I watched him be successful in his love of sports in the events he participated. I watched people groom his life.

Today, I see the outcome. I sense the family and their reaction not as a close friend but as a person that appreciates the grief they feel. I understand why students are at a loss in their actions as they try to wrap their heads around his loss.

Suicide is something that everyone needs to acknowledge is a terrible way to end a person’s life. If someone reaches out be there for them, because the moment you take that for granted they may take action on something they didn’t have a chance to rethink or turn away from the act. Sadly one must though realize the end game is not their responsibility. A call, a visit, a wellness check may be all that is needed. Let them know they are not alone and they have a possible firm ledge to step back onto, let them find their own professional guidance.

Do not abandon a person when they are at their seeming lowest. Look for the signs and be there no matter the effect the notion might have on your own life.

The victim needs your real love.

The Humanity of Letting Go

I feel things,

since living dark realities

a childhood

without scars,

yet, somehow beaten,

the foundation of

a quiet turmoil

always is that centering

point of personal fear.

 

In our society

we question judgment

public scrutiny,

filling the airwaves

is a certain attractive

seduction

meant to take our minds

away from our own

persecution.

 

Those silent moments

when the mind

allows the heart to breathe

there’s a sudden tightness

strangling physicality

that does have a pulse,

a reminder,

a constant of the human condition

within the framework

of some individualized society.

 

I cannot seem to walk away

from the burdens of my past,

yet,

the minds around me,

voices mouthing advice

seem to forget

or perhaps overlook,

this reflective nature

is the fuel

of a precarious

walk along the edge.

 

I would wonder

how long this loneliness

can exacerbate

my owned recall

of every single

tumultuous

moment in my life

when all

circumstance

overwhelms

a more seemingly sane

stance.

 

I would take a chance

on letting go,

if only I understood

the purposeful nature

of forgiveness.

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

Depression Is A Reality

A frozen state of mind,

clear headed

yet,

stone-walled by fear.

 

When they speak of racing thoughts,

it seems fruitless

trying to slow down that progression,

instead the eyes close.

 

While the strength of depression

wreaks havoc upon vulnerability

the body waits,

an eventual light goes on.

 

Symptomatic to asking

reality to step aside,

while in the moment the struggle

remains the only …

 

So, we fight,

our bodies eventually

find a way

to step off the merry-go-round.

 

As simple as that might seem,

the revolution will never careen.

Different Moments

Recently, there were two,

lives we might call the same,

yet probably, more obviously,

vastly different lives,

worlds apart,

yet their outcomes,

well, we can probably imagine,

the same.

 

The meaning of which,

hard to explain,

yet, we want to know,

we ask the questions,

sitting together alone in our lives,

wondering just why,

when is this the time, when others

might still wander aimless

wondering only

about their next hour,

perhaps tomorrow,

even possibly a year ahead,

yet, these two …

 

Oh, to walk inside the mind of the dead,

to understand the next level,

be able to comprehend,

not likely to mend,

accept the truth yet I would

recommend,

the answer might be less

an epiphany,

more a sad reality,

but the question remains,

we all wonder about it together,

we wander the same streams,

the winding current of our lives.

 

The one, a musician,

his time came when the pain,

over came his emotions,

and later his family in the grieving period,

had to speak to the response

of his audience,

you and me,

the ones that miss him less then

they might ever possibly comprehend.

 

Yet the same,

the reality of the game,

out of our hands,

we just show up to

exclaim.

 

The other the choice is their own,

forget the others nearby,

find the solution today,

yet, that is the confusion,

we all would like to know,

now,

just why,

what fortune brought upon such pain,

and how can we all possibly

living,

not imagine its misfortune,

his misguided

solution.

 

We all do seem to have or hold or imagine,

these our different moments,

yet for me, they sometimes seem the very same.

The Last Time I Checked

There was purpose in my day,

a willingness to share,

yet the constructs of a certain way,

would often interfere,

well, just my luck.

 

I often walk away this way,

the drive home,

a long enduring road,

looking around to see,

if anyone else might be my way.

 

I lack the fortitude

one might easily say

to perhaps whether the storm

may be the cause of me,

or certainly the human way.

 

There always is that possibility

of just getting past all of the

hypocrisy, the second guessing,

the idiocy inherent

with wondering just where we are.

 

I walked inside a world

why, just the other day,

where a little girl would cry,

her story breaking the hearts

of everyone inside her day.

 

And then, I wondered again,

while walking away,

is it just me,

or is life meant to be compelling,

in whatever manner He choose.