About Life

Felling Our Life Tree – About Suicide

It sounds like a skeleton singing is how my eldest son described Macy Gray’s voice when he was very much younger than he is now. The Letter sounds like a suicide note to me.

I recently heard it said that suicide is a selfish act, yet a brave one too.

Is it selfish? Is it brave?

The mind and death of someone who takes their own life is not a mind or death we can fathom or judge.

I knew a woman who, a short while after one of her three sons committed suicide, did so herself. Grief took her life before she pulled the trigger on the gun.

You don’t know what it is to lose a child when you have never lost one. Some things have to be experienced before we can claim to know what someone else is feeling and thinking, and even then, no two minds are alike.

Who speaks for the dead who felt they could not voice their solution, the dead who could not articulate how bad things really were, the dead who rattled our cage because they chose to die instead of sticking it out like the rest of us, who didn’t ask for our help and left us drowning in grief and pain and horror equivalent to that which took them from us?

It’s all in the mind

I’ve come to understand that what many don’t understand is how the thinking patterns of the suicidal are not patterns we can relate to, or decipher, if we’ve never been close enough to taking our own life to forgive their decision to fell themselves instead of waiting to fall over like every other tree in our forest.

Have you ever been severely depressed and had the good fortune to emerge from that state of mind to embrace the heady scents of life again? Then you also know that, when you look back on your darkest days, they can feel foreign, a million miles away.

Had somebody told you your sense of smell would return, that you would follow the sweet fragrance until you stumbled out of your cave to take deep, gasping breaths of light and life, you would not have believed them.

We can be engulfed by life-eating thoughts and emotions for a year, or years, and in one hour they are retreating because tiny lights go on – the gentleness in the eyes of a near-stranger, the listening ear of a true friend, a sunrise and bird call that touches our skin and our senses.

I want to cry when I think of how many lives have gone because that ‘hour’ showed up too late, or not at all. We wish the lost had waited just a little longer.

Suicidal thoughts can cycle back around, become the boomerang Plan B.

I have watched a video by Teal Swan about suicide. She’s controversial, uncomfortably candid for some, and has odd facial expressions and responses. Teal attracts outspoken critics and, to keep it on her channel, had to censor the video. She offers advice on how to heal the pain that is at the root of suicide.

One hour

He lay in bed and told me he no longer wished to live. It was too much for him – the losses, the pain, the future, the shredded dreams.

He told me I was not to call anyone for help, that he was not going to get up and get in my car to go to a clinic. If he was admitted to a state facility (facilities he distrusts due to previous traumatic experiences), or an ambulance arrived, he would resist with violence and still kill himself. His choice is to die, and I must respect that. He is an adult and can decide his fate.

He turned to the wall and closed his eyes.

I had been navigating his mental and emotional storms for weeks. Always, I could tow him to a safe harbor.

This was different; I could feel it, I could see it. He has crosses to bear, but the one he is nailed to is a rough, relentless combination of disorders that increase the risk of suicide.

I walked to the bottom of the garden and defied his wishes. I could not leave him alone in the house while I sought help. I messaged and called two professionals. They were unavailable.

Desperate, I phoned the new GP in town, a doctor we had recently consulted. The doctor listened, asked questions, then said This is very serious and did a beautiful thing.

He climbed in his car and made a home visit (a rarity these days).

Doctor sat with this suicidal young man, had tea and ginger biscuits, reassured, changed a medication. It was in that hour – from phone call to heartfelt goodbye and thank you at the gate – that a road was constructed.

A rugged dirt road…

but a rugged dirt road is a fall-to-your-knees-in-gratitude blessing when the alternative is a dead end.

This week’s Happiness

I did something I should not do – an all-nighter.

I didn’t plan it. Gamers do it all the time, not middle-aged women.

The work and genius of this musician and artist pulled me into a world of haunting, ethereal techno-pop I could not stop watching and exploring.

I’ve listened to Fountain for years, but had not ventured beyond its stunning sound. I cannot embed all the videos I’d love to share with you. Sweet torture, having to limit myself to four when I’d like to make it at least fourteen.

isn’t it a triumph?
fire and ice and a lighthouse
magical
the sweetest white dresses

Lots of oceanic love to you,

Toodle-oo

xxx ❤ TeaShell Michele

4 thoughts on “Felling Our Life Tree – About Suicide

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