Struggling with Suicide and Grief and Everything Else


I don’t know what to say, or even think. A friend of mine has gone, at a time and place and manner of his own choosing. He left, not saying good bye, not asking for help with his pain, his choices. But, then again, maybe he did, and we did not listen, or did not respond to what he asked. At least, I did not hear him asking for a hand, or my ear, or even considering other choices. Or, maybe I did. And now, I do not know. I am, at the least, confused and lost, and stumbling around in my grief, my impotence.

Now, there is an emptiness, and a great unknowing. The “what ifs” keep multiplying, and I am left with wonder, with sadness, and guilt. “What if?” “What if?”

And, in the silence that follows my asking, there are no answers, only more questions.

Friends of mine, closer to him that I was, are left empty, unknowing, wandering in the wilderness of uncertainty, of deeper questions which have no answers today. My pain today is enough; I cannot imagine theirs.

I search for answers that are not there. I search for so much, for reasons, for explanations, for understandings, knowing that there is now only a cold wind blowing around my heart.

Raw craziness, that is what is running amuck in my life now. No answers, just more questions. Not much solace, yet knowing that my friend was, at least for a second, at peace with himself and what he was doing.
I was not on his road of life, and I did not know his journey. In his departing, there is even more uncertainty in my mind as to what I might have known, might have done, might have loved him deeper, had he shared his pain, his questions, his journey. But, he did not, and somehow I must accept that. Yet, in that, I find myself angry, and unknowing, and uncertain. I am confused, and enraged, yet what has been done was beyond what I could have done, and beyond what I am, and what I could have been to him.

Old pains, and other suicides, and those still unanswered questions come back now, again reminding me of old wounds, unresolved enigmas, old doubts and tears. I do not know. I didn’t know then, and I still don’t know. Old stuff, reopened, bleeding again, making new tears.

Part of me wants answers, but I know that answers won’t ever come. I move on, in life, yet I am left with wonderment, and enigma, and cold winds, ice in my heart that comes at unforeseen, strange times, dragging me back to old ghosts and old, unresolved times.

The poet writes of what I feel, and points me towards forgiveness. Yet, that word seems foreign to where I sit now, empty and alone, not knowing, not finding sanity in all of this. The poet’s wisdom circles about me, aflame, trying to warm my cold, lonely heart.

Perhaps, I should reach out, and accept that warmth, on this cold winter’s night.

Forgiveness
By Marion Waterston, January 31, 2005
 
I guess I’ll never know
All I want to know
Or understand
What can’t be understood
But I believe it’s time to forgive
 
Time to forgive you for leaving me
So abruptly and so painfully
And time to forgive myself
For talks we didn’t have
Laughs we didn’t share
Songs we didn’t sing
Foolishly I thought that time was on our side
 
Can it be that time now wishes to atone for this betrayal
For tears no longer flow like endless rivers
Anger seems a wasted emotion
And dreams those dreaded night-time visitors
Can come as friends
 
Once again I smile at the innocence of children
The unabashed warmth of lovers
The enthusiastic affection of dogs
And although I do not see you my precious love
You are with me
 
So I guess I’ll never know
All I want to know
Or understand
What can’t be understood
But here in this quiet moment
It’s time and I’m ready
To forgive.

One thought on “Struggling with Suicide and Grief and Everything Else

  1. Neal, you’ve put in word what the soul shouts. I am drawn into your story, as it is in some fashion belongs to all of us. My heart grieves with you, as you walk the fresh landscape of another loss. Thank you for your honest, raw vulnerability. You help the rest of us heal by reminding us that we are part of this human family…and how much we need one another. Prayers…

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