I wasn't going to write this, but I just read a friend's post that is propelling me forward.
Last night I went to a Survivors of Suicide meeting. I haven't been to one in ages, probably not in two years. But I'd been feeling a bit overwhelmed since receiving the news that an article I've written about spiritual direction and accompaniment through the experience of grief will be published (eventually) in a journal for spiritual directors.
I was incredibly excited about the news, and then began to realize that the article, along with the presentation I made last fall to nursing students about caring for families in which a child has suddenly died, and my signing up as a Field Advocate with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, marks my entry into a new phase of a Life. I. Did. Not. Want.
Suddenly, or perhaps not so suddenly, I find myself moving into the role of one who speaks out, who communicates the the heartbreak, the anger, and the complete devastation of the experience that looks like Yellowstone Park did the year we visited, after the fires.
I wasn't going to say a word about Mother's Day. Well, I already did, in a misplaced comment on a beautiful piece that someone else wrote on the topic. But having done that, my plan was to remain silent. My own Mother's Day will include some moments of genuine joy, as my family is accompanying me to church and The Lovely Daughter is singing, and some overall struggle, as I pastor one of those give-the-ladies-carnations churches. I would prefer to ignore the day in church completely, and share a quiet evening with my family; I am wishing that I had thought to take the week-end off even after the vacation week that would have taken us away fell through.
Last night, I was reminded of all the reasons for my mixed feelings. In our little group, two of us will be missing children, one will be without a sister who was also the mother of two young girls, and one without the husband who was also the father of their three very young children. "It's Mother's Day and it sucks," said one woman through her tears.
Too harsh? Too much of a downer?
Here's why I'm writing: If you are suffering from depression, do not leave this sort of a week as your legacy to your family. Just. Don't.
To leave people via suicide is to cause almost indescribable harm to those you love most. If you could have heard the conversation of that group of bewildered and damaged survivors last night, you would know that you must do everything you can to recover your health and your one wild and precious life, as Mary Oliver calls it.
We would do it for you if we could ~ we would do anything to save you ~ but we can't. The terrible irony is that, in such a dark place, you have to mother yourself a bit. You have to seek the care you need and deserve as someone's beloved child. If you can't imagine it any other way, imagine yourself as a beloved and beautiful child of the universe, because you are most surely that person.