A couple of days ago on one of my favorite blogs, the discussion centered on the value of suffering: on how much of value we learn from it, on how it changes us for the better. An excellent discussion, complete with the oft-quoted Leonard Cohen line about how it's the cracks through which the light breaks in.
I wanted to run screaming from the room.
So, what I did instead was, I didn't enter.
I didn't want to interrupt the glorious conversation about the gift of suffering. There were people there whom I admire tremendously, with whom I am friends, and they said some true and eloquent things. I didn't want to interject my own story, from another little universe, and I didn't want to feel that condescending glance, that raised eyebrow, that "Oh, she's just not there yet; someday she'll know."
When someone whom you love from the inside out dies of suicide, you learn that there is a degree of suffering that goes beyond value; that is pointless, useless, and evil in its depth and capacity for alienation and despair.
And when that someone is your child, whatever gifts of insight, wisdom, and availability to others that might be ascribed to your own suffering are but minute drops in the vast ocean of sadness to which you have been exiled.
And then this morning, going through past blog posts, I found one in which I had reflected upon words reportedly said by parents whose children had died to other parents who had already embarked upon that walk:
"I realize now that I had no idea what you were talking about."