Saturday, July 24, 2010

No other option?

Suicide. It's so hard for me to understand.

The motto of the 3 day is "Everyone deserves a lifetime." And still there are people because of the overwhelming unhappiness of the moment, decide that don't want a lifetime. They want an end.

This past two weeks two women I know of here in Marin decided to end their lives. They each had children. One had a loving husband. Both had financial troubles and both lost all hope. I suppose one day they looked in the mirror and said "The world will be better without me. My children don't deserve a Mother like me. I have to stop this pain."

I am not going to sermonize that Suicide is selfish. Of course it is. I don't need to mention that the pain of this choice will scar everyone left behind for years. I want to try and see if I can understand that feeling that there is no more options. Because suicide leaves me angry and helpless myself. In my mind there are always other solutions.

I can remember days when I was younger and I felt everything around me was dark. For the life of me I couldn't imagine anything beyond the darkness that held me captive. I felt paralyzed and hopeless. After about 6 months following my Mother's death, I woke up from my self imposed coma and could not see the daylight. I stayed in bed, and slept all day. I couldn't sleep at night. I felt unloved. I thought I was a failure. I couldn't see anything but where I stood at that moment, and it was as if the lights had been turned off in my own life.

I went to a therapist and delved into my childhood. How this should have happened or that shouldn't have happened. He led me around my mind to suggest I should be angry at my Mother, despise my Father until after about 2 months, I was tired of him. I was watching a talk show one day and there was Orson Bean. (You young people dont know who I am talking about, but the older people do). Orson had suffered from depression. He said something I have always remembered.

In depression you are standing in the corner, and all you can see is the corner. You have no idea of where to go because as you face that way there are no options, there is just the corner. But if you turn around there are limitless possibilities. Then all it takes is one step to get out of that dark place that held you.

These days I get down once in a while, just like everyone. I don't know if surviving Cancer plays a part or not, but I haven't ever felt in the corner since. I know that life is a gift. I also know it doesn't stay the same, it changes. There are challenges. There are disappointments. There will be tears. But there also will be days when you are soaring without effort, when you are surprised and delighted, when the only tears are there from laughing too much. You can't have one without the other. You never know the sweetness of sugar if you haven't sucked a lemon or two.

Glenn and I talked about these recent deaths and he said it was hard for him to imagine. "Haven't you ever felt that if the worse ever came you still had the option of getting in a car a driving away and starting over?" I told him there have been times when I have thought what would I do if we lost the house, if I lost my heart and I picture Tonga. I picture running to a place that made me feel like cold is cold and hot is hot and people love with all their hearts. A place where I would love to find a way to be of service. If I lost everything I would go to a place that values life not things, because when all is said and done, I am rich in these.

Glenn decided we could live on a boat. I would go with him anywhere.

So.... today I am off to live life. I am going to Cachagua to spend a couple of days. The Camel Mountains where I have spent so many weekends over the years. I will be floating in the river, sipping wine and enjoying my friends. Life is what you make it. I am going to continue to make it great.

Everyone deserves a lifetime. Don't waste yours.