Suicide and Everything After

in poetry •  11 months ago

Today is the 19th anniversary of the suicide of my best friend. She was 14 years old. I was 14 years old. There won’t be a year that goes by that this day doesn’t register heavily on my psyche, that it doesn’t transport me to the worry I felt when she didn’t show up at school that day because I already knew she had been thinking about suicide, to the phone call on the corded white phone in my kitchen in which her stepdad told me she had killed herself. And then it also takes me back to 8 months later, when I also tried to commit suicide. I’m lucky that I was unsuccessful, that I didn’t have an unsecured gun in my house like she did. I’m telling you this because suicide is forever, more forever than diamonds, more forever than styrofoam, because of the way it impacts the people around you. I’m telling you this because while suicide is a choice that is ultimately made by the individual, I have a feeling that a society that is more accepting of mental illness and depression would help to ease the pain and make those people suffering feel less hopeless. Instead of treating those people like outcasts, like weirdos, like lesser-class citizens, instead of judging, we should act instead with kindness and generosity. Still miss you, Nicole. Still think of you every time I see pink clouds in the sky.

What I know now, about what being a young teenager is like, that I hope to pass on is that it is so hard being 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, because you have all these feelings and no tried and true coping mechanisms, nor any security that it is going to feel better.

I think people that age would feel better just knowing we're not condescending them in saying "it's going to be ok." That we know why it's so freaking difficult to go through anything at that age, and to just be supportive of them and help them get through their pain without trying to stop it.

This is a post I made for my physiopoetry project Skin on Sundays last year around this time. I wrote this on myself, thinking of Nicole. The poem resonates as much as it did when I wrote it a year ago. I wonder if it always will. I wonder if it also resonates with you.

suicide-14.2.2.jpg

Suicide

Blood, yes
closed casket.
I brought
flowers to your
funeral
even though
you were dead.
And soon
they died too,
the tulips,
though no one
watched or
cared.
And had I
brought you
those tulips
before you left,
what then?
No. I had to stop
wondering
about that.
I had to keep
loving the world.
What’s left of you
has no way to
be astonished
by the horror
and beauty
of things
as I do. Still,
here you are
at the edge
of existence,
roaming
my mind’s
airplanes and
hotel rooms.

++

xo

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feeling this ❤

I roam a while with you in honor of the roaming souls, who, I feel, very much root for this Work you do in remembering - keeping whole that which we (society) failed to.

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I like how you put that, "roam a while...in honor of the roaming souls." <3 Thank you for listening.

I'm sorry for your friend.

About anniversary of the suicide of your best friend, I hope to alert people to take appropriate action for people who start showing symptoms of suicide.



By the way, I saw about your project. I guess, your project (Skin On Sundays) is the sexy art. Keep it up!

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This was a post about a friends suicide, not a sexy art work. I can see English isn't your first language, so I will assume you din't understand it or it didn't translate well.

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It is a little tough to discern some comments because of the language barriers in terms of translating my project, and I get this kind of response all the time on Instagram. It's a tight rope to walk on when making "sexy art," and when some of the "sexy art" (whether or not actually sexy) happens to deal with sensitive subjects. I appreciate your standing up in my defense, because it does get to me when the wrong post gets thrown into the sexy pile, especially when I'm talking about a very serious issue, @killbride <3 Thank you for your concern and for reading and for being all-around caring, even to a stranger like me.

This was deeply moving, a topic that touches me personally. Upvoted and followed.

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Thank you <3 It is a poem that really captures what I feel about the whole thing. Somehow the words to express it just found me in this case. They don't always.

💘

A subject also close to me.

Oh Jess xox This is something I wrestle with a lot. How people feel like they are trapped, a society that tells you you aren't allowed to leave, yet doesn't help ease your stay. I am some one who wants to leave, not always because I love being alive, but often enough because I feel like this isn't the type of alive that we should be doing. Like I love recess but i don't want to play the kickball game we are being forced to play, with all of the bullies and the fighting. I can only tell you what I tell my loved ones- that they are the beauty that I see here, not the sadness, and that there is not any particular action or burden that any one of them could take, or that I would want them to take on. I don't think I would ever leave them here, I have kept my promise to always be forthcoming about where I am at, and always reach out if i need to, but I am older and luckily didn't experience this when I was so young. I will tell you something that might help. I truly believe that we all exist as one consciousness, and so I don't feel like dying is going anywhere just changing forms or energy. So, not to just repeat a hokey saying but to truly mean it, you are her and we all are and she is still here. In whatever forms she takes, she is helping you work through ways to ease others suffering, helping us all talk about why we can't talk about it. You are a sweet soul, and I'm sorry you are suffering so much more today <3

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I truly hope you don't leave. I have some weird feelings about suicide though. I would never kill myself, and I generally don't think it is the right decision, but who am I to say if it is? The reality, as an atheist, who also happens to feel spirituality comes from nature but has nothing to do with afterlife, is that we are specks in the time continuum. I am also an existentialist really, who feels that nothing really matters, but in our small microworlds where everything feels so big and like it matters so much, that is where we find value and meaning in life, and that is also worth considering. So suicide in the context of the microworld is devastating, and in the universe, is a blip, a simple shortened existence because of the weight felt by the person of said existence. I wish my friend was still here, that she could pet my dog, that we could laugh about who we were when we were 14, that she would have stayed long enough to move out of her Christian parents' house, the ones who condemned her for being a lesbian, and moved to Portland, Oregon or Barcelona or even Mexico City where I am now, places where being a lesbian these days is standard and accepted. And in my microworld, where I have been devastated, I often cry when I think of her even so many years later. And I also know that she still exists in the way that you say, as long as people keep remembering her, because that is her energy somehow. I'm truly glad to read your words here, because community and people, even digitally, help me feel connected, and feeling connected just feels better. xoxo