Death & Dying: Farewell

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Few weeks ago, I woke up to find these words in an email “…he committed suicide.” Suicide: the action of killing oneself intentionally. I stood, staring at my iPhone as the word suicide repeated over and over in my head. There were so many emotions that washed over me all at once – anger, fear, regret, remorse, grief, and others that I have no words for. This is the first time I was touched by suicide. As though I was on autopilot, I showered, got dressed and went to work. It seemed strange that time continued to pass, all of my day’s obligation still existed despite this incredible tragedy.

Later that day, I searched for all the emails we’ve exchanged and read it. I looked at the words said and words unsaid. I wanted to find the unsaid words, the words I should have heard. I went to Google, typed in his name and read through all 14 pages of Google results. I looked at all the search results from Google images. I also read through his Facebook posts. I don’t know exactly what I was looking for or why I was doing this but I did. I couldn’t escape the feeling that I must have missed something. Maybe if I found some clue that he was reaching out for help, I can go from grieving to being angry at myself.

His obituary said he was 24 years old… When I read that, I felt rage, it welled up from some deep part of me. Then I felt sorrow. He didn’t have perspective of his older self to tell his younger self that this pain he’s experiencing, this will pass.

Few days after reading that email, I connected with the friend who shared the sad news. As soon as I got on the phone, we both started to cry. It was a deep release of pain, sorrow, grief and all the things that was said and unsaid. Despite the pain, at some point during the call, we both noticed a sense of kindness, gentleness and sweetness – both of us crying, sharing our humanness.

There was no looking away from the pain. No attempt to hide. No attempt to deny our sorrow. I practiced and felt what it meant to be truly in my grief. It reminded me of this poem:

Don’t turn your head.
Keep looking
at the bandaged place.
That’s where
the Light enters you.

~Rumi

 

The sense I’m left with is incompleteness. I’ll never know this beautiful human being as his older self. I’ll never get a chance to ask my many questions.

Sigh. I really miss you, my dear, beautiful, darling friend.

 

PS – After my friend’s suicide, I came across this podcast on On Being titled Suicide, and Hope for Our Future SelvesPerhaps you may find it helpful as well.

 

photo credit: Mara ~earth light~ via photopin cc

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