when i look back into my blog archives one year ago today, i'm shocked to see what i was writing about, what i was experiencing or other. it wasn't epic, it wasn't astonishing, it wasn't life-changing. it was simply life 'happening'. i say that i am shocked because i have ZERO recollection of those days when i wrote after my brother's suicide. in fact, it took me a full 3 weeks to even write or share the news on my blog. sure i had the sense to send a note to my dearest/closest friends so they knew why i had been so silent and not to worry, etc. you know, the standard kind of email one writes when something of such magnitude occurs in one's life.
noun: the action of killing oneself intentionally.
verb: intentionally kill oneself.
synonyms: noun: self-destruction, self-murder
verb: take away one's life - make away with oneself
when i review these definitions over and over again i see one commonality: SELF
self: A person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, esp. considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
why am i being so bold to discuss suicide...because it is necessary to discuss it. my brother decided by himSELF to end his life. and while i've done a lot of research in this topic, i came to the same conclusion each time...there is no explanation. it's not like i can tap into his brain right now to say "HEY, what the heck, why did you do this!!??" instead, i chose to bring awareness and try my best to be an advocate for survival. in good times and in bad. not just for me but also for those that i love and care about. i will show up. i will do the work. i will live LIFE. it's all i have.
NOW, you might be wondering, has rachel sought any help, is she taking any medication, yadda yadda yadda. i chose not to be a self-help junkie, support group member, etc for many reasons and i did not want to be medicated/numb through the process. one of those reasons being that i did not want to be told that he is in a better place or something otherwise offensive about 'one's life'. he is NOT in a better place. he ended his life. he was at the end of his rope. maybe he reached out for help and nobody listened. nobody heard him. nobody knew. i am fully aware that when a person decides to take one's life that there is no changing their mind. HOWEVER, if we are also being present in 'other' people's lives, checking in on them, asking can we help you with anything, etc i fully believe that we can perhaps 'disrupt' the notion of finality. call me a dreamer, it doesn't offend me because i WILL make sure that i do the aforementioned and be present, be kind and help others. life IS too short.
and because i wholeheartedly believe in accountability:
i met someone recently that also lost her brother to suicide. that said, it does help to talk to people that are part of this 'special club' i mentioned. a good friend told me about the 'special club' and how we did not ask to be a part of it, etc. she too lost her brother to suicide. see where i'm going with this. unless you 'have' expereinced suicide yourself you will never know what we mean about this 'special club'. don't feel left it. it's not a club that advertises memberships. thank goodness. where was i going with this.....
that girl i met is doing a bike ride cross-country in honor of her brother. from portland, OREGON to portland, MAINE. i about dropped to my knees when i heard this. the way i met her was special as the tee shirt she had been screen printing simply reached out and grabbed me as i was working in my 2nd screen printing class. the design: there was tree and a bike. the tree is of signaficance to me because i spoke of 'my' tree last year. WOW. it was eery almost. a good thing i didn't read anything else into it as we all know that i'm a realist. it is what it is and the people that come into your life when they do can teach you profound things. slow down and listen.
because i'm very lucky to work with very generous people i will be able to provide her some of the paper that she will use to screenprint her message and make into postcards that she can send while she is on this ride. i keep thinking 'you are FREAKIN' crazy' to be doing this bike ride. yet i remind myself that we NEED to be 'FREAKN' crazy' to bring awareness to this. cheers to her!
the next, and while it was a very hard decision and really shouldn't have been...i filled out my paperwork to be an organ donor just yesterday. while it was a very personal decision, it was also meant to potentially give life to those in need. that is all i will say about that.
finally, in october, i will be doing my 2nd 'out of the darkness' walk to continue to raise awareness. when i did it last year in denver i thought it was way too soon to do it. and now, i wish october was tomorrow. i WILL press on. i will live life daily. and i WILL work to make it better for those around me. if you feel so inclined to make a donation, it is much appreciated.
HUGE thanks for making it all the way to the end. ask yourself, what are you doing to make a difference in YOUR life or in the life of others. suicide might be a taboo topic but it's time to do something 'FREAKIN' CRAZY' and discuss openly, bring awareness, etc. you might just be able to save a LIFE. even your own.
thank you for your continued support and kindess.