This post came to me last week, and its truth and power is still seeping into me. Thank you, Amy Daniels for sharing your story so beautifully. You are a gem.
“My brother killed himself. He hung himself,” spoken in a room full of strangers. We were all grieving loss, but when these words entered the space, the silence hung in this thin place.
Suddenly cancer and old age and car wrecks seem considerate exits. Infant deaths, tragic. Losing your health, unfortunate. Losing a dog? Amateur.
“He was sick. Bipolar. He was my big brother. More like my father. He loved me. Protected me. I’m not sure what to do now. My life growing up was always circling around him in some way…the loss has me lost.” Careless comment crashed into silence, “I’ve know a couple people that killed themselves. Seems selfish to me. Or crazy. Maybe it’s better for everyone.”
Gasping for air. Filling with rage. How? How is this better?
Grief Recovery. The promise offered with best intent. The hanging. The hanging sagging silence is when I stopped talking much about the loss. My loss. It was easier to speak of children left without their father. Brothers now separated and severed. To pray for the walking lifeless left behind. We, the “suicide survivors”, went about life as usual. Marching out madness. Watching seasons change, children graduate, people laughing and thoughtless drones honking at us in traffic. The world was the same and altogether different. The walking wounded – all separate and together. In our sad and empty silence.
Mind unable to rest, release, reconcile. Suicide. My brother’s suicide. Choking for air. Limbs tingling. Lips numb. Strangled and tangled in the chaos of a mind trapped in an endless loop of nothingness. Soley existing. Each morning awash with grief. Another form of grief recovery? Unwelcome rebounds. Ecstasy tortured. Sadness heightened.
More medication to anesthetize. “This will just help you get through…” doctor spoke. Through what? I was through. Torn through.
Was he my reason for living, for existing?
Breathing. I hate breathing. It hurts.
Locked inside. Locked behind closed doors to keep me safe. Safe from harm? Or safe from self? Or have I made this the same?
Crazy “hallelujah” lady screams in the hall.
Is she ushering in my healing? Praising the Lord for my arrival into this all too familiar space? Unaware of my misery, trapped in her own. She wanders by and stares with her empty eyes that speak volumes.
Manic madness LOUD. Reminders of this man. This larger than life, now lifeless. This brother now underground.
I must run! My heart races before me. My brother! This was his world, not mine! So many years spent within walls like these. How have I entered myself? I must find an exit. An exit from this nightmare.
No escape. Locked inside. Behind closed doors.
Pills. Salvation pills. Or the agents of death we’re warned?
Husband. Brother. Friend. All enter into my silence. They reach behind locked doors. They begin to untangle the mess. They cry. They breathe. They usher in my salvation. They believe. They whisper prayers behind their own locked doors and attempt to rescue me. By keeping me locked inside.
Silent screams, “How could you leave me here alone?! I can’t handle the memories. You’re killing me by forcing me to remember. To live in his world, not mine. I’m not crazy!”
Or am I?
They love. They believe. They pray. Hallelujah rising.
Ignored by agents of healing. Redemption is found in shared silence and small talk of fellow soul sufferers.
Truth. Raw blood soaked truth is spoken – splintered.
Misery. It shocks, frightens, maims.
We are alone.
We are safe.
We are all terrifyingly safe.
Reminders everywhere of why we are here.
Nothing to hang a towel on. Or self.
Cords cut and freed from clothing. We cover throats & gasp.
No photographs in glass. We glance at wrists now scarred.
No privacy. We are watched fully from hidden places.
We are altogether alone. Isolated in shared rooms.
We are learning to exist emotionless or risk more prescribed pills of salvation. We look at one another wondering…
Are you? Are you crazy? Am I?
Hallelujah hovering. Cold chill. Shiver.
Father God, are you here? Are you watching us too?
Husband. Brother. Friend. They tremble, frozen in fear. They fear for me while I fear I’m disappearing. Salvation pills turned serpent – forked tongue flicking with a hiss.
Crazy. Crazy. Disssssssssssappearing.
STOP. Heart racing on ahead. God loves me. He’s here. Salvation is His. Save me Lord Jesus. Hallelujah screams.
Husband turned healer. Brother’s embrace. Friend’s face.
Save me. I want life giving gulps of salvation down deep.
Silence, now speak. Emotion, now arise.
Face the demon of fear and reject him.
“No more pills for your salvation,” Savior whispers, “Speak out of your silence Beloved. Release the ties that bind. Feelings buried, beg to be rescued and unlocked.”
Beg to be rescued and unlocked.
Frenzied phone calls. Angry bursts. Silence, my comfortable companion, now secret serpent of death.
Speak. Scream. “HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!”
Rescue me Redeemer. Deliver me from this familiar fate. Inside. Locked inside. Life is found, outside. Above.
Death melts into earth. Locked. Buried.
Misery locks in. Choking me. Robbing me.
False promise of releasssssssssse.
Unlock me Lord Jesus. Lift my arms up to You.
You. You are my salvation.
Face lifted, tears fall, feelings flood.
The key to my salvation. Unlocks.