I am fortunate enough to know many of my cousins on my Mom’s side of the family. I know and I consider myself close to my Aunts, Uncles, 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, etc. Before dying, my Great Aunts, Great Uncles, and Grand Parents were part of my life, too.
FYI: In case you are following my journey, know that this post is unrelated to my journey posts.
This is a post about what I realize is one of the many reasons I write: Alzheimer’s disease. Well, I’m not writing about Alzheimer’s, rather I am writing about why I want to document my thoughts and experiences about life. In the future, should I be diagnosed with a memory stealing disease like Alzheimer’s, I want my kids to know what I thought about friends, family and life. I want my kids to know I loved them. (And, I’m okay with them finding out what annoyed me.)
I started writing this post several weeks ago. I was inspired by at story I watched on CBS Sunday Morning, ‘Jan’s Story‘. Because I was afraid many would find the post too depressing, I held off making it public. However, because of some news I received today, I have decided to publish this post.
What news did I receive, you ask? I know, you didn’t ask, but I am going to share some of it with you, nonetheless. A friend of my nephew was murdered yesterday. Her life was taken away by her Mom, who then turned the gun on herself. My nephew is grieving. This 19yr old was murdered by her Mom, and then her Mom committed suicide. Her Mom committed suicide. Suicide.
I’ve considered suicide. I have seriously considered suicide. I’ve planned suicide. I know what it is like to be in the black hole that is all encompassing. I know what it feels like to believe wholeheartedly there is no way out but death. And, by the grace of God (and the support of friends and family), I held on to my life; I found my way out of the black hole.
Because I am alive today, I can look back and recall very recent memories of laughing fits that left me with a belly ache. I can recall recent warm fuzzies where Joe and Charlie gave me ‘around the neck’ hugs. And, I can remember many nights this Summer, helping Joe and Charlie catch fireflies. These precious moments were inconceivable to me, while in the depths of despair; but, because I faced the black hole, I was left to live in the light.
As I type, my youngest has a pillow propped up on my arm, and he is lying beside me watching a movie. Soon, I am going to give both him and his brother a bubble bath. We are together, and I am thankful I am still here to be with them.
I want my kids to know the good the bad and the ugly in life. I want them to know when they experience moments, hours, days or weeks that suck, there are more moments, hours, days and weeks that don’t suck. I want them to know that just because you yell at someone at the top of your lungs, it doesn’t wipe away the intense love you feel for the person. And, in case I am not around, mentally, to tell them my take on all of the above, they can read about my thoughts and experiences.
Regardless of how it happens, death will find me. However, death will not find me by my own hand. Suicide is not the answer. Suicide is not the answer. Suicide is not the answer. Yes. Sometimes it is pitch black. Sometimes death seems the only way out. I get that. I completely get that. But it is wrong. Death is not the only way out. It is not. Someone will lend you a hand. Someone will hold your hand as long as it takes and as often as it takes to keep you going. Just reach out. I will hold your hand. Even though I don’t know you.
Do not commit suicide. You will hurt more people by leaving than you will by staying. Killing yourself will do more harm than good. Suicide is a cruel and selfish act. You are not cruel. You are not selfish. Do not do it.
Going back to Alzheimer’s, my hope is that I recognize and don’t forget who my loved ones are as death approaches. But, just in case, Joe and Charlie, whether or not I remember your face, your name or your role in my life, I don’t want you to ever forget that I love you. You will always be in my heart, even if my head forgets.
P.S. Remember Joe and Charlie, do NOT commit suicide. Reach out. A hand will be extended and willing to help.