Suicide is like shattered glass. A life taken sprays out like small pieces of glass hiding in corners and cutting the people closet to the scene of the crime. You can clean up the large pieces and bury them but there are always small shards of glass that hide in the crevasses and cut through the heart of the people left behind. My mother has the wounds, buried deep in her skin from the carnage left behind from her mother’s suicide. Little shards of glass burrowed deep in her skin. As a child I wanted to uncover these hidden pieces of glass and dig them out. I wanted to heal her wounds with the life that was here, a new sparkling piece of glass. Me. What I didn’t know was that pieces of glass had penetrated time and were also imbedded in my skin. Suicide is a legacy that is left behind for the future generations to clean up… or live up to. Like was the case with my older brother. In the face of depression suicide looks like a salve to end the soul wounds. But it doesn’t, not for everyone. It is left for the survivors to clean up the mess.
I am grateful that my mother did not take the easy way out. That she has survived in the face of deep depression. She was not able to take her life at the expense of her children. She is still here.
I did uncover a lot of the pieces that were left behind. The unanswered questions of my youth have been uncovered, but the scars are still there. For her. For me.
I am grateful for the life I have, for the life of my mother and the birth of my daughter. I wrestle with the knowledge of my grandmother and how to tell my daughter. To let her know that Mommy’s die. That Mommy’s can leave. But how do I tell her our legacy without it creating fear in her soul? I do not want the cuts of glass that I have been picking out of my skin to cut her. But I cannot deny our history. Did Minnie know this when she took her own life? Did she know that that one moment would be the defining impact on her youngest daughter’s life and that 50 years later her Grand daughter would be wresting with that cloud of pain and how to tell her Great Grand daughter?
I wonder where she went when she died? She didn’t stay around. My mother has never felt her and the clairvoyants I have met do not feel her. But I felt her as a child. I felt she was watching over me. I had a pure concept of death and life after death. I was not afraid to die. I knew that when I died I would see the generations of people that came before me. But I was excited about life and meeting all the souls who were living. I knew that one day I would die and then be able to meet with the souls that had been on this plane before me. I felt them and gave thanks to them. I have always believed in reincarnation. Even before I knew what it meant. I felt like I had been alive before but had existed in the spirit world for a long time and was excited to experience the physical aspect of being alive. I loved to eat, dance, love and talk. I greeted the day with a smile on my face and a pep in my step as the anticipation of the experiences and the people I would encounter filled my being.
I wanted to get to know the world and all the people in it. I would walk around my neighborhood introducing myself and make new friends. I loved the elderly as they always had great stories and a desire to share them. I loved their stories and I loved them for sharing their lives with me. I dreamt of what my life would become. Who was I supposed to marry?? This really bothered me as family; my parents were such a huge part of my identity that I couldn’t believe I didn’t know the name of the man I was supposed to marry. That this very important person in my life was unknown to me. I felt the weight of the importance of this person and t this day I look at my husband and am so grateful that he exists. That we exist. That our daughter Lily exists!! The torture that was a question mark is now the life force that sustains me.
I know my Grandparents had a great love affair. I know that love sustained Minnie and the disintegration of that marriage was a large part of why she no longer wanted to live. As a wife, I understand. As a mother, I do not.