Love is the whole thing, We are only pieces,
Love is the sea of no end,
We are a drop of it.
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.” –Mahatma Gandhi
My friend died.
Sue felt she could not longer cope with the rejection and loneliness of the world…and she took her own life. Sue died last November I do not know how to think about this…because she was in my life for three years. Each time I turn around in my house, I come upon something that was hers…a particular gift that she gave to me…a card that was lost and now found…her writing on letters…and then I think how I must have failed her.
I think about how she helped me build a closet in our basement…I think about how when my furnace did not work and she gave the serviceman the solution as to why…she was so knowledgeable! I think about how she helped me drive the distance from Wisconsin to Arkansas to help my daughter. She went above and beyond the call of friendship. Sue was there…and she would offer to help…always.
Sue did the same for the people in her neighborhood. She would help anyone in need. She never hesitated to listen to those who were rejected by others…the homeless–she would share her money with them immediately…the immigrant who had no friends…the old man at the corner bar who needed to tell his story. Sue would listen…and give people a little of her time….precious time…and the person would feel so happy that someone listened.
Sue was a talented photographer. She was brave and courageous and hung her work in the cafes in Madison. We did that together…and now the walls are empty.
But I could not go the distance…and we parted ways.
Then in and out of my life, with emails here, phone calls there, she moved far away…and went on with her life. Again…rejection. Sue did have determination and persistence—she persevered in always trying to belong. She was brought up Christian, then joined the Catholic Church, then their rejection did not help. Next, she sought Reiki and looked for healing there…and then also, someone rejected her. Next, she became a part of the Wiccan practice…there also…rejection.
I would listen to all of these rejections! How much can one person take? She gallantly tried ever so much! But the people…we the people did not respond…we were caught up in our own salvation…I was caught up in mine.
Then she met someone…I prayed it would work for them…then the news was not good. I do NOT blame the other person…I do NOT blame Sue. Some times things just do not click…I know we each fight for our survival…our happiness…our peace…sometimes it works to share this quest with others, sometimes not.
I hesitated…I did not know if I should or shouldn’t interfere…not that I thought I could change the relationship status, but I thought I might be able to catch her when it happened…so she would not give-up. I was afraid of where she might go with this …it was becoming critical…so I tried to reach her…emails went unanswered…phone calls not returned… I did not try hard enough.
Then it was too late.
Three months too late.
I found out on her birthday that she had ended her life three months earlier. I had gone to wish her a happy birthday on her facebook page — for some reason it never dawned on me to try to speak to her on that infamous site — because we always wrote emails or spoke on the phone. ..see…more excuses coming into my brain…then that day, my facebook reminded me that it was her birthday…so I went there…and then seeing a birthday remark by someone else flipped the switch on and made me realize that she was gone!
That day was a horrible day for me. I cried and cried…and still am crying for her loss and my stupidity. I had no one to comfort me. But I felt I deserved that bit of alienation…that loneliness…because did I not cause that for her?
All that she wanted was to be loved…to be accepted for who she was…she had suffered so much in her life. She was rejected by her family. She was threatened with losing her life by her ex-husband. She searched and searched for groups to belong…
I did not let her belong either.
I was a coward.
I must live with that thought of excluding her…forever.
Today, again I realize, how words are so important…words that are felt should be spoken with gentleness and kindness…with always good intent. What we say or do not say…the efforts that we make…or do not make…how much our individual speech and actions impact one another.
My prayer knows now that she is at peace and I speak to her…I call her name out to the universe…my prayer is also one of asking for forgiveness…for not being a stronger person…for not helping her when she needed me most…for not making her feel like she belonged.
I am NOT writing this for people to feel sorry for me, or to tell me “she would have done it anyway”…or to forgive myself…I am writing this to emphasize how important it is to act on our own intuition…to take the impulse and look at it seriously…I am writing this to say, I realize the impact of my words and my actions…and I take full responsibility for what I have done and not done…for what I have said and not said.
I only hope that I can be less judgmental and more loving…more compassionate and less distant.
I feel that so many of my WordPress followers are such good people. The more I read beyond the words of my fellow bloggers, the more I see the need for us to be there for each other. The more I realize that the presence and honesty of my fellow bloggers has sustained me through all of this. Some of you have lived through powerfully, painful moments in time…your courage is amazing. The more I see and listen…the more I know how we have to honor the water crystal in each of us…so the bubble does not burst!
Hummingbird you are free
Hummingbird you fly with a butterfly wing
life water sea
you swam with delight
YOU did your BEST
you fought with all of your might
YOU could not find rest
you were too beautiful for this world
and so I send this prayer
Ocean of Water bubbles impearled
cleanse us…purify us if you dare
help us to see each other
help us to listen
help us to love sister and brother
help us to glisten
To go beyond ourselves to each other in need
help us to return to our core
the TRUTH within is the seed
our wealthy store
let us let go of our sins and errors
and freely go to that treasure beneath our skin
water streaming down the river fare
not allowing a backspin
help us to go beyond our grief
and find relief
and do not offend
we are what we think
water cascading down the falls
free expression let us drink
water is part of us all
Water carry us home
Till we are one again
till LOVE becomes our foam
and sorrow has come to an end
- for the most gentle of all souls…Susan McIntyre…Hummingbird (johannisthinking.com)
The poem is beautiful, Jane. The rest is just heartbreaking. I too had a friend who has tried to kill herself, twice. I could stop her the first time, but not the seccond time. She did survive, but she will never completly heal. Your poem just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this. Take care, sweet Jane. ❤
thank you, Patty, for your kind words…yes, it is so difficult to lose those we love…her death has made me see how important to always be our best for one another…it was difficult to write…but it freed my grief more…and everyone’s comments have been a blessing to my soul…
This is a powerful tribute to your friend Sue. You are brave, though you may not think this, to allow yourself to be so transparent about your role in her life. Her struggle was my struggle, and I could relate at every stage. I am sorry that in the end she was too tired to persevere. I too have been there, and but for the Grace of God, there might I be.
I can only say to those who read your account and are similarly suffering, that if they can but hold on there is light at the end of the tunnel. My coworkers used to call me Job because of my struggles and betrayals both in childhood and as an adult. But, I refused to accept that moniker and pushed ahead and pushed through.
I hope this post will encourage others and perhaps give them the strength to live another day.
~ Ayanna Nahmias
thank you for your words…I think your comment will help many…yes, hold on to the “light at the end of the tunnel”…i am sorry for all that you have suffered…gentle hugs to you! I feel Sue gave it her best and I know she rests with the God of LOVE and in peaceful LIGHT—God understands! thank you, again, for your words!
Oh dear Jane, I am so sorry for your loss! I lost my best friend 2 years ago and I miss her terribly. She too battled many, many rejection issues, addiction, cancer, abuse. We cannot accept responsibility for others lives. It is their destiny. I too have many regrets, but I have accepted the fact that we are masters of our own destiny. It is too much to ask anyone to accept responsibility for someone else’s happiness. Be gentle with yourself! Lots of hugs and much love dear friend.
dear Tersia, thank you for your gentle words…yes, we choose who we are…still, it is difficult…but each day i believe more that she is cradled in God’s LOVE….the Divine Love is the only place our hearts ever find rest….
Death is always hardest on the living, Jane. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve lost more than one friend to suicide and know how devastated you must be.
Thank you, Judy, for your empathy and I extend the same to you! I guess it just is a loss that will always be a in our hearts. It has made me more conscious of how important it is to use right speech, right thought, right action…I have found peace in the Mindfulness Center in Milwaukee. The writings of Thich Nhat Hahn, a Buddhist monk, Vietnamese, and who lives in Plum Community in southern France, have inspired me so and have brought me much peace. The meditation at the center has helped me immensely.
I am glad that you got your thoughts out and written. Thye brought tears to my eyes and heart as I think of Sue whom I never met but mostly thought of you and how her suicide hurt you. But you have such infinite capacity to heal it seems. But this is a lesson to every one of us–if someone calls out, listen and do what you can. Be In touch with your friends often.
I have been blessed with good friends, like you! …If I did not have friends, I would be in the same boat…it is the LOVE that surrounds me that keeps me going…I truly believe we are born in LOVE—but so much in the world tries to destroy the crystals—however, there is much good as well and we just need to keep reminding each other… I work very hard at staying in my center…and do not always succeed…we all need each other in this world!
Jane, that was a touching tribute to your friend. Suicide can often appear to be the easy way out but Sue struggling through the years and all those rejections demonstrates how much strength she had.
If some people in our lives are taken from us too early then maybe there is a reason. A tragedy has led you to write this and in doing so you may just save other ‘Sue’s’ from heading down the same path. You should take some consolation from that and allow yourself to look back on your friendship for the right reasons. If I was Sue, that’s what I would want you to do.
you are so kind…yes, “look back on the friendship for the right reasons”…yes…and you are so correct, she was a very strong person to have gone forward all the times that she did…thank you, Steven!
This is a very beautiful tribute to your friend Sue, I am sure she smiles down and is pleased that you were both such good friends in life. I am touched by your thoughts to not being able to find words, just wanted to say you must be a great person to express this love and friendship for another.
thank you…and when I read your thoughts, I said to myself, YES, I must remember the good moments about our lives together…thank you!
Thank you again Jane for your beautiful words. You are very brave to
speak so clearly from your heart. May you find peace
each day is a new day….each new friend is a blessing to my life..YOU are one of those…it has helped me to put it out there in the universe…and the words of so many has helped me…thank you!
A new friend of mine, wrote the following to me regarding this piece…it helped me so much, and so I asked her if I could post her thoughts. Happily, she agreed:
Have just read – and re-read – “Sue’s Suicide”.
Sadness indeed, but we cannot accept responsibility OR credit for other lives, regrets OR happinesses. Nor can we live in the shadow of other’s lives and regrets. Oh, would it be – that we could snap our fingers and make it right – much like a Spider Man bandaid!
Be kind to yourself, my new friend….or as your Bubble Piece strongly suggests: LIVE LOVE….yourself!
Stay the course, Janie!
I can feel the pain in this a lot. A LOT.
Funny how you were going to Facebook the happy birthday – but it’s common to do, so very common. Not just you. Not your fault. I don’t belong to any groups, I don’t have a social life, I am very sole and do not have any close connections. It is very common. I hope you are okay now, feel okay now. And may she in peace, rest.
thank you for your words…I am sure Sue is in peace…the God of Love is LOVE after all…non-judgmental, like we humans tend to be….thank you…and I wish you well!
This is the post I left hanging when I say your Sunshine Award. I am lost for words but I can only pray for you and others that may the light shine and bring faith, hope and charity to all. God Bless you, Jane.
Perpetua aka Seeker.
I know Sue is in the LIGHT …the world –we–caused too much suffering for her…more than she could sustain…I know God, however you conceive God to be, understood and is holding Sue with compassion…and us…too
Thank you for sharing this with us. Your naked honesty, I’m sure can help us all to see where we have disappointed, offended, even rejected someone and then find ourselves rejected and then suffer the pang of guilt and remorse. True, we are all in this “bubble” of life together, and we should all be a ‘ttle kinder to one another.’
God is Love…and Sue is with God…we are here to continue loving
Dear Sheri, Thank you…I am hoping Sue is reading it from the space she is in now…in the LOVE of God…each time someone responds to this post…of course, Sue returns to me…each time…more healing comes forth…and I think you, and each person who has given me of their time to respond…helps to heal me…and reaffirms in me…that Sue is indeed at peace now…and that she forgives me…for whatever I lacked in giving to her in love…still…tears
Never blame yourself. We are not God and we cannot control that dark and deep place of despair they allow their minds to travel.
Sue’s spirit is alive and well. It is a teacher for you. For others. For us who did not know her. We all have “Sue’s” in our life. It takes courage to own what is yours. It takes love to forgive yourself and learn. Words bring no comfort from strangers… If you are so inclined, please accept two tokens of written peace as you journey onward. Blessings to you today and always:
This is a heart breaking story-I am so sorry. I lost my 15 year old son-he was just playing baseball and collapsed. It ruined my life , my health, so much. I am touched and so sorry for your loss. beebeesworld
my dear friend, I cannot imagine what it is like to lose your own child…My parents lost their two oldest children…my brother, Roger, at the age of 19=-he was in the USAForce and the plane blew up midair over Iceland…no recoveries…and then the second oldest died when he was 6, Bobby, from TB. There were 9 more of us after they were born…but my parents always suffered their loss…it never went away. I know that is how it must be for you! You are a brave woman and a strong Mother and in your heart there will always be that space for your son. That is how it is with Mothers and Dads. I am so sorry for the tragic loss you experienced. So unexpected…so sudden…I believe there is a better life for us beyond here–and I know your son is bathed in LOVE. You are a love crystal and a Light Being as is reflected in your writing. Your warmth and love carries his power within you for all of us. Nevertheless, there is always sorrow and suffering…I wish you peace and consolation, dear friend! Thank you for stopping by to share a memory so deep and personal to you!
I am so sorry for your loss…my heart goes out to you…i feel your pain…we have to believe that your son is with LOVE…with GOD…i know it is hard…life is a series of comings and goings…yet…the river is constant…LOVE is ETERNAL….it is so hard to lose the ones we love…
it is very difficult when those who touch our lives leave us standing in that unknown space so full of questions, doubts, mixed emotions…i am sorry for your loss. my☼sunHUGS to you and hope peace flows abundantly to all those affected by Sue’s decision. ♥
thank you for sharing.
thank you, Sunshine, for your “SUNhugs!”…for your kind thoughts and understanding…I can only think the emotional pain was too much for Sue…Sue was a great person with a very loving heart–if only she would have known how much we loved her!
…we humans are rather complicated at times…you did what you thought best at the time. ♥