Rubey August 2011

One of the most prized possessions that we have is our space. People are very protective of their space. This space is where people can be alone with their thoughts and dreams and do planning. We all need our own space and can be resentful when someone invades this space against our will. All people need their space and want it to be respected at all times. Teenagers especially are very vocal about their space and want everyone to respect this treasure. Homeless people carve out their space and want this to be respected since the homeless have very little possessions that they can call their own. When a person takes their life they do it in a very special place. Some people are very deliberate in where they end their life. For some a lot of planning goes into this act. The place where they end their life is very special to them. Most suicides occur at home because of the familiarity of the space. As we all know people who complete suicide do so as a result of the severe pain from mental illness. The pain has become so intolerable and so unbearable and that is the reason that someone goes to such drastic means as to end their life.

This is no small decision. Just for a moment think about the consequences of this act. From here on out there is no more living as it is experienced. For the suffering person this is a relief.

There is no more living with this piercing pain. For those of us who see the world with relatively healthy eyes we can’t fathom what could be so bad as to want to stop living. We know the world around us and we don’t want to end being a part of this world even though at times there are some very challenging situations. We love our lives and we know what we have and we do not know what awaits us as we cross the threshold of death. We much prefer to hold on to what we know and delay the experience of what lies beyond. That is not the case with those loved ones who are suffering such incredible pain. Anything is better than this intolerable pain. They might not give much thought as to what lies beyond this life. They have struggled long and hard with the pain and the vicissitudes of this life and they have run out of steam. They can’t take another minute of this pain and so they end their pain and with the ending of their pain comes the ending of their lives. I don’t want this to sound like it is very simple. It is not simple. It is very profound. The two most profound moments of our lives are when we are thrust into this world after the security of our Mother’s bodies for nine months and when we are thrust into the hereafter and experience whatever goes on there, if anything. Many, if not most of us, believe that there is something but what that “something” is has yet to be experienced and discovered.

Many survivors have to live through the horror of having found their loved one. This is a very traumatic experience and sight. Depending on the method that a loved one has used, the sight can be very grotesque and unsettling. It can take months or even years before this sight fades into the background. There can be many sleepless nights as a survivor is tortured by this sight and continually replays the scene. Other survivors are spared this awful sight so this is one less task to be mastered on the grief journey. Many survivors see the need to experience the place where their loved one ended their life. This is a very normal reaction in the grief process. Survivors want to see just what their loved one saw for the last time before they left this world. Others want to see if they can experience their loved one’s spirit. There can be a myriad of reasons why survivors want to see the place where their loved ones took their lives. There is nothing odd or strange about wanting to experience the site of the suicide.

My own opinion about the space where a loved took their life is that this space is very sacred. Why sacred? Precisely because this is the space where this loved one found peace and relief from the torturous aspect of their life. They were forever freed from the burdens and intolerable pain that they were experiencing at the moment of their death. They could not distinguish between those aspects of their lives that brought them some joy and pleasure and those aspects that brought them nothing but hopelessness and despair. Their lives were filled with complete turmoil and endless pain and this was going to be their plight for the rest of their lives. It was not going to get any better but in fact it was going to get worse – much worse.

With their death they are permanently freed from the travails and unspeakable pain that had engulfed them for a very long time. Those are the reasons that I look upon this space as very sacred. Those loved ones are no longer in pain and are finally freed from suffering of any kind. The only aspect of their lives that they could experience at the moment of their death was the pain. Any joy or pleasure was erased from their thoughts and memories and they are left with nothing but the dark hole of hopelessness. That is what mental illness can do and actually does to these tortured souls. With their death comes permanent relief from the torture of mental illness. That space becomes sacred because these loved ones can never again be hurt or feel the ravages of mental illness. They are healed permanently and can never be hurt again. That space is a constant reminder that a loved one has been permanently freed from pain. Survivors are left to suffer from the absence of this treasured person but hopefully are consoled by the fact that this person has finally been freed from pain and will never ever suffer again. Granted, they will never experience the joys that come with this life from family and friends and other loved ones but at the moment of their death they could see nothing but an endless stream of torture and despair. Never again will they suffer anything – ever.

As always, I want to assure each and every one of ourLOSS family members of my daily thoughts and prayers and I encourage each of you to do the same for each other –especially for those who have recently joined our family.

Keep On Keepin’ On,