Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Turning, turning

I've been up to my nostrils in stress. And I'm not sure the snorkeling is going so well.

A friend shot himself, attempting suicide, I guess. There are no notes, seemed to be no planning. It seems so f**cking random. And stupid. And tragic. I am hurting from this one.

The bullet fragmented in his brain, doing significant damage. But the body lives on. His family decided to remove him from machinery, and this afternoon that was done. I was with him, and them.

But the body lives on. So often people think "pulling the plug" means someone dies instantly, as with unplugging the television. But it ain't that simple. He may go soon, or he may last for days. There is no way to know. (Though, my experience with stubborn people is that they continue to be stubborn, right up to the last. We'll see.)

The waiting is very draining and emotionally exhausting. Makes it difficult to focus on much else. If it were some tragic accident or some extenuating health issue, that's one thing. Those are tragic enough. But suicide.

For now, we have to set aside all the unanswered (and unknowable) questions and focus simply on being with him, and with God.

In the last month, I have had to move. I have traveled far to retrieve eldest child from college and tried to bolster her. (I fear she's near some kind of breakdown). I've been with 68 teenagers and several adults on a five day school trip; fun, but exhausting. i come home and have this difficult situation to deal with

I've had enough stress for a while. Please.


Java said...

Oh, dear. I'm so sorry about your friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones.

Anonymous said...

He was hurting. It has nothing to do with you, it does not invalidate his worth in life, his accomplishments, his love and experiences. I wish he had not died, but do not hold yourself accountable, and do not hate him either. I've been there; but for the grace of God, here am I.


Neil said...

One stressed out/worn out wreck to another, I'm thinking intensely how I can fulfil your "please." As usual, you and the girls and your friend are in my prayers.

Ur-spo said...

that is enough stress, to be sure
Remember caretakers need caretaking, and you will paradoxically be a better care taker if you first take care of yourself. This is not being selfish but being self ful

Lemuel said...

My thoughts and prayers go with you and with your friend's family. I offer them also for you and for your daughter.

None of us ever know fully the intense pain that someone else is going through. I have learned that well enough in my years.

It seems that the world is full of various intense stresses of late. Perhaps it is trying to remind us of how much we need each other.

Many hugs!

Bob Hamilton said...

You can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself. Don't let yourself be overwhelmed. I know that you have vast resources of care and devotion, but Urspo is right on the money--don't totally splay yourself out there for everyone else to the point of emptying of your soul. You need a break.

Joseph said...

Please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many during this very difficult time.

manxxman said...

Allow the peace of the holy spirit to wash over you in these toubled times. Accept offers of useful help from friends.....just as you would reach out the help someone in need.

Steven said...

And rarely does the suicidee realize the pain and harm he/she inflicts on the ones who care for or love her/him. Sometimes they think they are doing a favor when it is a terrible act to those who loved them. (((((Joe)))))

Birdie said...

On the recent anniversary of my father's suicide, I wrote from the perspective of 37 years later. If you are so inclined, you can find it here.It sounds like it's time for you to step back and detach for a few days if you can, to regain some emotional strength. Take care of yourself so that you can help your daughter. I am lifting you all in prayer, sweetheart.

A Troll At Sea said...


like Birdie, 37 years after a suicide touched my life, I still hurt, and struggle with all the impossible questions: could one of us have helped? etc, etc. That is only worse for those who counsel or often accompany families in such moments--there is no place for them [you?] to unload the hurt in turn.

My daughter too has struggled for many years with inner stresses of several kinds, and then had to tell herself that she wasn't angry at me for leaving and breaking up the family, because she believed in my reason for leaving.

It took her a long time to tell me that she had even been angry, which I of course had assumed from the first moment.

I remain enormously grateful for my children's love and support, but to me they are still children, and I feel like I am constantly giving the advice you have received as responses to this post.

Hang in there.
As the Psalms say, if it's bad now, it will all improve; wait and trust in the Lord.