Monday, May 10, 2010


Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
                    Isaac Asimov

              I was introduced to suicide at a very early age. When I was three, my grandmother killed herself. I didn’t realize it then, but she was in a great amount of pain.  She’d had back pain since she was in high school, she had terrible arthritis, and she’d fallen down the stairs at our cabin in the mountains and had smashed up the whole left side of her body. She felt like she was a burden to our family.  For some reason she thought we’d be better off without her.  She was wrong.
                When Grandma died, our family shattered.  My aunt just stopped everything.  She stopped cleaning her house, and she stopped helping her kids. The stress was just too much.  My mom’s a fighter, and she showed it less, but it hurt her just as much. Maybe more.  My grandpa started dating three weeks after my grandma’s death.  He married barely seven months later.  Having a new woman in my grandma’s house was a constant reminder of the hole her passing created, and seemed to keep that hole open. We were given no time to heal.  Holidays had to be re-arranged because my grandpa’s new wife had her own children and when we did get together, it just didn’t feel the same. Grandpa seemed to think that life would go on without any changes, but everyone else saw that the changes were numerous and extremely sad.
                A few years after my grandma died, a close family friend had suicide enter her life when her brother killed himself.  At his viewing, she told me, “We just have to know that God loves us all, and sometimes, life just sucks.” I thought she put it perfectly.
                It’s been eleven years since Grandma’s death, and my family is just barely getting over it.  The family friend has found solace in being part of a suicide prevention group that works with teenagers. As for me, I feel as if I’ve learned an invaluable life lesson. Suicide is not worth the cost. It’s a “permanent solution to a temporary problem” and is not an answer but just another problem. I’ve seen the affects of suicide, and nothing could be worse. Families are devastated by the loss, and will never completely heal. No matter what, suicide is not the answer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Muted Colors

How simple we are
And we never change our ways
So very shallow

I just finished The Giver.  It's given me a new perspective on life... On living.

Everyone wanted to be safe, so they shut themselves away in a carefully controlled "community."  They wanted to shut out the pains of life, and in doing so, stopped really living.  Throughout the whole book I wondered what life would be like if that's what we had done. But... Isn't it?  Our lives are carefully controlled throughout most of our existence. Sure, we have some freedoms here and there, but most of our lives we're controlled by various things.  Our parents, our friends, society... We do what people expect us to do.  We do what is easiest.  Just like they did in the book, we've muted the colors of our world.  Perhaps not the physical colors, but most certainly everything else.  How many of us can say we have truly lived.  I would guess very few.  How many of us have done what we wanted instead of what is expected of us.  Again, very few.  Isn't it a bit sad?

It's interesting to me how people go about their lives.  I was people-watching today, and it was pretty fascinating.  Why do those people do the things they do?  Parents, friends, society...  We take the  easiest path, and in doing so, we mute the colors of our world.