“There’s a difference between wanting to die and not wanting to live… Wanting to die is an active stance, an offensive play.  It involves planning, consideration. Not wanting to live is a passive play.  And a passive play as opposed to a defensive play.  Even a defensive play is more bold. Not wanting to live is simply a retreat.” – Asha Bendele, The Prisoner’s Wife

The first time I read that book was in 2001 after a childhood sweetheart, who became one of my closest friends, was murdered. It was powerful and life changing.   I had not contemplated suicide. However, the pain was so intense, so hard to digest. I remember it like it was yesterday – days that I didn’t want to live.  I wanted a time out.  I wanted to PAUSE – for real.  I wanted to crawl into a corner and hide from everyone and everything.  I was drowning in insurmountable grief.  Deep down inside I was confident I could swim. I was tired and no longer wanted to tread water to keep afloat. I wanted to stop for a little while, catch my breath and let the wave of pain run over me. Honestly, there may have been a few days when I stopped living, but my heart was beating.

I had a dream about him in December. It was so real. In the dream, I kept telling his mother that I was going to speak to him later. I was insistent.  Almost like the voice of reason in my dream, she kept saying, “Yes, but when is the last time you spoke to him. PSM, when was the last time you actually spoke to him.” And then reality hit me in my dream – hard. He is dead.  I sobbed in my dream with such intensity that I woke myself up.  I was literally weeping in my sleep. And when I awoke, I didn’t stop.  I laid there and cried until I cried myself back to sleep.

It’s been almost eleven years since he was taken from us.  And I cannot say that it has gotten easier or that the pain subsided.  I just learned to live with it.

My circle of friends recently experienced a loss. A tragic death. A life cut short. Unexpected. And I believe that two of my friends and their families are trying to manage an unmanageable grief.  I won’t be audacious enough to assume their emotions. Days pass with deep thoughts of wanting to comfort them, but my inner voice scares me into thinking I’ll say to much or too little. That’s when I pray for their continued strength, for their peace of mind and for serenity.

With a heavy heart and heavy mind…


XO ~


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