Thursday, October 23, 2014


I know a handful of people who chose not to breathe anymore. Today I honor them and the choice each on of us has to live or to die.

Suicide is seen in many circles as a death so horrible it can't even be spoken of. In each of my experiences whether family members, friends, or a friend's family member, the same comments and questions come up following a suicide:

  • It can't be so.
  • Who's to blame?
  • Why?
  • What could have I done different?
  • Didn't he/she know how much we love her/him?
We don't get the answers and what I found for myself is that I was asking the wrong questions. How I've reconciled the intentional deaths of people I know is that they simply chose not to be here. Am I sad and is death sad? Yes. Absolutely. Did I morn and remember them? Yes. Did I berate or was I angry about their choice? No. Their work was finished and they were ready to move on. By their own hand, someone else's, or accident, the work was done and it was time to move on.

Waking up and breathing through the day is a choice. I can honor those choices without knowing the whys.

How do I recommend moving through someone else's personal death choice?

  • Don't take it so personally. It's not about you
  • Stop rubber-necking, it's not your party
  • Raise awareness, not tragedy
  • Respect choice--your choice and other people's choice
  • Hugs, sharing remembrances, and lots of tears

How you choose breath over death when you wake up each day? How do you honor the folks in your circles that chose the time of their deaths?


I woke up breathing this morning
Breathing is a choice, you know
I could chose to stop--
Stop pushing air in and out of these lungs
By my hand, by my will, this breath could stop

I woke in the darkness to dripping coughs
in the next room that set my teeth snapping hard together
when the light breaks I could leave that child
by the road to the foxes and the deer of the dawn.
He knows better than to wander out in to the road
or to talk to strangers.

I could stop being a mother right now.
It's always a choice, you know.
For today I choose to move air. I make dinner, check homework,
listen intently, and step on the missed Lego of death.

As long as a still chest and this child of heart
hold the tingling pre-tears in my cheeks,
I wake
with grinning breath,
teeth on edge,
eyes dressed in last night's escaped tears
knowing my work here is not complete.

I'll can choose again tomorrow.