My Thoughts

Lessons from the Grave

   Fri, March 12, 2010 - 11:29 PM
My aunt Ada Maria killed herself this Monday. She jumped from the George Washington Bridge around 11am in the morning, when most folks were busy at work or struggling to wake up. She lived a tormented life.
Do I think she had a right to do herself in because of pain. Honestly I don't know. I do know not everyone finds the good or blessings behind tragic moments nor do they ever develop the skills to see the beauty in life.

Many of us can't relate to the idea of terminating life, simply because we have the understanding and ability to recognize the beauty in the breathe of life. Yet amongst us, are friends and loved ones who secretly toy with the idea of doing themselves in, especially in the darkest hours of depression or simply feeling overwhelmed by life's never-ending pressures and strange obstacles.

There are times we get tired and completely buried in feelings despair. There are times when things get rough and thoughts creep in and make us wish we can change the channel into some happy land of no hassles or worries. But the fact is many are losing jobs, losing houses, and facing realities that are depleting our abilities to sometimes change the channel.

When I think of the number of reasons why a person would jump from a bridge, I can only imagine the pain being greater then the ability to keep trying. This thought then opens up the door to other thoughts, why do we face so much pain. In a simple thought I think of Buddhism and the idea that life is suffering. I realize that the reasons so many suffer is because they place so much value on things that were never meant to be permanently ours or even part of our reality. Job, apartments, relationships and even our life is on a time clock. Everything expires. Everything we had is on a loan.

I lost my job this month and then I lost my aunt. Ironically I got into the field of counseling as a result of dealing with people like my aunt. Unexplained behavior and suffering lead me to explore the human mind, which opened my path into psychology. And eventually working with addicts and other healing modalities.

As a child I always believe everything had a solution...but people like my aunt always confused me. I am still confused. My aunt's mental illness is still confusing . But throughout the year I can say, I have learned huge lessons. I can not fix others. I can only support them and be a guide when they are ready for guidance.

My personal lesson is to truly live life one breathe at a time. I realize if I don't meet certain goals or have certain things I crave, I am not failing my life. If I loss a job I haven't lost my skills or ability to obtain other jobs. The same thing holds true for relationships and other tangible and intangibles I cling on to.
The fact is I shall never loss my skills to do things to improve or achieve anything. However I learned that I need to keep my feelings in balance with my mind so one doesn't wash out the other. When my feelings cloud my thinking, I need to allow my feelings to be and run their course. Feeling do die naturally without the mental obsessive chatter that tends to fuel them. I also realize that feelings grow the more we attempt to fight or avoid them.
So here's how I feel. I am angry that my aunt didn't have the ability to change the channel since her mental illness was bigger then she was; I am sad she didn't see the beauty in life enough to hang around longer. I am relieved she is no longer suffering. I am upset my poor cousin has to endure all this pain. And I am grateful that I can feel intense feelings and rise above to a new cycle without allowing the feelings to completely dominate my life. Yes, I shall admit I am happy I didn’t have her life.

My aunt died this week so that some of us can learn to appreciate our lives more. I felt sorry for myself because I lost my job this month. But the fact is I had skills to get this job before and I still continue to have those skills. Meantime, my aunt never had the skills to do more with her life. She was a schizophrenic with a polysubstance abuse history that landed her in the hospital over 42 times in her life. She was a prostituted who’s face was torn with a knife from her ear to her mouth by her ex-husband/pimp. She then became a lesbian who never found true love, since her mental illness and addiction pre-occupied her days. She suffered a great deal and her ability to overcome her pain was not strong enough to make her live a peaceful life. Her main joy was her daughter, my cousin a wonderful soul who’s been amazing even as a child. My cousin inspired my aunt to remain sober for long periods throughout her life. At the end she lived in a community that kept her sober and safe for awhile. However, it was not enough.

I have been bitching about being broke. But my aunt was on SSI most of her life since she couldn't hold a job for long. She was a cab driver in the beginning, but as her life spun out of control due to drugs and mental illness, her skills for coping and creating balance were lessen. I’ve worked most of my life and the longest I have ever been unemployed was 6 months and it was by choice.

I complained about having bills, yet I've traveled the world and have done more them most. Today I am alive to continue to improve and be aunt doesn't have that option. Her death is my lesson to wake up and do.


add a comment
Sat, March 13, 2010 - 4:16 AM
I am reallu sorry
Sat, March 13, 2010 - 4:46 AM
If it means anything to you, it sounds to me like you are dealing with this in a healthy way.
That is all.
Sat, March 13, 2010 - 7:54 AM

looking back on the death of my friend Wendy, i have th
ese thoughts: "thank you for what you were able to give. i love you always, i release you, and may your spirit be healed."

i hope you find these thoughts helpfull.
Sat, March 13, 2010 - 8:12 AM
I am so sorry for your loss, sending lots of love and ((HUGS))
Sat, March 13, 2010 - 12:59 PM
Ro, so sorry to hear this sad news!

((((((RO)))))) I wish you luck with the job *do* have many's important to remind yourself.
Sat, March 13, 2010 - 4:32 PM
Her lifelong pain was a tragedy, but that doesn't make your loss (and your cousin's) any less. Blessings over your strength and weakness as you deal with this. I'm so sorry.
Sun, March 14, 2010 - 8:32 AM
Sorry to hear about your aunt. I know first hand how hard it can be as I had a friend how hung himself in his basement. I've often considered suicide myself, but the only thing that kept me hear was wondering who was going to take care of my cat Sam. Sam has passed on and I'm still hear. I consider the experience a test that's made me stronger. My prayers go out to you.
Sun, March 14, 2010 - 6:10 PM
My condolences

Thanks for sharing your interior life with us all. Your words are very profound and touching. This is a challenging time for many. May your aunt rest in peace.

be well and be blessed,

Sun, March 14, 2010 - 6:18 PM
Condolences, Ro
As someone who has himself been a quarter-inch trigger-pull away from a voluntary exit from this life, I know too well how personal pain and suffering can lead one to suicide. Thanks for writing such an eloquent piece about your aunt, and the meaning of her life and death. Prayers are going out for her and for your family.
Mon, March 15, 2010 - 10:03 AM
Thank you guys for all the wonderful comments
Mon, March 15, 2010 - 10:05 AM

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I can understand and my message is especially meant for those who think about attempts.

Big hugs
Mon, March 15, 2010 - 3:20 PM
my heart goes out to you in this time...

(thanks for sharing- i have to admit it has crossed my mind also...)
Thu, March 18, 2010 - 10:05 PM
Wed, March 24, 2010 - 12:40 PM
(((((ૐ Rev Ro)))))
Sat, April 10, 2010 - 6:01 AM
lessons from Pharaoh's dead body, we should consider about too
Wed, June 9, 2010 - 12:30 PM
you have my condolences.....
Sun, February 13, 2011 - 10:37 AM
let Her death be lesson for all of us
We feel bad even when our lifes are quite ok. Your aunt had to suffer alots of... Let the soil under her grave be an eiderdown for her (that a russiansaying, expression of pity, my mother is from the Former Coviet Union)...
Sat, May 28, 2011 - 6:24 AM
just a comment is sometimes all there is...
...loosing some-one you love sucks...oh yes indeed! YES Time can work its wonders..Its said.
...SO remember that time, she had that H U G H :) Smile on her shiney face!