Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The Way It Is
THE WAY IT IS
There's a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time's unfolding.
You don't ever let go of the thread.
- William Stafford
I used to really believe this - that you must NEVER let go of the thread. Suicide was incomprehensible to me for any reason. That was the rule according to the cosmology of a very young Reya.
Later on in life, after I had heard about the suicides of people who were mortally ill, people who were never going to get better, after I had heard stories about seriously old, chronically ill people who took their own lives, my hard and strict rule loosened a bit. At that point, suicide seemed to me a more complicated affair. Under certain circumstances, it was OK.
Since my client committed suicide, I've been rethinking the above, very very carefully. He wasn't old and wasn't physically ill, but the guy was miserable, truly miserable. I've been asking myself, could his death have been avoided? Should we - his neighbors, friends and caretakers - have tried harder to keep him from taking his own life? What was our responsibility, and at what point was his situation no longer in our hands? Was it EVER in our hands?
I walked around for an hour after work yesterday shaking Eduardo, my glow-in-the-dark skull rattle, rattling, rattling ... and walking ... and thinking ... and rattling. When I get into a mode like that people cross the street to avoid me - my energy must be so weird.
I was thinking about the idea that the soul is lost when someone commits suicide, asking myself do I believe that? Definitely not. I used to think that after suicide, on the other side of the veil, there was some kind of rectifying that had to take place. I believed suicide affected a person's karma. My thoughts on it were vague, true enough, but I felt there had to be consequences.
Yesterday I remembered that in certain cultures, taking one's life is an act of honor, of bravery even. And, too, the God I worship doesn't judge us. My sense is that after death, if God had a personna (something I don't believe), but if He did, after death, no matter what kind of death it was, He would simply say, "Oh. You're done? C'mon into the light honey. Welcome home." The God I worship is eternally and infinitely compassionate and forgiving.
What do you think about suicide? Any theories you can offer?
In many ways I am grateful to my client for giving me so much grist for the mill of my thoughts. Clearly I am still in shock, but beginning to process the reality that he is gone. A neighbor told me yesterday that there will be a memorial for him at Eastern Market. He was a gentle soul, terribly unhappy in his body. I believe he's in a better place now, I really do. When I tune in to his vibration what I feel is bliss, ecstacy and relief. For those of us still living it is not so pleasant. And that's the way it is. I guess.