How She Lived

II’s on all of our minds right now, everyone who blogs has written about it in the past few days….It has taken those close to us;  the quiet, the confused, the hysterical, the sad.

Who do we know that carries sadness and hopelessness with them?  We don’t have to look far, but these things are for sure…It doesn’t look the same in everyone and it will always leave your loved ones crushed.

Just this week one of my children was the confidant of a classmate that was considering suicide.  Hours before we read the news of Robin Williams death, that child came to me asking if we should call 911. ” What can we do?  How do we help him? What if he does it and we could have helped?”  She had spent quite a while texting him things like, “You are important.  You were created for a purpose.  You are not a failure.   People do care about you.  This is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  He stopped responding to texts, he wasn’t picking up the phone.  We went to the internet to figure out where the child lived.  We had to do something…anything!  When she texted that we were going to call the police, he did respond and she let him know that if he didn’t go to his parents that night, then she would go to the resource officer at school the following day because he needed help beyond what she could offer.  Thankfully he did go to his parents that night and they are going to help him and find a professional that can help him also but unfortunately it doesn’t always end that way. 

Sometimes, the hopelessness doesn’t cry out.  It doesn’t send a text, it doesn’t pick up a phone, and it doesn’t confide in anyone. It leaves us all feeling helpless, confused, and ripped apart on the inside, often wondering how we could have been so oblivious.

Even after 27 years of living and grieving and wondering, my mom’s death by suicide still hurts.  It will never make sense.   I don’t know what goes on in other people’s heads, I’ve never felt pain or despair so deeply that I didn’t want to live but obviously many people do and we can’t deny their pain.

The hardest struggle I’ve had in my adult life with dealing with my momma’s death has been when and how to explain it to my children but I started laying a foundation early.  Long before they asked the question, “How did she die,” I had been filling their hearts with how she lived.  For some reason eight or nine seemed to be the time they were really ready for a complete answer to the question so I would explain through tears and hurt that to my knowledge the way she died was the only selfish choice I’d ever known her to make but that didn’t come until after I reminded them how she lived…

How she taught me to cook and make sweet tea, and I loved being in the kitchen with her…

How she would always drop things in the kitchen and that’s probably why I’m so clumsy.

How she would sing to me as I laid my head on her lap when I was  little and we were driving home from Charlotte to Mineral Springs late at night.

The way she loved for me to brush her hair and play with it on Thursday nights because she went to the beauty shop every Friday morning.

How we didn’t have that typical teenage girl/mom relationship.  We really did get along pretty well!

How she was so supportive, and even one time in middle school when I was too sick to cheer at a game, she went to the game to support our team!

 How she and I went to church together every Sunday and often picked up my grandmother on the way.

The way she would hum old hymns and songs throughout the day and live in a way that made me want to know Jesus.

The way she loved my daddy.

The ways that she was selfless and would help others.  She was gentle and thoughtful and eventhough she was very quiet, she always had kind words for people….

These are the important things.  This is how I would answer them when they asked how she died, I would always tell them how she lived.

Suicide is never the best option, it isn’t ever a good option.  Seek help if you are sad and depressed.  Don’t be embarrassed.  You were created for a purpose.  You are important.  People do care about you.  You are not a failure.  Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

One thought on “How She Lived

  1. Dear Alison,
    What a beautiful testimony to the life of your mother. Thank you for sharing so personally and humbly. I gained much wisdom from your insight on how to share the importance of how a person LIVED. Love you friend.

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