I was hospitalized recently. After 9 hours of tests, scans and lotsssss of morphine, it was determined that I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. (Didn’t even know I had a cyst.) (Also, didn’t know how painful a rupture could be! Answer: V.E.R.Y.) The experience left me dazed, dizzy and drunk, likely from the morphine. But weirdly enough, after feeling scared during a few points throughout the day, I left with a strange feeling of sadness that it wasn’t something worse.
I sat on this over the last week and went through a myriad of questions to understand why I felt that way. Did I want pity from people? Do I want to be a martyr? Why would I selfishly want for something worse? I’ve found my answer – I wanted to know what was next. What happens after this? What is the continuation of our human existence? I’m so excited to learn that answer that I felt impatient.
I have tried to commit suicide 3 times now. Each time, my life had been saved only by the grace of a higher power, and not by a mishap on my end. Fortunately, I have spent years in therapy, group sessions and additionally I have spent years mentoring and counseling young girls (and some boys) on depression and how to overcome childhood adversity. So my suicidal days are long behind me. Knowing this about myself, I was eager to learn why my curiosity for death came back, but in a new form.
I like the sentiment “I’d rather die 10 minutes early than 10 years too late,” but it doesn’t completely apply to how I feel. I am ready when the universe deems me ready. On my last attempt with suicide, I remember looking up at the sky in a nearly blacked-out state saying, “I get it, you win.” And I meant that 100%. I am powerless over my own death. The universe, God, my higher power, Mother Earth – the Architect – directed me down a challenging, beautiful, tragic, brilliant path and I am forever grateful for every day I wake. I am also grateful for my abnormal and unexpected desire to understand death as it’s enabled me to live with no fear. My fearlessness and resilience are two of my favorite attributes of myself.
I wrote a post last year, “Accepting Death & Being Rewarded with Life,” where I talk about the bliss of owning your own life and no longer being beholden to your death. I encourage all who read this to try contemplating their own death for a little bit to see what fears, notions, and stirrings come up. Only when we ask questions and seek answers will we know the depths of ourselves. Stay curious my friends.
(I wrote this poem two days after my hospital stay.)
Please don’t forget.
I know your memory flickers like an old tallow candle.
A strong, vibrant burn.
Pure without smoke, but with one clever gust –
Longing to light a room once more.
But don’t forget this one.
Delicate caresses from tender hands.
Dizzying, drunken cells excited, heated,
Fireflies born between them.
Please don’t forget.
A tear fell from your left eye as a strand of your curled strawberry hair was tucked gently behind your ever-eager and listening ear.
You were frightened but he was there.
Allowing a soft brush alongside the curve of your cheek and down the jaw,
Eyes meeting only briefly in the dimly lit 3am apartment.
Recall, be certain, do not alter this one.
Comforted by your ancestry, affectionate solicitude.
His fountain streaming into your blood and circulating through thoughts and daydreams.
Never waking, forever wanting,
Another foggy ocean night.
Please don’t forget the harmonies of your heartbeats, the rhythm and pulse, raising and lowering your heavy head upon his sleepy chest.
His hand lowered slowly,
Drifting, drifting, drifting…
Dreaming of his moonlit ballerina in the sand.
His eyes, his hands, his thoughts pulling you in, holding at a distance.
Unrequited or not, the sky is twinkling with his songs,
And your hands are filled with stars.
The dance, the kindness, the faithful hearts that are never to be misjudged.
Too true the intentions to have standoffish defenses –
Love is a flower and he is your garden.
Thankful and enraptured that you’re allowed to love him
But whatever you do,
Don’t forget –
This is a sober love.
One without surrender,
The kind that is forever patient and requiring protection.
Like your slow-burning memory and its glass hurricane against the harsh winter winds.