January 31st, 2007

I was feeling low today, unsure why. Sometimes the subconscious works in mysterious ways. Out doing errands for my boss, I was stopped at a red light and let my eyes and mind wander a bit. To my right there was a paved path next to a store that led down to the train tracks and the bridge they rode beneath. And I thought of my cousin, L, who comitted suicide by laying on train tracks. She and I were a month apart in age and as children we were close. We spent summers in lakes in New Hampshire and playing with make-up and making up silly games. We grew apart as we grew older, but we'd still spend a day out, mother-daughter lunch, in the summer. About a year after I was hospitalized for depression, she was also. It was a bit more complicated for her, she was pregnant and it was not planned and she wasn't sure she wanted the baby. After coming out of the hospital she had decided she did in fact want the baby and things seemed to be looking up, until the baby inside her grew very ill and died. She had to wait out the remaining few weeks of her pregnancy and give birth to an already dead baby. I can't imagine the pain that must have wracked her body and mind to go through something so terrible, so tragic. I visited her in the hospital and we played a game of Uno; I kept letting her win. I'm not sure if she noticed. I brought her a sketchpad and watercolors in the hopes she could get some things out with art, but I don't think she was able to. She put them in the pile with her other gifts, stuffed animals and cards. There's really nothing to say, no advice to give in a situation like that. She came out of the hospital, was in therapy, seemed to be improving. Her boyfriend was planning to propose on Valentine's Day; he had a ring. A couple weeks before that could happen, she decided to end her life. She didn't leave a note. The confusion and sadness this left behind for her family is awful. She had always said that this was the way she would choose to go though. I don't know why. Such a violent choice, I think, but clearly her mind was clouded.

Painting/collage of summer memories with her, painted before she died.

When I got home from errands, I got an email from my cousin, her sister, about her. I'd forgotten, today is the anniversary of her death. I believe it's been five years today. I spoke at her funeral and read lyrics from one of her favorite songwriter's. She's buried next to her baby, Angel.

Lyrics from Angel:

Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance
for a break that would make it okay
there's always one reason
to feel not good enough
and it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
oh beautiful release
memory seeps from my veins
let me be empty
and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

  in the arms of an angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear
you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort there

14 Responses

I’m so sorry to hear what your cousin endured, and how in the end she couldn’t endure it anymore. Suicide is hell for those left behind. {{{HUGS}}} Leah.

What an incredibly touching post…even as you recount such a horrific experience, your words echo with beauty and grace, courage and strength! So happy to have come across your blog (by way of Finding Water). I will return soon…sending you peaceful feelings…

is that a Sarah McL. song? It sounds really familiar (one of Husband’s favorite singers) but I never knew the words except “in the arms of an angel”….I know your feelings of loss. I had a cousin who drank herself to death. She was 49 (I was 50 at the time). She spent time living with me growing up. And when she wasn’t living with me I was spending weekends with her on the Eastern Shore of Md. We were close, then not close, then close, then not close. Because of her I met my first husband, the birth father of my kids. I keep in touch with her kids – all grown, 1 on her path. She was incredibly talented, and lovely, and just couldn’t make it through. I’ve always thought: what a waste. I loved her a lot.

*hugs* I’m glad that she’s laying with her baby Angel… that seems fitting.

Bless you, Leah, and your departed cousin. May she rest in Peace with her little one… Warm Hugs for you ((((xXx))))

I hope you are at peace with yourself Leah – you are wonderfully in tune with the universe to pick up the anniversary subconsciously like this.

Hugs to you and love to you and to all she left behind xxx

I’m sitting here gently with you, listening to the music. Hugs, Jamie

Just the other day I was listening to elliot smith and thinking what pushes someone over the edge. the edge that seems so thin and frial sometimes. Why some and not others. Why not me (at times)?

I know there really are no answers to quesions like these. It really does not seem to all make sense.

But I do believe her spirit was somehow with you driving…maybe reminding you to live your life…FULL.

I wish I could offer comforting words and real hugs.
I am sending you some cyber ones ((((hugs)))


Thanks Leah, for sharing this. Such a sad story. And thank you for sharing the words from Angel.
May angels be with you.

isn’t it strange how the subconscious remembers? my thoughts and prayers are with you today and always.

I remember the day you wrote about it. And then we spoke on the phone, and you talked about how you felt. My heart ached when I read this post… That Sarah MacLachlan song always brings tears to my eyes. Holding you in a hug, my dear.

Oh My God! What a tradgedy, that’s just so heartbreaking. It must take your family great strength to sit with that sorrow. Your painting is beautiful, and so special because it holds so much more meaning now than it did when it was orignially painted.

Hugs to you, and L, her sister and Angel. .xxx.

Hi – this is the first time I’ve read your blog, but your post made me cry and I just wanted to say that you and both your cousins are in my prayers. Depression can be a dark, dark place. I hope she and Angel are at peace together.

Oh, Leah – I’m so sorry. Those sad anniversaries can catch you unaware. Sending you and your family peaceful, healing light and love. (((HUGS)))

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