I'm sorry but I've got nothing simple, sweet, or funny to write tonight. You see, I just finished reading about one of our own who passed away (apparently by her own hand) on Christmas Eve -- Liquid Illuzion (aka Suzanne Horne). I learned about her death on Sandy Carlson's site and then followed the link to Cliff's site to read what happened.
I only knew her in passing, as she had only popped up on my radar a few months ago. I read her blog; she read mine. She was part of a whole other sector of the blogiverse that was largely untouched by me. She was a poet, a mom, an artist, a fellow Southerner, and a fellow blogger. She was also bipolar, I've learned.
I found this part of her profile particularly poignant - the random question:
When you open your eyes underwater, do you ever worry that you'll drown? Only if I am crying.Her sadness and potential for sadness is so obvious in that response now.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to hop on any wagon here. I truly wasn't as close to Suzanne as many others were, but I find that because she had the same disease that has invaded my own family so intimately, and because she died on Christmas Eve after posting a funny blog entry, and because she seemed to just be a great person, I can't get her out of my head. When a blogger passes, we all feel it. There is a great void, a wrinkle in the fabric of our existence that threatens our equilibrium. The last post hangs there in perpetuity. And yes, we grieve. We wonder what we could have done, what we could have said, to make the outcome different. In the end, we will never know.
One site about grief says this, that the survivors may feel:
- consumed by a need to find the meaning and reasons for the suicide
- an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the death
She isn't the first person I've met online who "disappeared." Another woman, Sheila Kathleen McBroom ("Beany"), who wrote the blog So Grateful to Be Mormon, disappeared on October 27. Her daughter made one post since then, and her friends, such as Tara over at If Mom Says OK, have spread the word. It's important to look out for each other, yes?
So here is a thought for you all. Do you have someone close to you with whom you could share your blog administration? In the event of something happening to you - whether it be a temporary debilitating event (e.g., heart attack, stroke) or your demise - could someone log on and let the community know? In this Internet age, it is just as important, I think, to plan for your virtual end as for your physical one.
One of the things I did for my husband after my close brush with death in February 2007 was to create an information sheet for him. At that time, I wasn't blogging here. I need to add my blog administration stuff to that sheet. Anyway, the sheet has all my vitals including the medications and dosages I'm on. You would be surprised how hard it is for your loved one (or even YOU!) to remember that stuff when you're in a crisis. My medical history in short form is also on that first sheet. On the other side is a list of my other loved ones and their phone numbers (though hubby has since programmed those into his cell phone). These are the people who should be notified if I should become very ill or ... well, you know.
Suzanne, I hope tonight you're in heaven, where it truly is Christmas every day. Be at peace, my friend.
Kathleen, wherever you are, I hope you are found, regardless of the outcome. The worst thing for your family has to be in not knowing what happened to you.
Love to you all...D
(see also Writing in Faith: Thoughts: Kill Yourself and I'll Feel Bad)