Monday, December 29, 2008

Shooting Star

8/13/66 - 12/24/08

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
I hope that her family is getting some professional help in these difficult days. The worst, unfortunately, is yet to come.

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)


Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Wow that was very sad and poignant D!

Having had my own episodes this really touched me and has pricked my own radar as this time of year is not my best historically.

Depression like several other mental/addictive illnesses are very hard on family and friends as they often don't notice the changes occurring, there aren't often any signs or indications and definitely no answers to be is so sad.

thanks for posting this.

Saz x

74WIXYgrad said...

You cannot take any suicide talk for granted. I went through a time with my son last winter where he nonchalantly told the emergency room doctor that he wanted to kill himself. He spent a week in a behavioral health center where he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He is now going through treatment.

I, myself, spent 36 hours in the psych ward of the hospital because I told my wife during an argument that I should get a gun and put it in my mouth. It was stupid, I didn't mean it, but it started bothering me. I called the advice nurse and told her, then had my wife take me to the emergency room.

It scares me even more because I lost one of my closest friends on the internet unnecessarily.

Thank you for coming over to my blog, as I've been pouring my heart out this week.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Wow. What a terrible loss for her family. I have indeed thought about an info sheet for my spouse in the event something should happen to me. Maybe that will be my Januray/New Years resolution. Thanks for saying all of this.

SandyCarlson said...

You make an excellent suggestion, my friend. A loved one or blogger confidant should have our password and username in the event of a crisis or emergency. Our relationships exist in cyberspace, but they are real and meaningful and important.

Suzanne's passing has caused many of us to stop and think hard about the nature of love and life, I think. She gave us a gift.

Her post with the ice cube tied up in a bow troubled me when she posted it; I wondered if she was saying good-bye in some way. Hindsight is a wonderfully useless thing, eh?

We are here now. May we walk in love. God bless.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Wow. That's just so very sad. I haven't the words, but I can assure you that this is the shove I needed to put together an information sheet for myself.

Much love, hon.

tysdaddy said...

I keep such a sheet stored on my computer, backed up to HD, just in case. I try to keep it updated, so thanks for the reminder.

Sad . . .

the walking man said...

I really do not have many words today.
Just a lot of feelings.

Winter is a time for seeking refuge,
for our mind, body and spirit.

But I refuse.

There are lots of changes going on inside of me
and I feel like I am jumping off into the deep end
without my "floaties" on.

Yet, at the same time, I feel my power welling up inside of me
and I am in search of the tallest cliff imaginable so that even
in the moment where I need to be still and grow,
I am taking action and standing up for my self.

So, today I just feel like putting on my swimming suit,
and plunging into the water from heights I've never been before.


Suzanne Horne


Akelamalu said...

That is just so tragic. :(

I only recently discovered Susanne's blog so didn't know her well at all but nevertheless I feel touched by the loss of a fellow blogger.

Moannie said...

Wise words indeed, and something I was thinking about as I dropped off to sleep last night; i should not like to just drop off the radar of Blogland...FFF would tell for me I'm sure. What a sad tale. there is always a quiver of unease tucked away in the corners of my mind...I think I am the only member of my family not touched by the depressive gene.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

Happy new year!

Please Pop over to my new years eve may like it...

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

So poignant Doris!
I was so very sad to read about the passing of such a young and beautiful woman. Even though I never knew her or her blog I feel terribly sad for her and her family, just terrible... nobody deserves to end their life in any way.

I can relate to depression so much as I suffered terribly from it for a couple of years 13 years ago when I survived a 3 day abduction by an ex-partner. It was truly horrendous.
I managed to escape and the police told me that I was lucky as his intention was to kill me. This shook me to the core and as yet I haven't had the courage to re-visit that time and share my story with anyone, maybe one day I will put the nightmares behind me.

A Very Happy New Year for you and your family dear friend! I am so thankful in finding you and your blog this year!
Here's wishing you a wonderful 2009!
Donnie X

Cloudia said...

Well said friend!
This is not the first time that you have touched me (and so many others!) deeply. We love you and value this friendship that you describe so well in your post. you are doing more, touching msny more, than you think. Best Wushes to YOU! Warm Aloha-

Maggie May said...

D..... I have only just read this post and am naturally sad that this happened just before Christmas. Bad enough at any time, but this will be difficult for the family every year now, right on Christmas.
You already know I lost one good friend through suicide and from a completely selfish point of view, I am glad I hadn't built up a blog relationship with this lady.
I assume that my son would notify everyone if I became unable to blog.

Mental P Mama said...

Wow. So, so sad. And more pain than a family should have to endure. It is an insidious disease. Prayers to her family.

Deb said...

Well. I am not sure what to say. I was a follower to Suzanne's blog - and am deeply saddened and confused. I am sending out prayers to all, for all. This is a time of reflection. Sending warm wishes your way.

Ruth D~ said...

Poignant, D. Sad and sadly it happens to more than we'll know. Thoughtful post.

Daryl said...

Someone else emailed me about this loss .. he was sad and concerned and not sure to post about it or not.. I am glad you did.

Suicide is a horrible thing .. I feel so sad for her family and friends. I hope they find comfort.

Thank you, Doris .. peace


Mojo said...

The sad and uncertain about whether to post guy Daryl mentioned was me. Uncertain because I had really only met Suzanne recently and didn't know her that well. What could I really say that would have any meaning?

In the end, though, I did post about it because of another post on another blog about a completely different person and a fairly different topic. In that post, the author mentioned marking the date, remembering those who have passed, letting the world know that this person was here and that she mattered and now she's gone.

And finally, I decided to post because I don't think it was necessary to know Suzanne well to love her well. She was the kind you instinctively liked from the moment you met her I think. At least she was the kind I instinctively liked.

It's important to keep the names of our lost ones alive among us. More important to let those we care about know that we care before the opportunity is taken away from us. If there's anything good to come from Suzanne's passing, that lesson is it.

She was a beautiful human being, and still is a beautiful spirit wherever she is.

Thanks for remembering her here.

Hilary said...

Doris, I'm so sorry for the loss of your online friend. I am unfamiliar with her blog but can imagine the heartbreak you must feel. Your suggestion is a good one. I've updated email lists occasionally, but never really thought about blog admin rights. Good suggestion. Hugs to you.

Mary Moore said...

I just today found out about Suzanne's death as well. So very very sad.

I love your idea about having a back-up blogging partner. VERY good idea.

rdl said...

good idea, i've thought about your idea before.
i'm still in shock about losing Suzanne.