March 29, 2006
Today is my mother's birthday. A strange day for me each year, because she died when I was nine.
Some years have gone by and I've totally forgotten until a few days later, and I look back with a mix of shame at forgetting and questioning that shame...because, well, if I didn't remember, that means something, right? But did it mean I didn't care or was still angry? Why note the birthday of someone who chose to die?
Other years, the day has crept up on me painfully, like the metaphorical thorn in the side of the Apostle Paul, a spiritual splinter that arrives in early March and digs deeper as the month grows older.
But this year, I waited for this day with expectation. I knew I would write about it in this blog. And I knew I would share the piece I wrote about her a few years ago called Sadness Breeds. I wrote it for many reasons...as an exploration of autobiographical circumstances; a writer's exercise; a layman's editorialized analysis of experience and perception; an emotional conduit to express the hurt of wounds I was surprised to find were still open; and as a therapeutic process to find a peace with it all. Writing Sadness Breeds was a way for me to process my thoughts and feeling and memories about the events of her death and review its affect on me, then and now. It was a way to admit awareness of the legacy she left me, and to both analyze and exorcise the demons that came with that legacy. It was a way to step out of the darkness I walked shrouded in for so many years, and embrace the light that is the freedom of forgiveness. And as someone who writes, it was a chance for me to share it all, and attempt to put the reader in my head in the hope that it could possibly help anyone who had experienced similar feelings.
And so I share it. This link will take you to a simple website where you can read it. Or you can download a .pdf file and read it or print it. I warn you, printed out on regular paper it is 29 pages long. One radio friend once read it at work (before she went on the air) and I don't suggest that.
I do not seek pity. I do not seek praise, for praise should be given to Him, because in Him I found forgiveness and through His strength was I able to forgive.
I welcome you to share it with anyone in your life if you feel so inclined. I intend to offer it for publication some day, so I will ask that if you pass it along, you do so respectfully. Yes, it is my experiences, but my hope is that it can grow beyond the focus of me, and that the concepts within it can help others (whether those afflicted with it or affected by it) better understand the power of depression, the impact of suicide, the haunting of its aftermath, and the supremacy of triumph over it.