No one wants to listen to someone expressing self-pity.  I was told yesterday, stop this self-pity.  That’s probably what promoted me to come to my blog site this  morning.  I have thoughts, feelings, and want to express them.  No one wants to hear them, no one I can think of.  But maybe there are some people who don’t mind hearing self-pity because they understand that it’s natural sometimes to feel self-pity and that it’s not necessarily a permanent disposition!  I feel enormous expectations, stress, and fear of failure and self doubt.  Sometimes I feel confident, but sometimes I feel bankrupt of any confidence.

I am a person of faith.  And yes, my faith makes a difference in my life.  But you know, when I’m drowning and feel overwhelmed with emotions that are threatening to consume my sanity, it’s hard to turn to God.  But it is precisely in these moments that God, if ever, could help me.  So many oxymorons in life.  In the moments when I need God, are exactly moments when I feel I can’t turn to God or forget that I have a God who cares about me!

So I write for myself, on this blog, hoping someone would read these words, but also that as I write them that I would hear the sound of my voice crying in the wilderness, and that hearing my words, would remind me of who I am.  Even when I feel utterly alone, yes, remember who I am.  That I am a child of God!!!

fear of losing memories of you

it’s been three weeks. Three long weeks considering how difficult and painful it has been not having you in this world. But time has also passed so fast considering it’s already been three weeks since you were freed from this world.

I fear losing memories of you, E. yesterday for the first time I heard of your death, I wasn’t experiencing constant heart break. By losing sadness that drowns me, am I losing you even more? I want to hold on to you, remember you in sadness and in joy, in pain and your unmatchable energy and enthusiasm for life.

you know, you brought the best in people because you believed in them; you believed that they could be good. with kids you could show them unconditional love. and yet it was unconditional love that felt to you to be out of reach for you to receive. only God could hold you in unconditional love that does not disappoint.

in someways we have all failed you, failed to see your internal turmoil, your vulnerability and your fragility. but a breathe of lovely beauty you were, not so much the resilient sturdy self you wanted to project.

E, you are safe now. the world cannot touch you where you are now. the love of your life, God, stands by you forever and an eternity, never letting you down or leaving you to be alone.

I miss you most

I miss you most in the mornings, E

morning after morning I picked you up and half awake, half asleep drove us to church

some people came to visit, they would come and go

but some of us were regulars because we needed God and we needed each other

Even when I could not even get out of bed rest of the day, I could wake up early for morning prayer meetings

on some days you and I would meet up again to study at a coffee shop, to eat together or run errands

you are so many years younger than me and I am so many older than you

but we connected and accepted each other

we understood that being lazy didn’t mean that we didn’t want to but that we couldn’t

so many times when I needed to be with somebody you were there for me

and I was there for you when you didn’t want to be alone but didn’t want to be with anyone

because with me who knew you already, you didn’t have to fake it

you could just be, without words, without pretending or covering up how you were feeling

i think you knew what you meant to me

i hope that you knew that just as you had a sister and friend in me who would not judge,

that I had a sister and friend who would always be there when you could

and now i miss you terribly

i thank God for you

and I thank God for taking care of you now in ways you need to be taken care of

your wounded spirit can rest in trusting care of God

I will try to find peace in that

I take comfort in knowing that God knows what it is like to lose a close friend to death

Jesus wept. the shortest verse in the Bible comforts me.

As Jesus wept for Lazarus, even though he would resurrect him,

and for his sisters Mary and Martha,

I weep for you now and for your sister and family.

your cousins, they are really all heart and soul.

eternal friendship, that’s what I hope for now

the woman she was

feature image from Mr Bum Bum’s Instagram

E was a great friend. she knew how to be there for a friend in need. I’ll never forget the time she came over to my apartment to “help” me with my laundry. I had loads and loads of laundry to do. I had no energy or motivation. she came over for moral support but it was me who offered her company as she did my laundry. this was during a time when I was having a difficult time getting anything done. she was there for me. I’ll never forget her presence that comforted me. E, I miss you and will remember you for the joy and laughter we shared. God give E rest that she deserves and let her know her friends remaining in this world love her so much.

prayer for the living, the broken hearted – Psalm 34:18

photo by Wendy K-O

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18)

This is the verse that my friend E’s sister put on her e-mails to announce death of my friend E who took her own life. I found out on 12/18/14 but she was found dead on 12/17/14. Many of my friends from church were born on that date. E died on the birthday of many of her friends…

Is there ever a good time to take your own life?  I don’t think so. But perhaps before the holidays when you have to go home may be a good time as any.

Today, in a couple of hours, church service near me will start. I want to say that I am looking forward to going, to be comforted by God. But truth is, I am so brokenhearted. I am crushed in spirit. I look fine on the outside as my friend E did more than ever especially during the last few months of her life. I barely cry now, maybe only a tear or two filling up my eyes every now and then. But my heart, my heart aches. why? is it because I loved E so much? But if I loved her so much, I should have been there. I should have driven up the few hours to be with her. If I love her so much, would I not have felt her pain? Would I not have heard the pain in her texts and in her voice on the phone?

Love can be blinding. It wants you to think that those you love are safe and sound. That they are not in so much pain after all.  that they want to live. Love can be so misleading. Because E was not safe and sound. She was in so much pain. And she did not want to live in so much pain. I think it’s true that no one wants to die for dying sake. It’s the pain of life that is so excruciating, so crushing to the spirit. And that’s what E didn’t want, I believe. She didn’t want the crushing pain of life. And if life could only come with crushing pain, well, then she wasn’t going to have that.

I know that crushing, excruciating pain too.  E knew I knew that kind of pain. But I cleared out of the woods, and recovering without relapses. Why could E and I have talked and reminisced about this? that things could seem so bad and it seems that the pain would linger and over power every good thing on earth.  But it doesn’t. The pain can subside. The pain can be replaced by joy. Pain free life is not a phantom of the imagination.  It is possible. Why didn’t E believe this?  Because she couldn’t. Because her life in the present was contradicting that belief.

This encounter with a close friend’s suicide is my second time with such an unfortunate event.  First time when I was 17, my closest friend would run away from home and kill her self.  And now in my forties, when I think I am much more aware of myself and others, it happened to a close friend again. About 6 months ago, a colleague of mine who was barely thirty years old died of cancer. She wanted to live, but couldn’t. And so soon after, in the same year, I have lost a friend to mental illness that takes your life. E wanted to live too, a pain free life, but she couldn’t.

It’s a strange feeling to be on the “receiving end” of suicide. for many years my friends and family, especially my roommate were all afraid that I would take my own life. During those times, all I could think about was how to make the pain go away. And I think that’s what E was thinking all the time too.  And now that I am on the receiving end once again, I can only say surviving a suicide of a loved one is painful. Remaining in this life when your loved one takes his/her life, it throws your life upside down. Meaning is lost. What seemed urgent becomes questionable. And even though I try not to be in denial, I keep wishing E was still here. I miss you.

God, you are near to the brokenhearted. That means you are near to me. And if you save those who are crushed in spirit, God save me and others who loved E so much. We are all in need of saving from this pain of loss. This loss, this pain, this empty space occupied by E, it’s bigger than I thought and it’s more paralyzing than I thought. God, be near to us and save us. We are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.

no one

it’s a cliche. a woman gives all of herself to friends, family, and even to strangers, with none left to give to herself. no one, not even her sister, boyfriend or many close friends even know what’s going on because they weren’t available. I am that woman who is alone, disconnected, feeling lonely even while in the presence of others. funny others don’t get it. did she reach out at all? surely if she had reached out the family and friends, core group of support would have made their best effort to be there for her. so what, now the burden falls on the woman feeling alienated that she didn’t cry out in the way others would respond? but she did. she texted, she left messages, sent out emails. everyone has a lot going on their lives. absolutely true. but I was there when others needed me. where are others now that I need them?