Of all the pieces I have ever written this is the one I don't want to write. Over the weekend my father got sick. He was rushed to the hospital early this morning, and after some tests, a CAT scan and some other tests, he is resting comfortably and will be in hospital for a few days. For a little while, we thought it was touch and go.
On a younger person, they would have had tests, been hydrated and sent home. On an elderly person, they stay in to make sure all systems are go. He is in some discomfort but he will be ok.
Not so for one of my favorite readers, Jenn. I won't use her last name, suffice to say she lived on the West coast, and was always astute in her comments, and wrote the most marvelous emails to me on the side. She was a suicide survivor, and like me, was physically hurt from one of her attempt and took some time to heal. My last email from her was on April 1, when she was worried about my own struggles with the proverbial black dog, and how I was doing everything in my own personal power not to go into that good night.
About an hour ago I got a phone call and an email from two separate people telling me that Jenn gave into the Black Dog this weekend and left this sphere. I don't know any thing more than that, and won't until I get a promised letter from her. I do know this, she was so depressed that a friend of hers came up from the Mid-West to visit so she wouldn't be alone, and she had her cats, and had just gotten back together with her boyfriend.
I don't condemn her. I understand what it was it's like to be at that point and want to jump. Maybe she wanted to succeed or maybe she didn't. A. Alvarez in his seminal work " The Savage God" makes a salient point that the Sylvia Plath he knew didn't want to suicide when she did, it was a cry for help to Ted Hughes she wanted him back and she was homesick and over-whelmed with two small children. Alvarez is convinced Plath misjudged the gas by comparing UK gas to US gas and makes a convincing argument that Plath simply miscalculated the gas equation.
Maybe that is what happened to my friend. I just hope that where ever she is now she is at peace.
Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.