I remember reading an obituary in the Miami Herald many years ago about a woman who had committed suicide. She was 54-years-old, loved and admired by family and friends. I remember being intrigued by her and profoundly saddened that she’d decided to die.
People quoted in the obit talked about how she’d longed for an indescribable bliss only recognizable from experience; that she was frustrated and decided to end her agony by ending her life.
I pulled out my scissors, cut out the obit and saved it; and although I can’t remember where I stored it, I remember this woman.
I remember she was the creative type. I remember her being an entrepreneur who wanted desperately to succeed at whatever endeavor she was pursuing; and I remember her vibe being unapologetically free-spirited.
I remember assuming she’d experienced one too many “failures,” one too many setbacks and one too many disappointments.
That’s not all I remember. I remember feeling a deep level of empathy for this woman because I understood her frustration. I understood how she might have grown tired of putting in the work, anticipating a great outcome and feeling some kind of way when it either failed to materialize or materialized too unrecognizably to celebrate.
I even empathized with her decision to end it all. No, I’m not suicidal, but I understand why she was.
I remember wishing I knew her personally and wishing I’d had an opportunity to comfort her and remind her; this, too, shall pass. I wished I had the chance to tell her tomorrow is another day and how it’s often darkest before the dawn.
That obit has remained with me for a really long time. The woman about whom it was written has come to mind occasionally since her transition, but not as much as she has this year. I’ve thought about her a lot this year. It might have something to do with my age (54) and the occasional frustration I have felt when things either did not manifest or manifested in a way I did not anticipate.
I’m certain it has more to do with me experiencing the tomorrows that always come after disappointment and the light that pierces pre-dawn darkness.
She’s still on my mind, but I’m thinking about her differently now. I wonder whether sis became a whispering angel, cheering frustrated, free-spirited entrepreneurs on from the other side. I wonder if she took what became clear after crossing over and now shines her wisdom-infused light on their journey, urging them to wait for another tomorrow and to trust that the darkness isn’t as daunting as it appears, primarily, because it’s temporary.
Michelle Hollinger is the publisher of The Sisterhood and author of Worthy. To pre-order, visit http://worthythebook.life.