Saturday, August 25, 2012

Her Death Gave Me Life :: The First Suicide Story

My first experience with death, not the dying or the dead but death, was when I was ten.  I do believe that there is a difference.  One is natural but the other, the grim, is not.  I remember it in detail.

It was the only time I ever saw tears in my fathers eyes.  There was also something else there. In his eyes.  Disappointment, fear, confusion, even now I can't put my finger on it but as a young girl, it puzzled me.

She was my great grandmother.  The one who taught me the importance of letter writing.  The one who tried over and over to convince me that beauty is on the inside, yet she hid behind a wig because she was concerned about what others thought of the thinning silver on her head.  She was the one that said she saw herself in me, 

that I reminded her of herself.  

These words didn't truly sink in until later.  Much later.

It was always a treat whenever she would call and invite my sister and I over for "slumber parties".  We would stay up late into the night playing games, Chinese Checkers was her personal favorite.  I saw something mysterious in her.

Rebellious.  Fun.


She wasn't like most other adults that I knew.  I think that's what drew me to her.  I don't think others noticed this, or wanted to notice it.  I think they ignored it when she couldn't ignore it.  That is, until the day that tears found their eyes.

We weren't allowed to attend the funeral.  They wanted to protect us.  To keep this evil hidden.  Quiet.  But as I'm learning in my own life,

"Bone by bone, hair by hair, Wild Woman comes back.  Through night dreams, through events half understood and half remembered, Wild Woman comes back." ~Women Who Run With The Wolves~

I remembered the gun.  I had often lay next to it under the bed when she sent us off to hide as she counted before searching for us.  In some ways, I think her suicide was a letter to me.  A letter with a secret message to embrace the wild woman.

Her death gave me life.

I wish that it would have been this suicide that started waking me up, but it was his, nineteen years after his great grandmothers, that gave me a voice.


  1. this is a beautiful post, willow. rich story-telling. memoirs are my personal favourites to read. i love to learn how we are all shaped into who we are--especially the raw truths.

    thanks for sharing <3


  2. This is truly beautiful. To open yourself and share the person who inspired you, her tragedy and what you learned from it. Do embrace the "wild woman"...

  3. this is such a touching and tender story. you honor her so much.

  4. I appreciate your sharing this, tremendously. Much love to you on your path, wise woman :)