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kiota and each of us

Dr. Jamison is the pdoc I talked about before, she wrote "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide", partly because she survived her own attempt and made that her pro specialty.

Looking at the research, she says "suprisingly little is known about the impact on friends; next to nothing is written about how close friends and colleagues make sense of or deal with the suicide of someone they know well or have worked with...there's guilt [the "if only I had done this / that" thinking] and also a mis-focus on the last events of life: broken relationships with boyfriends, school stress, money -- because many people know so little about suicide and the psychiatric illnesses behind it -- mainly depression -- that they flail about, trying to make sense of a senseless act." To try to find one or two reasons for a very complex set of illnesses and their triggers that tip someone permanently over the edge.

Well, I think we friends could tell Dr. J. something about our "Impact" and feelings.

"Decisions about suicide are not fleeting thoughts that can be willed away" to save others' griefs. "Suicide wells up from cumulative anguish or is hastened by impulse." And the closer you have been to Kiota, or the closer you can touch your love and compassions for her, the more you realize that suicide does not just involve a single person. Kiota involves her family and her friends. Her Mom, Dad, two surviving sisters (15, 13) and three brothers [the eldest her age, the "little ones" 6 and 4 or so] will carry this to the end of their days...like most of us will too, in our various ways and at differing depths. "Once the shock has abated, the guilt wrestled with, the peace made, it is the hole in the heart, the missing of the person, that stays."

There are more than a dozen of us who are seeking closure by approaching another one of us [not me] for an explanation -- one who knows the details of how Kiota actually completed her life here. That is totally wonderful, and I hope knowing that provides their closure. I happen not to think that knowing the precise details will provide any closure for me at all. I can make very educated guesses, but I basically want to keep all the life and eagerness and discussions and writing we did and shared in her room fresh in my heart and not dilute it at all with the horror that was going to occur. What provides continuation [not closure] for me is to cherish the beauties she created as she lived here, and carry them forward into my years. And there are a lot of these. Some, of course, are mated to the memories of her body. Some, but far from all of them. As you know, I am tuned into lots of things about Anna which I don't consider have died in the mortal sense at all.

"Every 17 minutes in America, someone commits suicide" and there's not near enough outrage nor effectve prevention efforts. Sexual attacks on children are rampant and out of control here, too. Much work is left to be done.

Look to the living, love them, and hold on.

The book ends with those words. But many other intangible things of beauty don't end like a book, or even like the last minute and the final second of Kiota's life here: they end only when and if we want them to. Each one of us can decide what our vital choices are, now and forever ...

She has empowered us.

Blessings Be.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
Another powerful entry. Now let me get a little bit personal here.....and the only reason I'm doing this is I think it's important for you to know the impact of your entries...

I've had a lifetime struggle with suicidal thoughts. The last week I have been as consumed with dark thoughts as I almost ever have been.

But you've broken through these thoughts with what you and Dr. Jamison have written here. So just thanks for that. And I know you are a giving, compassionate person (crazily so) but pls don't feel the need to comfort me or talk me down from the ledge, etc. I'm cool.

Just want to recognize what you do. Blessings indeed.
May. 10th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
*is blushing and VERY honored by you*

Let me refer you to the whole book, I think it's unique since here we have a pdoc who narrowly avoided her own suicide at age 28. Her other book, "An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness," is one I don't know but it is a personal memoir so I'd think that one more directly concerns her own path through the dark.

"Night Falls Fast", by Kay Redfield Jamison, ISBN = 0-375-70147-8 [for the Vintage Paperback Edition, 2000.]

Should be easy to get, I just went into Borders and there it was on the shelf.

I think if you pick up a copy you won't put it down, it's enthralling. I got it right afterward to explore a path to understand Kiota behind the words of Kiota, and posted about it possibly to direct others there if it were their choice.

So I'm really happy since it helped.

Another quote from Kay:

"I have been impressed by how little value our society puts on saving the lives of those who are in such despair as to want to end them. It is a societal illusion that suicide is rare. It is not. Certainly the mental illnesses most closely tied to suicide are not rare: they are common conditions ...."

She refers to Depression, PTSD, Self-Injury, various social functionality disorders ... all of which are written in big red letters on Kiota's psych history for ten years. I've finally put some more thinking together on this and will post about it soonish.

In other news, our package from Lin came in this morning: both my gift and yours were in one box and I'm repacking it Monday [earliest time the PO is next open] to send yours on. I think you'll love it: full of Fae memories for you and peace and Kiota memories for both of us. And strong connections to Linny's big heart: eventually Ki gave them both to her as personal presents and she is trusting us with them now. The faery sat on a table at the end of her bed in Israel for a long time. Now it comes home. As we all will ....
May. 11th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
The other news is amazing...I'm so excited. You and Lin have given me such an amazing gift. Can't wait!

And thanks for the additional info on this doctor's journey and other books. I've seen/heard her name bantered about and am curious about her journey. Appreciate you sharing this with me!
May. 11th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah...it just is unbelieveable. Of us all, only you knew Fae; this gift is from Kiota through Lin and me to you, in her living memory. In fact, in the living memory of both of them. There are lots of little green flecks in the magic dust in the fluid that dance in the light if you hold it up sideways. The peace on and around and above the sleeping fae on top will just flood all around you. Lin has an awesomely big heart.

If I had an awesomely big wallet I would simply just fly out there so I could guard her carefully and place her into your open hands and heart myself.

But I will send her on loving wings [and lots of bubble wrap] instead! I also am going to use some of Linny's original tissues since they worked so well on my part of the journey and since it needs to be there in the package for you. L would laugh at that, for my being so silly.

I just simply adore that I am part of this thread of love down through time and through two worlds and a pair of continents [maybe three if you count Kiota's bedroom in Israel?] I bet you will feel Fae smiling from her worlds....

I actually think this is a gift of life for you as well as love. That blesses me even more.
May. 11th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)
You make me cry.
May. 12th, 2008 01:02 am (UTC)
Hopefully tears of love and joy:)
May. 14th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
you know... i KNOW Lois has been to her funeral, and that she's been gone for a month and that this isn't some joke....

But i STILL just don't think she can be dead. WTF is wrong with me.

And i dont want to know how she did it, i dont think that will help, but what WILL?
May. 14th, 2008 01:56 pm (UTC)
limelime ... *sends you safehugs*

first off: NOTHING is wrong with you. and: every one of us has to make her own peace with this. I got a very special privilege which turned into a very special challenge, that not one other single person got: being right there with her physically and emotionally during all but one of the last five days of her life. I was also one of the four people talking to her in the last hours through LJ, even though by then I was on the other side of America.

what will help you is ... I don't know. Maybe I can share how I'm doing it?

I put Ki's bodily existence in another place in my heart, apart from her non-bodily existences: her soul, spirit, emotions, what I was able to feel in her that was timeless. And for me these aren't sad memories anymore. I was aware that she was suicidal, that it had been getting worse, and that even when I got a promise from her that she'd wait until after Cambodia and her Texas visit --- I knew she might not have the ability to keep that promise. So I guess in that way I was as ready as I could have been. I cried about it more than once.

But this just goes back to what I feel about life generally. I think that our physical life is not the only one we have, it's just the one that impacts us most, day-to-day, during however many minutes / months / years we are here. The bridge from where Kiota was to where she is now is, simply for me, how much I loved her art and her courage and the light I could see in her, and how much I loved her trust in me to share things that she thought I could help her with, her trust that offered to bring me into places in her heart that she shared with few others.

And she's not the one to decide when, or even if, I will stop loving her. That's up to me. And how I reach to her is something as simple as feeling her help me write these words to you right now, and as complex as how to decide to carry on some of the work she wasn't able to finish.

In your heart, lime, and in your thoughts of her and your love for her, if she's not dead, well, then, she's not! and she will not ever lose that place in your heart unless you force her out.

It's cold comfort to think there will be no new pictures, nor stories, nor LJ postings, nor Emails from her. I've wept over that, too.

I think this just kind of encourages us to look at life and death with lots bigger eyes than we usually have, and lots more than just a computer screen. I reach Ki by looking at beautiful susets, or sunrises, or people playing Frisbee on the lawn in front of the dorm, and saying silently "Look at that! What a great picture!!" And I can do that now, without tears,....most of the time.

She's physically dead. But not any other way.

For example, she's been gone for a month, but where she is now they don't divide time up at all, the way it's done here.

One of the things that her cousin shared, when she flew over for the funeral, was that one of the women who had prepared Kiota's body for the funeral came up to her and said that Kiota's face just simply looked like an angel, very peaceful and happy, looking like she was just asleep for awhile.

And I love that, it's a very strong image for me to keep, it says that yes, she found the peace she died for, and the reason her cousin shared that with us is that Kiota wants us to know, through her. Kiota was not crying. She wants us to mourn, yes, but she doesn't want us to keep it inside "like I did." She wants us to "get over it". I posted that on my Profile page, she wrote it not last month but in 2003.

So. I don't have an answer for what WILL help you. Partly it's a function of time. Partly it's a challenge for us to love her in a new way and in a new place. One of the new places is in your heart. And mine. And in many many others.

There's also other ways, in books on death and grieving you could find in your bookstore. There will be things in them that might speak to you in a personal way known only to you.

And I will hold you in my heart on your journey. Because it is one we're all taking.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
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