The in between

Feeling torn here. The phone rang. My sister-in-law’s sister killer herself. It was out of the blue. She had spent time with us here at the farm. Painting fence, fixing things, hanging out in the sun. A carefree soul with just an edge. One I saw, because I know that edge. The look that lingers just a couple of seconds too long at the distance, or pulls back just a hair too quick. The undefinable features of a person meeting life head on, but with thoughts elsewhere. Last we had heard she was back in FL. Working and doing okay. Instinctively I wanted to follow D out the door and be there for my sister-in-law. In fact, I had my feet in my shoes heart racing. But in a split second I pulled back. The brakes on the floor. NO. Too close, too real. Too much. Call it self-preservation, selfishness, whatever. I just know that I can’t run headlong into that fire and not get burned. She’s hysterical. The emotions are all high and out of control right now. I don’t want to know the hows and whys. Not that there needs to be a why. I know that all too well. In all my years this is the closest suicide has come to our family. Sure I know patients that have killed themselves. You don’t spend time in hospitals without crossing paths with those that are unhelp-able. Those so hell-bent of self-destruction that it is only a matter of time before their time is up.
She wasn’t like that. No history of severe mental illness. No glaring warnings. just a life marred with some rough spots including losing her boyfriend. I know that hung on her, and she never could shake it off and move on.
I don’t like the proximity. I don’t like all the little lights that flickered on in my head when D put down the phone. I need to get as far from this as I can. The timing is just strange. Where I left off in session- to brush so close to a snowy morning and come away feeling okay. If anything confident to go back again. To do the work, and find closure. This is a landmine for sure. I feel terrible for the family. I very much want to be able to console my sister in law. But I just can’t. I cannot, for my own good. Not right now. I hate that. I hate having to make a choice to protect myself. I hate that suicide still lays red hot and raw in me. That even the word causes me to pause in thought. It is seared there. It isn’t ever just brushed off, or joked about. I cannot stand it when people flippantly say ” I just want to shoot myself this day has been such crap”. All too often I sense myself recoil, and try desperately to catch myself so it isn’t too obvious. Force myself to laugh along with a joke that makes me sick.
I am really at a loss for words. Only my hammering heart keeping me company as I wonder why, and what could have happened to make her chose death.

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