As I took a stroll on this beautiful Autumn morning, a peculiar thought occurred to me– the beauty of Autumn is in death. What we see as beautiful colours is actually the death of the leaves. Beauty in death. Who would have thought that possible?
This got me thinking of my sister’s death, which is a thought that’s never far away. My therapist tried to help me see a sense of hope in her death. She chose her time to go out, and she went out on a high note. Those were my therapist’s words. They only served to make *me* suicidal, though. If suicide is about going out on a high note, why don’t we all do it? Why don’t we all just choose our time? Those were my thoughts from the therapist’s perspective.
The answer I discovered took me by surprise. Suicide isn’t the answer, even though it seems so right sometimes, because we can’t actually guess when our high note occurs. My sister died four days after her twelfth birthday, four days after a celebration that was all about her. I can’t help but wonder what she had ahead of her, though. I’d like to think there would have been many more high notes. Enough to keep her here, at least.
There is a certain beauty in death. The kind of death that is a long, slow and peaceful decline toward our next journey. I saw this last year when my best friend’s grandmother died. The family gathered together to take the last steps of this life with the matriarch who linked them all. It was so sad to watch her pass, but it was beautiful to see her family come together to support each other and share this pain.
There is no beauty in suicide. There is violence and endless questions and years of longing. I say this both as a survivor and someone who has attempted herself. I can’t promise I’ll never be suicidal again, but I can promise that I’ll always look to my family-of-choice and all the high notes they bring to pull myself back out again. The beauty of life is that, no matter how dark it gets sometimes, you never know when a high note is just around the corner.