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It's Been Hard

I am sitting in the dark bedroom illuminated dimly by my bedside lamp on a late summer night. Today had been hard. I thought last week was hard - never say never. I went to work today and I opened my Gmail account as usual to check on my inbox. There I read one of the shocking news for this week. Someone I was canyoneering with a week ago passed away in an canyoneering incident yesterday. I was out in the canyons yesterday too but was running something in Mt Rainier National Park. S/he was so young - twenty-four. It was so shocking because that person was just commenting on how we had the same sandals after our canyon run. And, now s/he is just... gone. I know this extreme hobby of mine has risks but I never knew it would be this.

It reminded me of my own mortality and how we don't know when will be our last. It reminded me of this poem I wrote last week - inspired by the poem wrote by Meggie Royer. Here's Royer's poem if curiosity strikes you. I re-read my poem that I wrote and I thought about what had happened. Life is never guaranteed. What if I have to go home before you? I could only wish that you know things that were left unsaid.

The Morning After

The morning after I killed myself, I woke up.

I rolled over in bed, looking for my dog.

I watched how his legs twitched as he dreamt

About chasing bunnies on a meadow by the lake I am sure.

Mom came into the room to pet him and he melted into her touch like he once did for mine.

The morning after I killed myself, I looked out of my bedroom’s window. I saw the leaves in my backyard turning red and yellow. I watched my neighbors making breakfast in their kitchen after hearing the news of my death. I watched the neighbor’s kid picking on his eggs, the same boy whose baseball came into my yard and I had to throw it back to him a few weeks earlier. His sister practicing her ballet moves in their kitchen while the family got ready for the day.

The morning after I killed myself, it’s a Wednesday. I walked into work, sat at my desk, and looked out towards South Lake Union. It was a nice day with the sunlight beating down onto the water making it all sparkly. I would have loved to stare at the water all day long that day. I heard my teammates whispering as they glance at my desk. They saw nothing but quietness in my usual place. I looked at my desk littered with sticky notes and cute drawings and graffiti on them. I watched as the room erupted in conversation as my boss came in to share the news about me.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back home. Home where mom and grandpa are grieving. I held my beautiful grandpa’s hands. I felt how small and cold they were, but filled with warmth. I traced his fingers and the back of his hands, his bumpy veins covered with almost translucent skin. He sat there staring into space, trying to desperately believe I still existed. I watched my mother walked around in the kitchen trying to distract herself. She’s looking at my baby pillow and holding it tight till her knuckles go white. I wondered how many dishes those hands had washed, how many clothes they had folded, and how many meals they had made for our family.

The morning after I killed myself, I went back to the body that used to be mine in the morgue. I tried to shake her awake. I screamed at her face and told her about the turning leaves in my backyard, her mom and grandpa, I told her about the sparkling water in Lake Union. I tried to get her to undo what she did, but I couldn’t.

The morning after I killed myself, I had to say goodbye. So, I went to the boy I fell in love with, hugged him tight, and thanked him for the months we spent together. He will have a wonderful life with a loving spouse in the future. I went to my family, kissed them goodbye. They know that I will be waiting to greet them when their time come. I went to my dog, my sweet boy. I took his face in my palms. I stroked his big, soft ears. He knows he’s my best boy. I went to my friends, thanked them for being there for my highs and lows. They will go on to build happy lives with their families. And, I will be watching and cheering on the sidelines.

The morning after I killed myself, I couldn’t undo what I had done. So, I looked as they say goodbye to who I once was.

Please be kind and gentle to people around you. They may be fighting unseen battles they might not tell you about. And, hug your loved ones tight.

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