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Today I Attended a Funeral

Today, I attended a funeral. A funeral of a vivacious, beautiful, 37 year old woman. A woman who could light up a room with her smile. A woman who was full of life. At least that is the way I choose to remember her. The reality is that I attended another funeral of an alcoholic. It is not the first one and probably won't be the last. It is not even the first one this year. Thus far this year, I have attended 6 funerals. Two have been suicide. The others, officially listed something else as the cause of death.

Someone asked me today at the funeral, what can drive a person to think that suicide is an option. I didn't answer. I attempted suicide the first time in 1984. My oldest daughter attempted suicide in 2000. My middle daughter in 2007. Each situation was different. The reasoning different. The mental states the same.

I know what it feels like to stop your car in the middle of a bridge and back up. Just sti there staring through the windshield. Contemplating. Trying to make the decision to just go ahead and drive off the side of the bridge. I know what it feels like to hold a razor blade on my flesh. Feeling the searing pain. Watching the red/blackness pool out. I know what it is like to hold a fist full of pills. Grab a shot of tequila using it as a chaser.

I know what it feels like to drive like an insane woman down the highway. Trying to get to the hospital because the school called. They called to tell you that your child was found on the floor off the school bathroom. I know what it feels like to stare into my own reflection and wonder where I went wrong.

I know what it feels like to walk into a home and see a little blond haired girl rocking back and forth over her mother's body. Watching that same little girl as she tried to cover her mommy up with a blanket because she thought her mommy was cold. I know what it feels like to sit in the passenger seat of a vehicle and have some one jump out in front of the car. To see the reflection of their eyes staring back at you. Haunting you as you know the look. They eyes staying with you as you realize the accident was no accident.  I know what it is like to watch them pull the white sheet in stark contrast to the pavement over a teenager.

Can I put into words the correlation between those feelings and alcoholism? Not really. But I can tell you what it looks like. What it smells like. What it sounds like. What it feels like. Perhaps that is why I was chosen to go to the funeral of the amazing woman today.  I know . . .