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Suicide Sister: A Child Chooses To Go October 9, 2007

Posted by Yvonne in Power of Dialogue.

(I started this post in early August; just getting it up now.)


One Saturday in July, I got the call that my 16 year old niece had hung herself the night before. My sister was barely able to speak. Her son helped pull the body down.

For the next 4 days, I was the communication hub for the family. Relaying messages, helping people make travel arrangements, and buffering communcations for my sister. Then flying off to the east coast, attending the family before/during/after the funeral. With my strong spiritual orientation and my training in handling upsets and all kinds of difficult communciations, with my capability to think clearly and produce results under pressure, it was natural and actually pretty easy to go through those times being of service, a contribution, just help things keep working.

I was glad to be there. I was glad to have a body to hug the rest of the children and my sisters.

Then back in my life, home and at the office … the world isn’t back to normal yet. Feeling like it’s time to write … lo energy = gotta get something out.

Knowing what I’d been experiencing, a friend sent me this:

I read an article today in the [SF] Chronicle about a Berkeley man who just completed a documentary on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He said to film it he had to just take a deep breath and do it. When he came back from filming in Japan, he said he collapsed in a kind of depression for 2 months where he could hardly move becuase of the strain of staying focused and not letting the content get through to him during filming.

My current condition and my experience:

  • a floating non-specific emotion, sometimes tears, feeling very internal
  • Monday night, I had to leave my seminar, just to get outside and breathe. I realized that I wasn’t my “usual self”, I wasn’t able to generate possibility, to be there for another, to listen or be present much at all.
  • inability to really generate anything new, i can respond sometimes, but not much creation is available
  • have not unpacked
  • today I realized that it feels like I just got out of major surgery and will have to recouperate for some time to come.


Now, another month and a half later, the emotional dip has passed, though there was more to come since beginning of August, and it impacted each family member differently in turn. I feel greatful for being alive enough to feel and participate with my family as I did.

I am more clear that now is the only time we can really live. People will go, and we cannot recover time lost in unconsciousness, being out of communication or in activities which deaden us. And I could see from my attempt at making the post more than a month ago, I had an inkling that being in communication enlivens.



1. A Limited Life: A Purpose for a Living Literature « Conscious Connections - October 11, 2007

[…] 2007 Posted by Yvonne in Evolution of We, Power of Dialogue. trackback Interesting to me that in my most recent post, I left out a key […]

2. Paul McMickle - October 25, 2013

Dearest Yvonne,
I’m so sorry to hear about your neice, and the impact it had on you and your family. Something you may not know about me – I too am an suicide survivor. All but 2 of my 12 person Special Forces team committed suicide. The impact of that kind of loss is long-lasting! I now serve on the board of an organization established to provide support for suicide survivors. Please visit the web site and share it with the rest of your family.
And let me know if there is anything I can provide for your. I hope you remember that the geographical distance between us doesn’t mean we’re “apart.”

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