She Was


She Was
The grief encompassed her soul until the elements of her former self were nothing.
Destiny squeezed her guts until she splattered all over the floor.
She was, she was, but now she isn’t, not anymore.
Amidst the wreckage of her shattered, twisted dreams perchance a gem remains?
A shred of what was, a stair to climb on, a hand to reach beyond her agony,
clutching what still could be?
Carefully, small slivers extracted of what value they weren’t sure
held up to the light by white coats who thought they knew the cure,
the cure for secrets that had hammered her to her knees
events which paralyzed the frightened child she was before.
Men and women who only added their putrid slime to the illness
then when her hour was up they shoved her through the door.
That of course was just good business, nothing’s free,
no matter how she did implore.
Secrets torn asunder, gaping holes dripping vulnerability,
not unlike her veins the night she’d gashed them open wide.
The dirt, the filth, the grotesque, no longer could she hide.
Naked, restrained, unfamiliar shocked eyes did see and several faces
as familiar as her own beheld the tragedy.
But surely they could have done without, her agonizing screams, her blood, her shouts?
“You have no f…… right, let me die,” she’d screamed that night until no voice remained.
Perhaps that was true, yet they had to consider the fact that she was quite insane.
What else could they do, what else would have been right?
So, they saved her anyway, forced her to breathe another day.
Clothed in anguish and shades of gray, doomed to inhere, she haunts the nights,
a ghost of the woman before, who was, who isn’t, not anymore.
Spirit lacerated, black with pain, red with rage, you would not recognize her aura.
A kaleidoscope of mistrust and betrayal determines her movements.
Such a thin line between yesterday’s grief and hope’s beckoning tomorrow.
One baby step at a time she forges a reality where wounds are but the mortar
between her bricks and angels guard her entrance from Knights in Dirty Leather.
This saddened woman who holds within her a tiny, unhealed girl
this woman who endures the anguish her ignorance invited into her world.
Coloring innocent lives with confusion and bereavement evermore.
She was, she was, but now she isn’t, not anymore.

by Jeanne Marie, 1989


Suicide No Longer An Option


I look down at her limp body.

She is face down on the large bed, alone. Her fine, blonde hair is like a halo around her head as she lies so still on the brown, patchwork quilt.

As I watch her, I am sobbing. I don’t understand my gut wrenching tears. Why am I crying tears of desperation and tears of terror? I don’t know why I am hysterical and then, with a sudden sense of horror, I realize that it is my body on the quilt and I am not breathing. My body is cold. I am dead.

“Oh my God,” I think. “She finally did it, she really did it this time and there’s no rescue, there’s no turning back.”

“Why did she give up?”

“I don’t want to be dead!”

At this point, I no longer feel connected to the woman on the bed. I think of the body as her and I am me.

I have no memory of her final act, but I am filled with shame and loathing at what she has done. I’d always thought that death would release me from her unending pain; now, seeing what really happens, I am horrified.

All that I can feel is her hurt and my disgust.

“Why did she give up?” I moan. “How could she do this terrible thing without my permission?”

I sob even harder because now I understand that death doesn’t release me from her despair. No, on the contrary, I’d carried her burdens with me to this nether world. All I’d lost was her body and her ability to change her life. If only she had known.

Now, I could spend eternity roaming this sphere, trapped with the emotions I’d carried from her physical realm of reality, caught at that moment in time when she’d given in to hopelessness, surrendered to depression.

I feel enormous regret. I want to be alive! I want to go back and keep on trying.
I didn’t give up. She did!

I have no memory of my physical death. Where was my vote in such an important decision? I, her very soul, I have been forced from her body without my permission.

It doesn’t seem fair and I am so angry. This is a horrendous experience. I hate it! Floating above her dead physical form, I want to shake her, scream at her, but what good would it do?

How could she have done this irreversible deed? I, the very essence of her existence, I did not have a choice, no voice in the matter of her physical demise.

Now there truly is no hope and no escape from the emotional blows she’d been dealt. She was free but I, her inner being–I am condemned to carry her pain through this new plane of reality.

I feel doom such as she could’ve never imagined. No person still in possession of their body could begin to conceive the shock I feel, awakening on the other side with all of her pain still weighing down my soul; amplified by the powerlessness of being separated from the body that had housed my substance for almost forty-two years.

She had given up and her pain was my prison! Death isn’t a release!
“Oh God,” I cry, “if only she had known that, but now it’s too late.”

I wonder how her family and her friends are taking it.

At once, before the thought is even finished, I feel my spirit surrounded by them.
I am crushed. I taste their anger, their pain, their guilt and their shock at her selfish act. Their unbearable fury and their horrible sadness are added to the emotional load I already own.
Unseen, I cower beside them, burdened more than ever, dirty and ashamed.

Why hadn’t she realized that suicide was not her answer? What would it have taken to show her this celestial space, this spiritual prison? Didn’t a glimpse of this possible netherworld ever enter her thoughts; didn’t it ever trickle into her conscious mind?

I can’t describe the distress I feel, the grief that showers over me as I watch the chaos created by her self-inflicted slaughter.

I want to live! I want to live!

Sobs wrack my ghostly form as fruitless tears exhaust my ethereal energy. I begin to float and I lose touch with my being. I am losing all conscious thought.

My eyes open. I am crying, disoriented and lying face down on my familiar, brown patchwork comforter. Could it be?
I reach for my face with my hands.
My fingers touch my warm, living flesh.
I am alive! It was only a nightmare. Thank God!

But wait, was it just a nightmare? Perhaps I’d left my body and traveled to the other side. Perhaps I’d been given a horrifying warning. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had traveled a far distance, that for a time I had left the material world behind. Tears rolled down my hot cheeks, tears of gratitude. I still had a chance and I still had a choice.

However, now I know. I don’t have forever to catch my star, to work through my conflict.

I get up from the bed, shaking with relief. I am alive! Another chance to heal, to forgive myself and to fulfill my destiny, another chance is mine.

I understand, perhaps for the first time, that the emotional baggage I choose to carry on my back, the pain that I’ve refused to let go of–it could all travel with me into the hereafter.

In fact, my baggage would weigh more than ever because the anger and the grief that my suicide would cause my family and friends, that weight would also be laid upon my spirit.

I am alive! I don’t want to waste this chance to heal my broken heart and somehow; I know, nightmare or spirit travel, this was a final warning from my Creator.

Post note: This was an extremely real experience. Jeanne Marie, 1995