Seems a lifetime ago we met, Jon, and a day I'll always remember. Your ability to love was deeper than death and stronger than pain. Still is. I myself don't know how to go on and I also don't know how to quit. I remember a cop telling me I should have been fried in the electric chair after hearing me speak. A school superintendent once called me an idiot after hearing me speak. I have so many stories I could tell about such comments, but a wise woman (Sue K.) who lost her son told me (after I said her pain was so much worse than mine), that "Grief ain't a contest." God, she, you, Sharon GD & Sharon B. and so many others helped lend me the strength to carry on, One Day At A Time (one second at a time for the first 8 years of speaking). Serenity to accept things we cannot change is a collective miracle that we experience both alone and together.
Phillip's pin that you gave me on the day we met is never far from me in my home office. Neither is the Bible I cried on for years in my personal monastery (prison). The collective miracle is the cumulative impact we make upon society. Audiences ingest 'time release' pills that take years to digest (sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly). Leaving indelible impressions upon human hearts is no easy task CULTURALLY. But as I said before, knowing how to quit or carry on is a mystery. Metaphorically speaking, 'Losing our Speaking Notes' is invaluable when expressing our innermost power.
No one knows what another person has to do with what has happened to them. No one knows what another human being needs on their Sacred Journey. If we knew ahead of time what our Sacred Journey would cost us, most of us would certainly ‘opt out’, but that’s not the way life works. Why ‘it happens’ to some of us and others have ‘close calls’ and no consequences is a mystery to me. Maybe we have Sacred Contracts that only God comprehends. Maybe Phillip, Little Timmy, and the hundreds of others we know about through our nearly three decades of speaking, are sitting in a circle and sending us their loving protection as we tell our stories.
I know this will sound crazy but I don’t care what it sounds like. A man who lost his wife was speaking about a year after losing her to a drunk driver. I saw a light open heaven over his shoulder and CLEARLY saw her face radiating with a loving smile upon him. His grief was more than palpable, and this grief so many of us know so well, but we are never without our loved ones. Love keeps the veil thin and while grief is proof of love, and we feel like we are dying or want to die, if we give up then when someone needs to hear our story and live (not having to go through it themselves), then we have accomplished something Eternal.
I decided to live when feeling suicidal not because of what my life would or could look like, but because if I gave up, then I couldn’t help the people who are also feeling this grief to NOT give up, too. I can’t help them if I’m dead. The Itty-Bitty Shitty-Committee in my head showed up to argue this point for the those first eight years I mentioned earlier, until a miracle happened and I quit making anger (FOR ME, anger turned inward) stronger than God.