Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Death: The Goddess Of Life And Balance (April 27, 2016)

The subject matter discuss, here, may be uncomfortable, for some people, as it deals with death and the right to end one's life.







For many
She is
Evil incarnate.

Who's name
Is never spoken
Out loud.

In fear of
It'll invoke
Her appearance.

And yet
For people
Like myself
Who suffer chronically.

Whether
Mentally
Physically
Or both.

She
Is
Relief.

Despite this
We're taught
In the West
Taking our own lives
Is a mortal sin.

Damning us
To Eternal Hell.

Worsening
The societal stigma
For those
Who suffer
From mental illness.

Never mind
If you're hearing
Suicidal thoughts
Telling you:

"Just do it".

Something
I know
All too well.

Given
My daily fight
To tune them
Out.

And yes
I do have
Several plans
Should the need
Arise.

But
The mere fact
I have them
Doesn't mean
I am suicidal.

Or that
You'll trigger me
To commit
This very act.

Rather
Am seeking someone
Who'll listen
To my needs.

Knowing
Silence isn't golden
But deadly
For someone
Like myself.

Therisa © 2016

Author's note: The following links, are part of the opening discussion that Canada is starting to have right now, concerning assisted death and mental health, as the federal parliament begins debate the proposed changes to the legislation that Supreme Court of Canada ruled, was unconstitutional, last year. Sadly, the governing Liberals have removed all references for the mentally ill, to have control over their lives, by allowing us, this option, should we choice to do so.

45 comments:

  1. No doubt, there is a lot of stigma attached with mental illness. And the right to self-determination should prevail in terms of life and death as well or so I believe. It's true that sometimes we need someone who would just listen.
    An evocative write.

    -HA

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, HA, for your kind and supportive words. It took 3 days, just to start this poem, as I rewrote this, more times than I care to count.

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  2. As I have family members with mental health challenges, I do understand the frequency of their thoughts of escape from an exhausting and chronic condition, even though I personally believe our souls have a journey to make, and a purpose to fulfill. I applaud you for courageously opening the topic, and I do hear you. I have been listening to the news about the proposed legislation. I do understand how people in the late stages of a terminal illness might wish a shorter route to their inevitable deaths, though I likely would not take that route myself. These are very individual choices, for certain. A thought-provoking poem, Therisa.

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    1. Sherry, I honour and respect your decision, in regards, to this matter. To otherwise, would make a mockery of everything, I believe in. Just wish more people, were like you.

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  3. Hey, wow! Talk about openness! That's the real fear, isn't it? Not that more people will choose an earlier death, but that more will finally feel free to talk openly about the anguish they feel. And it's ironic to me, as the freedom to be open decreases the need to act. Thank you.

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    1. Well, as someone, who has spent almost their entire life, on the outside, Susan, this week's prompt was, like a safety valve for me, in releasing these feelings. Besides, someone has to start the discussion, if real change is to happen.

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  4. This is a topic that needs to be discussed. It is a difficult one to be sure. I go back and forth in my own mind about my feelings on it---

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    1. Thank you, Audrey, I know it's a tough question that you have to weight your moral thoughts on. Whatever your final decision is, I will support it, regardless, what my own opinion is. Only your conscious can tell you, what is right. No one else.

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  5. I do agree that it is very important to have someone who will really listen...and so true that silence is NOT golden.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary, for your kind words, on this tough subject matter.

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  6. A big question in Australia too. Bravely spoken.

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    1. Thank you, Rosemary. May wise hearts and compassion guide Australia, in this debate.

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  7. You are certainly being as open as anyone could get, in this poem! Huge wisdom in the last verse. May you be heard.

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    1. Rosemary, I am tired of hiding, this part of myself, from the world. For too long, I have been shunned, whenever I have tried to talk about this. This week prompt is one way of breaking down that barrier.

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  8. There is that curious attitude that taking one's own life is unreasonable even unlawful and yet some countries consider it to be an honorable and brave thing to undertake. Ultimately it is a very personal decision that should be respected. However I am very much in favor of dissuasion and love.

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    1. I think, it explains, the differences between Western and Eastern cultures, Old Egg. Sometimes, the true expression of love, is to let go and allow that person, to make that fateful decision. For it is, a very personal decision, one shouldn't rush, to make.

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  9. it's always good when someone with the gift of words turn silence into bold pronunciations...

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    Replies
    1. I am trying, Sumana, with the help of people, like yourself, Sherry and Mary.

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  10. An honest and brave poem - I can understand the message of your poem - sometimes having a plan is almost a comfort..as you say it doesn't mean we want to use it but it is there..hopefully not always shouting at the front of our thoughts..it is a skill to learn to live with these thoughts.. also fully agree that we should talk more about mental health issues..talking and writing and sharing truly is a lifeline.. take good care xo

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jae Rose, for your supportive words. I have described my suicidal thoughts, as a radio, the darker, my thoughts are, the clearer, the reception, I am getting, on the radio, as I go, from being passively suicidal, to actively. And the opposite is true, when I am passively suicidal, in being able to ignore the static snow, as mere background noise.

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  11. I agree, such an earnest write.

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    1. Thank you, Sanaa, wasn't sure, how this poem would be received, given the subject matter.

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  12. I have talked a friend out of his thought and I am no professional.. I think you are right.. it's silence that kills. But so many are afraid and think only the professional know how to deal with it.

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    1. Or can't access the needed help, for their mental health problems, Bjorn. Thank you, for helping your friend, through this very dangerous, Bjorn. Wish more people had your courage, to help others.

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  13. A very good friend of mine passed away from ALS and I remember seeing him on one of his last days alive, right after he made the decision to have no more interventions done to keep him alive. I feel the honesty and pain in your piece, and it brings me back to that. Compassion is needed by the suffering, not judgement.

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    1. Sadly, its easier to judge others, than offer compassion, Rommy. Something, I have experience, myself, too often, by those, who I thought, where close to me.

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  14. I'm so glad you posted this, Therisa. It's so easy for those who don't suffer from physical or mental illness to judge. I worked as a hospice nurse and worked with AIDS patients in the early days of the epidemic (in San Francisco). My goal was to manage symptoms and to listen. I can never know what each person was going through, though. The battle between self-determination and societal norms will always be with us, I suppose. I pray you will find someone who is a listening presence to be with you on your journey. My own sense is that you have an important role to play in life and perhaps you are unaware of it. Victoria (http://liv2write2day.wordpress.com)
    Darn google doesn't love me!

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    1. Must admit, I was scared to post this, given the subject matter and my own personal experience, with others, Victoria. You have always been so kind and positive towards me, from my first poem, on dVerse, for which, I am very thankful and grateful. As Google, a curse or two, at them, does the body good. Got a few issues, with them, myself. :)

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  15. I found this piece very open and honest. It touches on subjects many don't like to discuss. But we all must remember that we are mere mortals and death will one day call out our names.

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    1. That's my point, Arcadia. Too many people don't want to listen, when someone speaks, about their struggles. Personally, I welcome Death's embrace, when it happens. Its living that I find harder.

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  16. YES. I think silence is truly deadly, always. I admire your courage, and the grace and creative spirit with which you plow forward in the fight.

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    1. Thank you, De. I have nowhere to go, but forward, having tried society's way, and it was slowly killing me.

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  17. Therisa I always admire your raw honesty. It is inspiring to me. My mother suffered from deep depression and thoughts of suicide so this hits home very closely. Poignant and powerful writing indeed!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie. Am sorry, you had to witness, what your mom had to suffer through. As my honesty, it's part of my healing process. Having spent too many years, in denial and hiding.

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    2. I can relate to the healing in honesty Therisa....denial can so smother our growth....honesty is freeing and that makes it healing. My son is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic...so I spent a long time in denial...afraid to see the truth, because it hurt so much to face.

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    3. Thank you, Carrie, for honestly sharing this painful part of your family life. It take a lot of courage, to admit, what you have.

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  18. Commenting briefly once again on your poem now that you have posted it at dVerse. Really I think it is opening a lot of minds & hearts. I admire your courage, and really you are not alone.

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    1. Thank you, Mary. Just so freaking frustrating, at times.

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  19. I admire your honesty and openness. I have family members who have suffered or still suffer from mental illnesses. The system here in Canada has failed so many. I am not sure if it is really any better in the U.S. I do believe your poetry is one of your reasons for being here, a shining light and again I applaud you for breaking some silence through your poignant words.

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    1. Thank you, Mishunderstood, but the situation isn't any better, in Ontario, either. Sadly, we're being made to bear the brunt of the lack of funding, for this area of the health system.

      Just venting my frustration, at the health system, in general, and how the 1% can access programs, denied to the rest of Canada.

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  20. It indeed takes a lot of courage to open up and publish a very personal anguish. Keep writing, even if it doesn't get any easier. Not on this kind of topic anyway. But keep on. Keep publishing too and link up. One needs to lighten the burden and there are very willing ears out there sometimes.

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  21. I actually commented on this last night but it seem to have disappeared! The general gist of my comment was that one does, indeed, need to raise awareness about issues of mental instability, suicide, abuse and so forth. Keep at it. I sometimes think it's a losing battle but one does have to keep at it. Much regard.

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  22. This is a brave piece. You've really opened yourself as a way of opening a dialog about such an important subject. There are so many with illnesses both mental and physical for whom continuing is incredibly painful. The arrogance of the powers-that-be who believe they are better equipped to make life decisions for those afflicted... horrible.

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  23. My comment has disappeared. Basically, this is a subject that needs more discussion and less judgement. I am dealing with my frail elderly mother and her Alzheimers and the grief around it. Kanzensakura is hayesspencer, Toni Spencer.

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  24. My mother died from Alzheimer's. I would not want to live that way. Given the option I would make the choice for assisted suicide part of my will. Sadly I am familiar with suicide. I attempted it when I was 19. I came to the point I could no longer deal with the memories of childhood sexual abuse. Thankfully my young husband found me.

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