Vital Signs

Not Afraid Of Death, But Not Allowed To Die

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couldn’t do any more for me. Did I understand what I had done? She followed it with, “When I get you home you have an ass-whipping coming.” That was the defining moment for my life for many years to come. There were no hugs; no “I love you”; just anger and disappointment.

I spent the next four-and-a-half years filled with doctors, countless hospitals, and mental institutions for repeated suicide attempts. None producing the result I wanted. I felt hurt, angry, rejected. I had no fear of death; I looked at each day as an opportunity to possibly succeed in what I had failed in doing the day before. I got involved with drugs and alcohol, and if they didn’t kill me, they gave me enough courage to play games that might do so. People gave up on me, and accepted that some day I would succeed. Days turned into years, and the only thing I succeeded in doing was hurting or destroying relationships with those that truly loved and cared. Although not directly responsible, my actions created reactions, and my best friend ended up dead. I walked away from many opportunities that could have meant a better life for my children and myself even now.

There were times over the years that I would dream, and this same Angel descended towards me from the light, and smiled at me as though to let me know I was still loved and it was going to be okay. I finally stopped trying to go back when I came to the conclusion after so many failures, that God was simply not going to let me die. And believe me, by all rights I shouldn’t be here.

Then an experience occurred in my early thirties, which came out of nowhere. I was in the third year of extensive counseling for the abuse I had suffered as a child. The sessions had been emotionally brutal for me and I was feeling like I could not go on, having to relive that pain over and over indefinitely. I was sitting there one day, thinking that no matter how much I wanted to be the parent my two small sons deserved, I was simply too screwed up and they would be better off if I’d die and they could be spared having to deal with their mother for the rest of their lives. I was sitting there across from the counselor, listening to her tell me about how I had come so far and had survived so much. I was a great mother to my sons. I had spared them the pain I knew. I felt my head get heavier and fall backwards. There was this roaring sound as I was lifted out of my chair and pulled very quickly towards the place in the dark where I had been as a child. Finally I came to a stop, and tried to get bearings as to where I was and what had just happened. I quickly realized I was not alone. Millions of others were there, all moving together like one single force. I could not see them, but I knew they were there. The movement was steady and continuous, like a line of people just walking


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