Sunday, May 4, 2008

Reflections on a Life Cut Short

It's been a real long time since I've posted anything here, and I have to be better about that. And now, the first thing I'm going to post in over two months is rather dark and heavy, and intense. But here goes, I feel a need to share these thoughts with whatever audience has found my blog and is "listening". (Wondering if there is anybody out there!)

It was a tough week last week. Through my own emotional challenges a suicide in my AA community was hanging like a dark cloud. I was feeling very fragile, and anxiety and depression were overwhelming. When I'm in a "suicidal depression", I always come back to how selfish I know suicide is; though I am not now, nor have I been, feeling angry or upset about the selfishness of the one who killed himself. I "get" his pain.

I get it, with this guy; because I get not just his need to kill himself but I identify with the alcoholic/addictive element that is part of the package, or was, with him. I so want to alter my go back to those times of being so high on a drug! Forget alcohol. I want to drop some acid or something. Just go inside, and yet so far away. In search of some kind of feeling, I the absence of any ability within myself to feel loved, by anyone else or to love myself or to feel God's love.

But you know, I still keep getting up, getting dressed and going to work. Doing whatever has to be done. Somehow in the middle of my own extreme brokenness I am able to allow God to bless others through me in ways that I don't understand. And so I suppose I can do nothing less than keep on keeping on, fighting the good fight and living - as long as God continues to minister through me then I have to keep going. And these dark times do pass.

I do wish Hunter had realized this, as God ministered to others through him too; I heard everyone share about how he touched them with his wisdom, at my Tuesday night meeting last week and at the memorial.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls...

I went to Hunter's memorial service Saturday evening. It was truly impacting and revealed the immense tragedy of this loss. This was a man who touched lives very deeply, who had a wonderful and amazingly bright light. I learned of how much he had to do with saving a huge amount of local mountain land from development. Everyone spoke of his fire, his passion and his wisdom. And he was beautiful in every way possible, including the exterior. Yet - none of that prevented his suicide. Its so deeply sad.

Somewhere in the midst of this service, I sensed Hunter's spirit. Saying to me something like, "hang in there, stay in the present; I know you think maybe I didn't like you but I did, and I love you from where I am now. I had my own problems that made it seem like I wasn't wanting to be bothered with you but that was just your perception"....and along with this came encouragement and inspiration I can't put into words. But someone did put it into words. As I hugged my "grandsponsor" after the candlelight ceremony, he whispered to me, "stay sober. don't be afraid. live your life with passion. keep on shining that big wonderful light of yours". He said he just felt that he had to say those things in that moment.

One of the speakers said that Hunter was "a huge bright light, but he also had an incredible darkness inside of him". I know I have an incredible darkness inside of me. It occurs to me how many people there are who share in this description. But among these same ones who struggle, lie some amazingly loving and wise, bright lights.

I just want to put it out there -
no matter how hard it gets, hang on! God uses us in and through our broken hearts and lives and gives us light to share with the world.


Anonymous said...

Steve, I was reading through your blog and I must admit that these are some of the most honest writings I came across in a while.

This one brought back some of the questions about a local guy who committed suicide two years ago. He was well-liked, partnered and owned a home with said partner in North Minneapolis. When he killed himself, the entire community asked "why." Even for those who never met the guy, his death touched us all. But, still the question of "why" was never answered. It was a selfish act by one that brought a community together, albeit briefly.

Mind if I share this blog with some friends who are also faith-based in the community?

Keep in touch, Steve, via e-mail ( Love to chat further with you and I'll keep the feed going to follow your posts here.


Steve said...

Hi Randy!

Thanks for coming by and reading my blog, and I'm glad you appreciated it and that it caused you to reflect.
I would be honored to have you share this blog with your friends!

Anonymous said...

This world is very painful at times because it is a cursed world Genesis 3:17-20. We make choices, horrible ones we know hurt our bodies, minds and those around us because we feel in the moment it is necessary or right. That is why loving, caring, seemingly moral people can be lead down the dark road of suicide. Those acts of "goodness" are transient and only a permanent relationship with God through reading His word (the Bible) can rescue our broken hearts permanently and bring us closer to the only good person, the person of Christ. You are never to far gone to cry out for healing or forgiveness. Though people are Christian they are not Christ and will fall short - that is why you must turn to His Word daily. For wisdom in difficult times "ask, seek,
knock" Matthew 7:7