Last night, I noticed a message from a fellow blogger. She implored our community to send comments of support and love to a woman she didn’t know, but was terribly worried about. I went to the blog she was referring to and saw a photo of a gorgeous young woman. Her dark tendrils of hair and the faraway look in her eyes were reminiscent of a model from a Raphael painting. She wrote about being battle-weary, of finding comfort in the notion that she may quietly slip away. She was saying goodbye. Many people were concerned about this stranger. We need her in this world! Messages of love and support were sent. Please hold on. I have been there, sweetheart. I know how it feels to be done with this world and all the anguish contained therein. I wanted to fall asleep forever. I thought that my life would have to expire in order to slay the demons slowly killing me. I never imagined turning eighteen, let alone thirty! My attempts (plural), were executed with the help of a medical manual and many prescription pills. I had to be resuscitated, was in ICU, and in coma’s. Nobody was more surprised than I to awake. It took a long time to feel thankful that I hadn’t succumbed. Before these attempts, I could see beauty. It was presented outside of my realm. In music, art, other people and their pretty lives. It seemed inaccessible to me. I know what you felt last night, for I have felt it too. You get to a point where you feel like you are committing an act of mercy, by setting those you love free of witnessing the torment you have been facing. Setting them free to start anew. That is scary territory; when you believe that you staying is worse for your loved ones than you leaving. I am so proud of this young woman, for telling us what she was feeling and why. That took enormous courage. We were strangers at the beginning of the night, and by the time dusk had smeared the sky with cinnamon-hued light, we knew you.
Many years have passed since I last woke in Intensive Care, furious that I had been saved. Many years have passed since I felt I had no place in this world. My days are filled with wonder and mirth. I laugh at the silliness of some of my encounters. Others have me weeping in the shower. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss any of it. My daughter growing, having a beloved colony of guinea pigs, meeting friends by the river, riding buses with groomed elderly ladies, seeing in another year… The list goes on and on. There will come a day sweetheart, when you shall be glad that you are here too. Keep talking and please keep writing. Life won’t be filled with darkness forever. It is merely the background for the painter. They shall fill it with stars and swirls of blue. You will be in the foreground, in all your Raphaelite beauty.
Stephen Fry sent this response to a young lady who had reached the end of her ability to cope.