a beautiful life

417779_10201072989212381_1420551002_n

Matt Schwartz. Kelley’s brother. My cousin. Great guy.

401962_10201206616432978_317921181_nAward winning author and editor (Also, a cousin of mine.) Kelley Clink shares an interesting insight about the effects of suicide on those left behind and on the victim’s legacy. [emphasis mine]

Here’s the thing about suicide: it can seep backward and stain an entire life. For years after my brother’s suicide, I could only think about him in terms of his death. Any moment of joy or happiness was called into question. He’d suffered so deeply for so long–had any of the pleasure in life he’d expressed been real?

It took a very, very long time for that stain to fade. For me to allow my brother’s life to be about more than his death. He, like Mr. Williams, made people laugh. He comforted. He celebrated. He loved.

But, she does offer hope.

Some people may be angry. Some people may judge. I think most people will just feel sadness, and hopefully compassion. Eventually the stain will fade, and we will be left with his beautiful life.

Kelley’s memoir will be published next May.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

4 responses to “a beautiful life

  1. Incredibly poignant read. Very moving.

  2. In just a few words, Kelley describes her experience as a suicide survivor in much the say way as I have experienced it.

    • Yes. She’s had a lot of time to live with it and think about it.

      I like this dialectic from another post:

      Ten years after Matt’s death, I want to share a a complicated truth: I hate that my brother is dead, but I love who I became because of it. With one action he cracked my foundations, and over the years my walls came tumbling down. Those years were pure terror. I was broken, bleeding, and exposed. Life–every moment of it–hurt.

      But that pain led me to compassion. That pain led me to change. That pain forced me to accept myself for who I am, allowed me to find the beauty, joy, and love at the root of all my grief.

      I won’t say it doesn’t still hurt, sometimes. I will say that more often than not I am grateful for the pain.

      I love you, little brother. Every motherfucking day.