[A note responding to a young lady who sent me a private message through a discussion forum]
Thank you for your heart-warming note. Though I've never met you - I feel as if I can point you out from a crowd of moving faces. The depressed often complain about the numbness they feel (I do, all the time), but that hollow-hearted emotion is attributed to the way we feel about ourselves. In fact, my experience with depression tore my heart wide-open, so my sensitivity for others heightened - because I can relate to their sadness and insecurities. I'm sure you relate, evidenced by the note you sent me.
I've learned recently that death is a continuum of life. When we are born, we're born to eventually die [among other truths]. This is not some Buddhist sermon nor am I trying to sell you the idea of life after death (I'm not religious). But all things break in their own way and continue in a new form. Like a glass vase that shatters into a million pieces, or a flower with its pedals no longer reaching for the sun and wither away, or a shooting star that burns out in the night sky. People, too, expire and die.
But what form do we take after we shed our bodies?
The glass will be recycled and poured into a molten pot and blown into something beautiful again. The flower will grow anew - all life surrounding the budding plant will gravitate to it. The burned out rock may one day gather itself again - gaining momentum and rocket into a far-off galaxy. Do you think that what we find out in death will answer our questions to the meaning of life? I hope so.
Jenny, I write for the same reasons you find cuts on your arms. It's to tell yourself you're still alive - because if you cut and you're hurting, your heart is telling you so. And if you see your blood, your mind is telling you so. I write to re-read what my heart and mind are saying because I often feel as if they're ignoring me. It's like reading the newspaper in the morning for the news that happened yesterday.
My choice to die (when I decide to), is a conscious one. I think about it everyday - almost each waking moment, in fact. The morning and afternoon subways rumble through the tunnel during my commute to and from work. And right before it passes, I wonder, "why not?". And when it passes me in a big whirlwind and my tie is waving off my shirt like a white flag, I begin to feel as if I let another moment pass me by - and I didn't take it.
I can't even die when I want to.
But I usually get over it and settle on the notion that "it wasn't my time yet." Perhaps there are things I still want to do before I go. There are things I want to experience before I leave. There are moments I want to live to tell my loved ones, before I die. There's still work to do.
I read your profile on the discussion forum and it looks like you dabble in some writing yourself. I hope it brings you solace, especially when the heart and mind fail to communicate with you. I hope my heart and mind communicated with you. I wish you love and hope.
Very truly yours,