Thursday, February 21, 2013

Caught in the undertow.

A dear friend contacted me recently to let me know that her beloved adult daughter, Lisa, had quite suddenly taken her own life.

I cannot find the right words.
Instead I will share this poem, written by Lisa's cousin.

She was sad in a sea of love, and the undertow was very strong.
May the sparkle of the sand remind us of the love she had in her heart.
May the tides calm her as they carry her to the other shore.

And her mom shared this moving piece.

No one knew the torment,
that you were going through;
We only kept on seeing
What we really wanted to.

We saw the outward smile,
but not your inner pain;
We never really dreamt
That you would never smile again.

Forgive us if we failed to see,
What we could do to aid;
Or, if we failed to comprehend,
How much you were afraid.

We pray your mental anguish,
Will now forever cease;
And that your deep anxieties,
Will be replaced by peace.

We know your pain invaded,
Every single thought you had'
It made you cry internally,
And deeply, deeply sad.

But we in turn remember,
The good times, not the bad;
We remember when you smiled at us,
And not when you were sad.

So when we think about your life,
We won't dwell upon its close;
We'll remember all the good times,
And forget about life's blows.

We'll remember all the happiness,
The joy and not the tears;
The assurance and the confidence,
And not irrational fears.

Our lives have all been better,
Because you have been there;
So now we leave your memory,
In God's all-loving care.
c2008  Dick Underwood



  1. Oh how terribly sad – I'm so sorry for your friend and her family. The metaphor of the strong undertow in a sea of love is inspired and well illustrates the power depression has over those who suffer from it and lose their battle with it, in spite of the love surrounding them. I've lost two cousins and a friend to suicide. It's a rough time. My thoughts and prayers are with your dear friend, Sybil.

  2. Oh my. This is so sad. I hope with all my heart that her mother can fnd peace here on earth. But that generally is not the case.It leaves loved ones caught in a gulf of guilt and the grieving process never leaves. That is the sad part of suicide. It devastates the family beyond comprehension. I am so sorry for the family and the fact that the daughter would not reach out to those that loved her.

    1. I did not go into details, but Lisa has left two young children behind. So the mom, is a grandmom, and that role, I think will be her reason to go on. We cannot understand why people in Lisa's position do not reach out. I think they just feel a profound sadness that we cannot fathom. Like that "undertow", it drags them down and blacks them out. FYI, in lieu of flowers, the family asked for donation to the Mental Health Association.

  3. I'm so sorry to read this. I just can't imagine what your friend is going through right now. The poem is so lovely. Hugs from me.

    1. Thanks. The Celebration of her life is today, back in Ontario.

  4. When someone takes their own life I wish they'd realize how it impacts everyone left behind. I send my deepest sympathy to all her friends and family. May they find the strength to carry on and hope they can remember her alive and not dwell on her death.

    [I have a friend from Ontario who committed suicide by jumping over the wall at Niagara falls. She also left two young children.]

    1. Rosie, they feel so desperately sad that they aren't seeing things clearly.

      We just cannot understand HOW they can apply such a permanent solution to a possibly temporary problem.

      I'm glad we now dialogue about it. The shame and the stigma are gone.

      But it is so profoundly sad. Lisa, left two children behind also.

      My condolences on the loss of your friend.

  5. Yes, the undertow which threatens even those of us with smiles... So very sad. Yet the poem shares such love. I am thinking now of those who die unexpectedly (and may have wanted to remain here on this planet) and those who choose to leave the planet. Maybe there's not much distinction, but am pondering... Blessings and hugs, dear Sybil...

    1. Sometimes Kathy, we are like children. Wanting our father or mother to explain it. To make it all make sense. We want so much, for there to be a reason that things happen as they do.

      I know I do.

      Hugs back, Sybil

  6. How very very sad... I feel for Lisa's family and friends. The poem is so full of love and compassion, just as she will be remembered. Sending you my deep sympathy, Sybil.


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