“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 16 December 2011

The last mystery

Yesterday afternoon, I came back from a convivial Christmas lunch with a friend, and opened my e-mails, to find an e-mail on my computer from another friend to say that a mutual friend had committed suicide the previous night, having left him a suicide e-mail, which he had opened that morning. It was such a shock – I saw her (the friend who has died) last month, and she seemed fine – up and quite content with her life, full of plans for the future.

Mourning flower by Solemn Hypnotic

And now she has gone. Such a waste.

It made me think about how little we know about what is really going on inside other people's heads and hearts. I am comforted by some wise words by Rev. Arthur Stewart::

"For some, living involves no obvious self-conflict; while for others, there is deep inner stress. We realise we are deeply affected by those who have struggles; and more so by those who, in their aloneness, could not see a chance of winning. For it is from these last that we shall learn in the days to come, to labour more earnestly, and to share with one another our common stores of beauty, joy and love."

I mourn for the lost possibilities of my friend's life - so much that could have been accomplished, that will not now be. And for the friends and family left behind, who must now come to terms with a life that does not contain her. Let us pray for the strength to move forward in wholeness. A prayer by Rev. Michael Dadson fits what I want to say:

"Spirit of Life and Hope and Love, we find ourselves today in the presence of unfathomable mystery,
As with humble hearts we bow before the veil which has fallen between us and one whom we have known and loved.
Help us not to fear - nor to surrender ourselves to grief alone.
Help us to remember that greater than sorrow is love, which endures through pain and conquers grief. Love can bind all hearts in bonds of fellowship and courage; they who love unselfishly face even the depths with courage, for their strength is the strength of many and their courage rests upon the love of friends.
Let us open our hearts now - all the windows of our hearts - in search of the inner resources we shall need, if we are to face life's varied experiences of joy and sorrow.
At this time when ties of friendship and kinship have been broken, we seek the peace of acceptance.
May the words, the feelings, and the remembrances we share in these quiet moments strengthen us each in our grief, and all in our support, one for another.

May she rest in peace.

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