Your story is the most moving to me because like you, I feel what is at stake is a redefinition of death in our society. I have had so many suicides around me, but the ones that touched me most where when I lost my brother in law to hanging and my mother was in so much pain two years ago that she contemplated suicide. He was clinically depressed and was the sixth one among his friends to decide that the Colombian reality was too much lilke hell to continue living, and decided to end it all, leaving pain, confusion, and heartbreak behind, especially in my sister, who felt she had abandoned him and prompted his hanging. Ten years later, she has managed to walk out of the shadow of grief and regret, but his memory has become a part of who she is forever. My mother, on the other hand, called me one day to tell me she'd rather die than deal with the endless succession of tormented painful, meaningless days. She had lived through three near-death experiences as a child and was not afraid of death in any way, and we were brought up understanding death as the other side of life. Citing her grandchildren as her motive, she finally decided to undergo a very dangerous spinal cord operation and has been dealing with the struggles of recovery, and we do a long-distance phone meditation daily. We have incorporated Macrina Wiederckers's work, Mark Nepo's, and other spiritual texts to our conversations and I think that there is more light in her days now, but I respect now, and respected even then, when she had the impulse to end it all, her right to choose when to die. I sense that same respect and evolution of the understanding of death in your experience after your son's death, and I share your desire for this conversation and our weaving of communal stories and experiences to prompt a differetn view of death, a revised look at suicide, as to how we respond to it as a family, as a community, as an individual, and as to how much these individuals can teach us through their choices. with love, Lina.
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