Deep snow is still on the ground but melting fast. Finally the sun’s out, setting me free from the persistent winter’s grasp. So many fantasies came and went throughout this winter. I daydreamed of moving back to Hawaii, or trying a new life in Florida. Every morning, I woke up yearning for another place, anywhere but here, somewhere warm and cozy, where beach is not very far, and watching a wonderful sunset in short sleeves and short pants would be my nightly ritual.
Today I finally cancelled my newspaper subscription. It was something that had been pending for a good few months now. I have tall stacks of newspapers, unread, and still in fresh plastic bags in the corner of my parent’s living room. It gave my heart a warning that cannot go ignored every time I walked by. But like a child covering her eyes to hide, I ignored, I covered my eyes, and I tried to cover up my heart that was welling up with fear: fear of the comeback of my depression.
I couldn’t stand being inside anymore. It was still as cold as it could be, still snowing, even windy on this day. I put on my heavy black winter coat, and walked out with no particular place to go. I thought I’d go to a grocery store and return the chocolate I have bought the other day. Nothing seems to rejuvenate me, even the chocolate covered strawberries. Feeling down, and getting comfortable with my gloom was not that difficult. The hardest thing was to pretend. The hardest part is always lying to myself, to my parents, and to those who love me the most. I don’t want to worry them. I don’t want to worry me. So I pretend that I am ok.
But the day comes when your will just runs out. After returning the chocolate and getting my 3 dollar back in return, I walked back to my black car, in my black coat, secretly whispering inside, ‘I don’t want to live this life.’ There it was again. I tried not to say that all winter long, but finally I’ve said it. I pictured my students at the preschool. Their joyful laughters untouched by the darkness temporarily worked up some smile on my face.
My closest friend at the Catholic church on Big Island once told me about a member of the church that committed suicide few years ago. I’ve never forgot about that story. She jumped from the high stone wall on Walmart parking lot. I used to go there aimlessly when I first moved to the island. It’s located atop a big hill, and parking lot is so spacious that there is always an ample parking. If the island is hit with tsunami warning, and you want to witness the thrill of the massive killer waves without sacrificing your physical safety, then this Walmart parking lot is the place to be. It is there, on that stone wall with one of the most beautiful ocean views in town that she killed herself. It came in her 50’s, after fighting depression all her life.
For people who have not experienced a life time of depression, it is hard to imagine doing what she did. Why would anyone living on a paradise island, with a perfect house, and a nice husband, with a loving community of Catholic church, climb onto a stone wall at Walmart and take her own life? Until one experiences what took her to stand on the stone wall on that last day of her life, it is impossible to measure the degree of her pain. I understood the horror of the pain the fallen must have carried on the day Cynthia told me about her. Walking to my car on this parking lot of a grocery market few years later, I still understand.
This aching sadness carrying me through like powerful current underneath is always there no matter how much I try to mask it. But I didn’t live my life wooing my sad inner being. If I say I don’t let her dominate me, then clearly, I would be lying. She dominates me with her enormous power. I lived my life in a constant power struggle and the battle is always on between me and her. It has been such a lonely fight when I didn’t know about Jesus.
Despite my deep understanding of the pain that caused the fall of many lives in suicides, I have another set of understanding that far exceeds that of the pain. I understand why we are here and where we are going. I understand the final destination of this human journey. The joy of the upcoming paradise in heaven always wins over the heavy sadness that comes from living in this limited, defiled human form. It’s the kind of joy only God can remind me. And sometimes, it is the only source of my joy when I am struggling deep in my dark pool.
Whether I want to live this life or not is not up to me. I don’t live this life.
It is lived by the Holy power that does not come from me, but only God. I know I am not strong enough to carry this life through till the end. But with God, all things are possible, and even death is defeated. From that knowledge comes my strength, and I am finally able to say, bye bye winter blues. Though I am not going to shop around for another newspaper subscription yet, I know pretty soon, I will be back to normal enjoying my morning activities of reading newspapers, and going for a nice, long run.