Friday, December 21, 2012

My mind collection of lost dreams - part 3

Suicide letters

Her son left without any written notes.

As she asked herself why, she started collecting someone else's suicde notes. Maybe they would give her clues.

"Don't cry, don't suffer, I'm ABSOLUTELY HAPPY!!! That's all I wanted: eternal peace with my God and. if possible, with my mother. I didn't committed suicide, I departed to be close to God. Rest assured that I don't drink and I don't do drugs, I decided that I've done all I could in this life. I had a beautiful life, I traveled the world, I lived in wonderful cities, I had a worthy and well known family in my hometown, I shined in my career, made lots of money and I helped a lot of people with it. I really didn't know how to handle it and I've been tricked by ill meaning people so many times, but I was always reborn like a phoenix and I always came back on top. As a matter of fact, I've never been too worried about possessions. Well, there is a lot more about my life, this is just a sample for you to see that I'm not a coward, I was a warrior, but I'm tired now. One needs to be brave to live this life on one's own will. To everyone that reads this document: I'm not giving up life, I'm seeking  God. It's not lack of money, because I have enough to support me here or anywhere else in the South. But it happens that I don't want to live anywhere. I don't want to get old and suffer. I saw my mother suffering until her death and I don;t want this for myself. I want peace! I'm tired, my mind is tired! I can't stand thinking anymore, paying bills, solving problems... You are going to say: "Everybody lives!!!" But I decided that I can stop that, be happy, because I know that God will forgive me and will accept me as a generous and kind child that I've always been. To my true friends, to unbiased journalists, to my friends (.....)  my heartfelt thanks. The the TV stations where I worked, thanks. And to my wonderful coworkers, my God light your path! To all honorable sites that follow my career, SUCCESS!!! (My friends....)don't fell forgotten. I can't cite any names, or I would have to write a book, but (...) you are the sister I've never had. (...), be always happy my friend. (...), thanks for everything! To (...) from (...) TV show  I leave you a kiss my friend.  (...) where are you??? I'm sorry for the ones I didn't mention, life was away more wonderful than bad for me. Thank you Jesus, Our Lady, and my God, forgive me and take me as the honest and nice daughter I always strive to be! God bless everyone!
Leila Lopes

PS: If there is higher feeling then Love, I'm not aware of it!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My mind collection of lost dreams - Part 2

“Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is THE BEST.” ~~Frank Zappa

For her music was everything.  It was the weekend barbecue with the family. Everyone gathered on the backyard, beer, meat, guitar, everybody singing. The birthday parties, the monthly visits to the grandparents, the summers at her grandmother's beach house. The church, the baptisms, the Christmas feasts, the processions, the end of the recess, the evening soap opera. Every memory was full of music. There was always a baby to sooth with a lullaby. There was always a song to entertain a long road trip. The maid singing along with the radio while she was pressing the clothes. She would stay there with the maid, doing her homework. The clothes strings on the backyard fluttering the linens, "The strange festival" like in the song.

Every morning they would wake up with dad's march playing on the radio spilling the news all over the house. Eldorado radio station. A bunch of easy listening tunes would follow after that. A jazz standard here and there, popular tunes,  refined songs, with precious lyrics and impeccable arrangements that were taken for granted, because no one ever paid good attention to them.

The church was special. Her parents had so many activities in church. The charities, the simple poor people that they would help. Her family was like foreigners in their own town. They didn't have the local accent, since her parents weren't from there. She would listen to the people singing the hymns at the church, the rolled r's, the long vowels. "The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends." "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another".

Her father was this man greater than life.  He was the justice, the righteousness, the final decision of all quests. Poor and rich, humble and wise, all would come to him for advice.

The last year of his life was like a blur in her memories. He was away in the hospital most of the time, in another city. Her mom was away with him. When he finally came home, she and her sister ran to the front gate to hug him. He embraced them and he cried. So profound cry. She felt it on her bones. That was when she understood that he was about to die. She was 12. The rest of the month was a routine of scrubbing his dried skin with a hard brush, to give him some relief. Apply cold cream. Listen to the radio. He fancied to buy one last record, by The Carpenters: "Now and Then". She remembers his favorite tune on it: "This masquerade". "Are we really happy with
This lonely game we play
Looking for the right words to say
Searching but not finding
Understanding anyway
We're lost in this masquerade"

His funeral mass had a packed church. The coffin was in front of the altar. She was taken there by family friends. Her mother was beside the cofin crying inconsolably. All she would say to everyone was:"Have seen how sad? He was so young..." She told her friends that she was OK. She had cried a lot when he died in the morning, but now she was back to her brave self. She let go of her friend's hand and walked in the aisle towards the coffin. Half way through she stopped. She couldn't do it. She sat on the pews a couple of rows behind. The image of her crying mother never left her. She would remember that when she had to bury her own son. What she didn't realize then was how small a coffin is. From the distance and because of her young age, it looked bigger then. Many years later when she saw her son in one, it looked small, fragile, not much more than a box.

My mind collection of lost dreams - part 1

As she knelt on the floor by the closet she leaned her face gently to the drawers. She could feel the cold of the wire baskets and smell his scent that was long gone, like his life. Like her own life. If she was to write a suicide note one day it would read:

"I'm so sorry.
I didn't get it"

Everyday was a chosen day to remain alive since he had left.

She had received so many advices the past years. She had a collection of stories full of advices. A little prayer bead bracelet that one friend had held when she lost her husband: "you don't need to believe or pray for anything, just hold on to it when you are desperate in sorrow". Saying goodbyes at the airport she got a golden chain with guardian angel medals:"it kept me alive when I was sad after losing my father". "The priest told me that it is not a sin, he was just ill, like someone that dies from a heart attack, but I'll pray for his soul". "A friend of a friend was really bad when his wife left him. A monk gave him a prayer and told him to pray for 6 months. I think the trick is the 6 months, not necessarily the prayer". The Buddhist prayer, with the book of dead, the sacred altar, the incense, the candles and at least 3 water glasses. It would take her 20 min to recite the prayer everyday. A friend would check on her from time to time and collect the money to make sure that her ancestors would take care of her. It was odd to have her son's name inscribed on the book of the dead among her ancestors that were long gone. "Are you going to see a doctor?" asked her daughter's therapist. "You should go to a support group". "I'm going to let you go from the job, because you need to be with family to heal". "Your surviving children need you".  "Don't cry so much, please. You have to let it go". "He is in a better place now". "He joined the love of his life, they are finally together". "You will find a purpose in all your sorrows, there is always a great purpose for our life". "It was his destiny". "You are strong, you'll get over it". "I'm sorry, you are so seriously sick, that I have to call the police to take you to the mental hospital. I can let you call your husband to come here to take you there, but you have to sit right there and wait for him, or I will call the police. Make sure to sign the check before you leave". The list would go on and on.

And books. They were a long list of commonplace phrases, prayers, sobbing stories, hopeful laments. So many people that had it worse, so many people that got out of it. The expert in grief that finally had lost a friend to suicide. To her, all books looked alike, because all she could see for a long time was a blur of letters mingling on the pages. She would stare at them for  moments at a time and she could make no sense of anything. Like wooden wagons of a toy train that had lost their magnets. She would pull a word and the rest of the sentence wouldn't follow on the track. The line of thought was gone. She risked unraveling the sweater of her brain if she pulled too hard on it.