The Gnawing

Sweden norway border fjell på grensen

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The Gnawing 

It’s there in the belly, it sits like a stone,

hard, heavy and dragging them down.

Gnawing in waves, tearing, grating, chewing,

Life imploding, no hope of renewing.

A breaking soul shattered to pieces,

like a mirror smashed by a rock, the light now ceases.

Disintegration.

No going forward, nor even going back.

So continue to clutch that unpredictable track.

It’s over too soon, and yet all seems so far,

Such destinations are never reachable by car.

Blow upon blow, a mind in torture,

The heart rent sore, bent beyond rupture.

And still the Gnawing is there, the closest companion in the darkness.

 

StPA

 

 

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To Honour the Best Dog in the World

TIFFANY :

Your first two years were difficult, but you found your way to Schnauzer Rescue and finally to us. One of our family was a bit reluctant to have a dog, but you quickly won him over with your gentle spirit, your kindness, manners, and limitless trust.

We loved you so much, and you returned this love more than hundred-fold. You found us a whole group of like-minded, sweet, new friends, and great dog friendly places to go.

Strangers stopped us to admire and pat you, often mistaking you for a Boy Dog and we’d have to tell them that they were wrong, that you were our ‘Beautiful Bearded Lady.’

You were such a great dog, so endearing; you knew just how to care when we felt the world was against us. You helped us through the darkest times, you were there often reaching those, who no one else could reach, with your love and empathy.

I miss your intelligence, intuition, elegance and dignity;

I miss the way you wrapped your two front legs around mine when you were feeling anxious;

I miss how you would gently remind us that it was time to go – that light touch of your wet nose on my leg, or that concerted flick of my wrist off the computer mouse with your “schnauze”, when you knew it was time to prepare dinner!

You always had food on your mind!

Dog photo

You weren’t really impressed when new little sister Rebel came to live with us in your twilight years. She tried to take your bed, your mat, your couch, and your food. In true Tiffany form, you were gentle and forgiving, often taking second place to the younger model, while still guiding this ‘interloper, ‘ in the finer points of Schnauzer Border Patrol Protocols: sniffing out and removing neighbourhood vermin, possums and skinks from the property. The ‘Usurper’ became your ears when you lost your hearing and ended up as a pretty good mate to nap with.

Life wasn’t always fun for you; everyone has their troubles, but you didn’t deserve yours. Two unprovoked attacks frightened you and took you down, a cattle dog that likely mistook you for a sheep – (what an insult!) and the second, a complete ‘blindside’ by a raging psycho Amstaff, who also attacked your new little sister and nearly killed you both. It damaged you and shortened your time with us. We are sad about that.

dog beach

Even in your final weeks, you were careful to prepare us for your departure; you slowly withdrew from activities, sleeping more and more, never showing us how sad you were to leave us.

At first we didn’t want to admit you were ill; we didn’t want you to go, but even then, you made it possible for us to hold you close until the last possible moment.

And then, – and then  –   you were gone.

I cry and I cry, but I know that the tears can’t bring you back.

We grieve for your companionship, your trust, the feel of your soft velvety ears, your big soulful eyes and yes, even for the feel of that wet beard that you loved to rub all over our furniture, especially after possum hunting.

It is selfish of us, but we still want you here, with us.

You are resting now in peace.

Our gorgeous Tiffany, forever, you will be our treasured, beloved Schnauzer. We will never forget your spirit and we’ll miss you til the ends of time.

You were the BEST dog in the world.

From your Loving Family   ♥♥♥♥♥♥

 

Someone I will Always Ponder About

 

 

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Hidden Lives and Human Resilience

Auschwitz
Birkenau

When visiting Auschwitz concentration camp and the Birkenau selection facility in Poland, the sobering reminder of man’s inhumanity to man, was painfully obvious. It was then that I was reminded of a transcript of an interview, I had read some time ago. This transcript discussed the surprising fact that suicide occurs less among those people, who lived in severely impoverished/low socioeconomic areas and those in concentration camps, as opposed to those who have resources and perhaps live in more comfortable circumstances. What can be learnt from the incredible resilience of survivors, who when faced with extreme brutality or hellish circumstances, continue on and survive?

Johanna Reiss explains it like this:

“the middle class and the upper class are much more likely to commit suicide than those who have to find their daily bread, so to speak, (In) Elie Wiesel’s book.  In concentration camps, the biggest goal for most of them was to get the next crust of bread. And they were already being punished by the Nazis and so they didn’t think they had to punish themselves too. And so there were very few suicides in concentration camps, which is strange when you think about it, it surely seems like a place you’d want to get away from.”

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Kitty Hart a survivor of Auschwitz, in her documentaries, speaks of how she trained herself not to “think,” but just to do – just to live in the moment and do that, without thinking anything about the future, or indeed the next day.

 Birkenau
Flowers outside Birkenau

Impact on the Victim’s Circle

A parent’s mental state is forever changed when the tragedy of depression or suicide involves their child, no matter the child’s age, nor whether the child recovers or not. Many of those persons, closest to the victim, experience anguish that seems to leave a permanent scar, for which there is no miracle cure, perhaps only amelioration. How can we promote resilience for these people, who suffer a daily living hell?

“I think you can say that when there is a suicide the entire family becomes totally unhinged. And even though we all seem to go back to normalcy, something has been broken forever. In my own case, having been abandoned by my father in a way – he never was much of a father,and then having being abandoned by Jim. The only person who never abandoned me except when he died was Johan Oosterveld, the farmer in the Upstairs Room, the man who saved my life. He was always there for me. He even left a closet, in his attic, with a hole that you could crawl into, where I had hidden from the Germans. Because he always said: ‘You never know – it might come in handy again, and then Annie you can come back from New York and you can get right back in there.”

[Johanna Reiss, author of a Hidden Life.]  Click here to read more
Developing Resilience

I think this is a really important thing to remember if we are to combat suicide rates in all levels…. that the sufferer is not left feeling alone, feeling abandoned. Could it be that if an individual has a sense of responsibility towards another person more vulnerable, or if that person feels that the other absolutely needs them, the victim might cope better/ hang in there/be more resilient, no matter what? Might a reason to stay alive, be that they can then feel hope; that there is somebody or something that is so important, the victim cannot contemplate leaving, no matter how bad things become?

Elie Wiesel wrote about his experiences in a concentration camp as a boy and that he “was considering running into the barbed wire once, but he didn’t because his father needed him.” And that’s the only time he mentions the ‘allure of suicide.’

Oswiecim
Oswiecim (Auschwitz)

In reflecting on suicide in today’s world where it appears to be a hidden spectre, together with my own experience with a close friend’s depression and suicidal behaviour, I wonder if the resilience/coping strategies of people such as those mentioned, might just be something that could potentially encourage resilience and give hope to victims, where often there seems none?

Something Serious to Ponder About

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Survivors – FMFW Day 18 – Worth and Day 22 – Value

How Three Survivors of Suicide Spent Their Last Days On Earth – http://wp.me/p6xgta-oS

Incredibly powerful stories, revealing in the way the writers take the reader into their heads and reveal their thinking.

As a young person, I worked as a Nurse and never understood my patients as much as I did after reading this post. Many people are not able to empathize with the sufferer but these words do help to relate the hopelessness and understand the thought patterns that lead to the most tragic act.

I think we can better understand the nature of suicide from survivors like this.

It is so important for us all to check in with others about how they are doing. A txt or phone call could mean everything.

This post constitutes Day 18 and Day 22 of Five Minutes of Summer –

Five minutes of Free Writing every day  for October

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Something serious to ponder about