Thursday, 25 May 2017

Suicide, et al.


Tis I

So, here is a bit about suicide.

For as long as I can remember, I was told that my grandfather, when he was very young killed himself. He was about 24. He killed himself by drinking iodine.... i was told in The Padang, in Singapore, but this was also a figment of my imagination. He died because, I was told, again, his relatives cheated him. I don't know if this is true. This is just a story I was told.

He was a coward. That is what I was told.

His wife, my grandmother, had three children. My dad, is elder brother, and his younger brother. My dad and his brother were fostered out. His youngest brother was put up for adoption. And was adopted by the family who ran the Hotel New World. My dad does not know who his youngest brother is. 

Anyway. - years passed.

My dad became the dad of dads. Because he had no dad, he was the best father in the world. My sister and I were the centre and front of everything he did. Whatever decision he made, he made it with us in mind. I know that now. And i have only gratitude for it.

I didn't know it all the time, and for all the times i didn't know it, i apologise. 

But, the suicide still remained.

Recently, it returned. Not to me personally, but i was asked to tell its story again, and so... here it is...its epilogue.

When i was pregnant with Oisin, my first son, i sat in the garden in our house in Quigley's Point. I was thinking about my grandfather and how he would have felt, having his first great grandson. It was a beautiful June day. The sun shone and the light bounced off the lough into everyone's eyes. It bounced onto the blades of grass and the leaves on trees and the very sky itself laughed in return. But all i could think of was my grandfather, and who he was and how i never saw his face. Life, it is so beautiful? How could you have killed yourself, i asked him. 

Then, from nowhere, i felt a hand on my shoulder, my left shoulder. Forgive me, the voice said. Please, forgive me. And i knew who it was at once. Of course, I forgive you, I said. And i felt the release of all the years. I knew, from that moment that he, and all those who had passed before him. were looking after my me and my child. Of course, I forgive you.

Of all my ancestors, it is he whom I feel walking closest beside me. The dead are always with us, but not in ways which you think. Their benediction and generosity is unending. We are so very lucky to be living with their love. I am deeply, deeply grateful that for that one moment, I touched the other side. My grandfather, who spoke to me, from the beyond.

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