December 30, 2019

This morning, I sat in the 8th funeral/homegoing I’ve attended this year. Woulda been the 10th if I could’ve gotten the time off from work to pay my respects to the others.

Two suicides; the youngest of which was 10 yrs old, one murder, and 4 of the deaths having made the news. And that’s just my story. One iota of it actually. There’s no doubt in my mind you have your own.

This morning, I sat in the 8th funeral/homegoing I’ve attended this year. My pen listened to the gut wrenching pain around me. Sobs and faint smiles of sweet recollection of the 32 yr old laid to rest, kissed the air. My mind fought vehemently with time as I listened to his aunt read a poem she wrote entitled “We’ve Got To Stop Meeting Like This”.

She was so right. Why do we do that? I’m not sure why we do that. You know…that. Like we have forever.

So if I reach for you. If I hug you from my core. If I tell you, “I love you” or “I miss you” or that I’m happy to see you, its intentional. I am intentional about my love and the way that I love. So very intentional…and there are a myriad of reasons why.

For me, Peter is one of my many reasons why. Supervisor turned family friend who years later even sang at my wedding; I couldn’t wait to see him when we relocated back to the East Coast 2 years ago. Even though we had kept in touch I decided to surprise him with the kids. He had no idea we had moved back.

I had it all planned out. I called him two weeks after we got settled but instead his cousin answered because she recognized my name. She had just came from his funeral.

Yeah.

So if I love on you, thank you, honor you, look into your eyes and tell I miss you, hit you up out the clear blue, let you know I’m happy to see you…every time I see you – allow me.

‘Cause this morning, I sat in the 8th funeral/homegoing I’ve attended this year…💫e

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I think the most difficult conversation to start is one where we don’t know what to say. It weighs heavily on you and you know something is off but you can’t quite put your finger on it. A loved one, friend or acquaintance is struggling to cope. You notice they’re down, withdrawn, depressed or even angry all the time. You want to approach them but don’t know how. You fear opening a can of worms or saying the wrong thing…

There are times when we may notice but are too overwhelmed by our own problems to extend a helping hand.

Nothing is worse than addressing the issues after tragedy has occurred. It often causes even more distance between though who need help and those who can help.

Taking a moment to ask someone if everything is alright takes courage and there is nothing wrong with offering resources. I encourage you to keep the phone number of the National Suicide Hotline and Crisis Text Line in the note section of your phone so you can pass it along.

If loved ones or social media friends live outside the states; having the following info saved can be helpful:

The International Association for Suicide Prevention is also a great place to start.

You may know someone battling depression, self harming or engaging in maladaptive coping mechanisms. It’s important to not ignore them. When I served as a volunteer suicide crisis counselor, there were times I would get calls from people who weren’t suicidal but lonely. I can remember an influx of calls on Sunday afternoons from people who had been in church earlier that day but still felt alone. Some felt they couldn’t share with those closest to them for fear of judgment or being exposed. Isolation is crippling to someone who already feels alone. However it’s important to be lovingly honest about what you can and cannot do for them and then share resources.

Finally, guilt must be addressed.

Now perhaps you’ve already lost a loved one to suicide or know of someone who attempted. The guilt of surviving. The guilt of “was there something I could’ve said or done?”. The guilt of not keeping in touch or distancing yourself when you didn’t know how to help or when their sadness made your sadness worse. The guilt of not answering that last text or call. Not dealing with your emotions, pain, guilt or grief puts you at risk as well!

It’s ok to not be ok but don’t stay in that space. Reach out. Get help. Look for grief support groups in your area. Whatever we internalize will eventually materialize if it’s not dealt with.

You deserve healing and support too.

And also…

if someone threatens to kill or hurt themselves if you don’t stay in a relationship with them, please know that is a weight no one deserves to bear. There are genuine cries for help and then there are sordid tactics of manipulation. However to avoid misdiagnosing someone’s emotional and mental state or if you lack the ability to truly discern if someone’s in crisis: LOVINGLY OFFER RESOURCES. Direct their attention to trained volunteers and professionals who are willing to help.

I pray this piece is helpful. Won’t you share? You never know who’s going through or someone who has already gone through. Live Through This is a fascinating movement chronicling the lives of real suicide attempt survivors.

Be encouraged and remember:

As you Hold On To Life!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

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Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

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© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Welcome to Day 10 of #TheLoveLetterProject Writing Challenge created by Marie of The Notion Of Love! If you’re just joining me, you can catch up on the rules here!

Day 10

To That Person Who Has Lost Everything

Humbled that you would share this with me…

I give my ear and hold my peace

For I have time, compassion and no answers

I used to have answers, theories and remedies

And then the pendulum swung my way.

So now my ear awaits

My peace I share

My time is yours

My compassion irrespective

And I can see with my eyes closed

Your sinews restored

Your core strengthened

And

Your comeback…inevitable

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

LIKE ON FACEBOOK! @authenticiteespeaks AND @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @authenticitee & @EAInspiration

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance

.

.

Thank you for being here!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

Host of the Inspiration With E Radio Show

IG | FB @InspirationWithE

Twitter | @EAInspiration

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

IG | @authenticiteespeaks

Twitter | @authenticitee

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I AM STILL NOT READY TO WRITE ABOUT YOU JAY…

 

Nor am I ready to delete your last voicemail message…nope, not ready. Not ready because I only save the messages I want to remember forever. Things I want to remember forever…just like you.

So what have I been up to since we last spoke? Hmm let’s see…trying not to dart in and out of traffic on this untethered road called Transition….

God. Has this really been sitting in my drafts for two months now? I had it all ready to go along with screenshots of the last time you left a voicemail. Huh? I know, I know Jay…I just couldn’t concentrate man. Enough about me. Why are you gone?

What?! Omgoodness put that down!!  LOL! Whateva man I don’t know why I saved these screenshots of your last email and last voicemail; with a red arrow pointing at your name?! Like Really?!

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Looking back on it now it seems pretty over the top and obnoxious. Like I had to prove to the nosy and the noisy that what we had was real…pure…and consistent. Damn it Jay I miss you and this ish HURTS!!! I don’t know. Maybe I feel guilty about the High School Reunion Gospel Choir Recording idea you had worked so hard on, never coming to fruition. You mentioned it every single time we corresponded or spoke. But I was always lacking the time and/or resources to make the trip back home to Brooklyn; or in your latter years, to Maryland or New Jersey. Then after doing much research you said, “No worries, there’s a special mic everyone can purchase, record their own vocals, email me the files and I’ll mix the project that way!” You were such a genius. A witty, kind and hilarious genius. My homeboy. God, I miss you so.

Maybe its not guilt, maybe its anger or even regret. It can’t be sadness though right? Nah because we’re not allowed to feel that and if we do; only but for a moment, right? Well whatever it is, I feel it all because I still can’t write about you Jay. God knows I have been trying. ‘Cause that’s what we do right? Us, creatives like you and I…me and you. Yeah we create the pain away. Throw it into heart wrenching poetry, passionate lyrics and music. Lots of music.

I remember when you started blogging in this very community. The SoundSuite Studio blog was a true reflection of your heart’s desire to help others enhance their studio experience. We miss you in this space too.

Jay, can we overspiritualize procrastination? ‘Cause I would hate to think that was a factor or even the reason, so much of what I intended to say before now remained in cluttered and fragmented thoughts that never even made it to the Drafts section.

Well that’s it for now. Besides my Mommy, you’re still the only one that calls me by my Rap name. I’d give anything to hear it now…considering I’m still not ready to write about you Jay. I love you. Save a spot in the choir stand for me up there, ok?

 

Peace,

e

 

 

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks

 

 

 

 

I’ve been quiet. Very quiet. 

Love poems have been my therapeutic weapon of choice on Instagram and I’ve been writing with a fierce vengeance. See I’ve been circling this space called authenticiteespeaks.com for some time now, looking for a place to land. Taxiing if you will; just like the airplane I was on. There’s a different, intimate vulnerability I’ve cultivated here. One I wasn’t ready to return to. So I said nothing. 

It wasn’t my first time on an airplane. It had just been awhile. I wished my camera phone could capture everything I saw. Better yet, everything I felt.

I had just left home. Brooklyn NY that is. A trip to the East Coast I had been wanting to make for some time now; but not like this.


The view from the rear of the limousine following the hearse carrying my grandfather’s casket was somber and surreal. So I said nothing. Squeezing the hand of his daughter, my mother who lost him on her birthday. A widow for over 30 years, who was raised as an only child, tightly closed her tear drenched eyes in search of answers; so I said nothing.

The polite banter of others taking the hour and 1/2 ride to the National Cemetery with us gently competed with the rain against the window and Mommy’s sobbing. So I said nothing. It was very difficult when her mother, my Grandma and our pillar died unexpectedly. We were broken and numb that December day in 1998 when we made that same drive cushioned between dirty pillows of NYC snowdrifts in lieu of rain.

I’d not seen Grandma since that day. Pop Pop, my grandfather a WWII Veteran was getting ready to be laid to rest next to her. Resting together again. Sssshh…both of my grandparents were now sleeping and I dare not awaken lovers a slumber.

So I said nothing.


Sunrise December 18, 1920 – Sunset April 30, 2016

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content
Photo Credits Ericka Arthur for authenticitee speaks

  
Life has a way of knocking the wind out of us. We hurt in invisible places and scream in inaudible realms. Pain though painful reminds us that we are alive some days. 

Breathing is a sign of life too. I believe the enemy, our inner-mes and friendemies cut off our circulation. Preventing us from taking deep breaths and mocking our efforts to fight to do so on the foggiest of days. 

Don’t be afraid to breathe again. Don’t be afraid to let God breathe into you again. Don’t be afraid of the sound of your resuscitation. 

Love you to life💞e

P.S. I’m very proud of you. Someone needs to know that. Breathing takes courage. There are times you will need help such as in the natural; e.g. Asthma inhaler, CPR, oxygen tank. But don’t let pride prevent you from getting the help you need. Please feel my heart for you today. I’m praying for you. Crying out to God on your behalf. Breathe. It’s going to be ok. Healing is on the way.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee, 2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Photo Credit: elephantjournal. No copyright infringement intended.