Friday, February 8, 2013

i know how it feels to be broken

sometimes i feel like i've seen too much.

too much heartache. too much loss. too much death.

and moments like yesterday when they suddenly and unexpectedly roll up into one.

a woman checked in to the motel and never checked out. she left, but she didn't leave alive.

she killed herself.

a calculated, meticulous, planned suicide.

and the way that we found her will be something i never forget.

i won't give details other than to say it was obvious she found it on the internet. she had purchased all the right things, made all the right plans. she made sure no one would find her until it was over. and her plan worked perfectly.

she left a note telling us she was sorry and asked someone to call her dad.

she didn't leave a mess. in fact, you can't even tell she was there. but she created a mess if that makes sense. because she left behind family. she left behind 3 children. she left behind questions.

she left behind a life.

and she left behind scars that may never heal. 

because some scars wound too deeply. some scars bring back memories that are too painful to remember.

and that's what yesterday was. too deep. too painful. too many scars.

suicide isn't foreign to me. i thought about it when i was 20. i thought the world would be better off if i wasn't in it. though i didn't know the lady yesterday, i know the pain. i know the struggle. i know the thought of thinking death is easier than life.

i know how it feels to think you're alone. to think your problems are too much.

to just get so tired of the fight to hang on.

i know how it feels to be broken like that. and so when i saw her there i remembered.

and i remembered too much.

and it suddenly broke me again.

i've had two friends kill themselves in the last six years. both were young. both left behind children. both left behind so many questions. and each of their deaths brought me back to that place. to that bathroom. to that moment when i was done too.

and though i hated what they did, i understood it. and i grieved with them in their death.

but they broke me. each death broke another piece of me again.

because i see me in them.

and i wish with all my heart that i could have helped them. all of them. i wish that i would have known. i wish that i could have saved them from the darkness that took over their world. 

and i have guilt that they have died and yet i live on. 

and so i cry,  and i grieve, and i pray.

but i don't do it alone. i can't do it alone.

and that's what continuing to live has taught me. that despite the heartache, despite the darkness, despite the brokenness...i can't do it alone.

that no one can do it alone.

and so i share this story. and i share this pain. and i share this broken heart.

and i ask you to pray to God with me for all those that are lost and for all those who are struggling to hang on.

dear Lord, help us to seek out the lost. help us to reach out to them. help us to not be so caught up in our own world that we miss them, that we pass by, that we don't take the time to help. Lord, please bring peace to the brokenhearted, please give courage to those who are thinking of giving up, please give strength to those who think they can't go on. dear Lord please have mercy on the souls of all those who have died and please grant peace to their families. in Jesus' Name we pray.


  1. AMEN!!! While I too can be guilty of staying in my own little world, I pray God help me to open my eyes to the hurting and those who need to be pointed toward the ONLY ONE who can help them. Tina

  2. there are no words that I can think of that will help the pain, but know this - You are never alone.

  3. Oh my dear Colleen...I have tears in my eyes for this woman, but many for you. God must have known she needed a person like you to find her...a person who would pray for God to forgive her even though part of you must be angry for who she left behind. It also brought me to thoughts of Dale and the guilt I felt for losing touch with her. Believe me, I have been so far down at times, came close at times, but the thought of my children and my family and could never leave them alone. I am so sorry that you have to endure this pain, more pain than most people as the shock of finding this poor soul will haunt you. Try to think of her passing into the arms of God in heaven and hopefully that vision will gradually become less of a burden. I love you and so appreciate your beautiful heart and dedication to your beliefs. My prayers are with you my sweet friend. Love and hugs, Barbara

  4. I'm so sorry that she chose your little slice of heaven as her last place to be. I'd like to think she chose it because she'd seen your words. That she knew she would not be just a mark against a ledger as she exited this realm, but a memory in the heart of someone special, someone whose heart she'd known through their writings. If only she had asked if this were a burden you were willing to carry on her behalf. If only she had asked if you were strong enought to mark her passing thus. An author I had the pleasure of hearing speak in person, Mercedes Lackey, said "If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world." I wish and pray Christ's peace, calm, and strength carry you past these dark memories. And I thank you for the your living witness to the Holy Spirit's saving grace.

  5. always, you have a way of expressing yourself perfectly. And of turning the mirror around. I am so very sorry that you had to find that poor woman. Now I understand your post. Love you, girl. I am going to share this. Someone else out there needs to read this tonight.

  6. Sometimes our flame is so minute it barely casts a glow. But never, ever think about snuffing it out.....because the flame will become strong once again, casting a briteness that illuminates our path.

  7. How terrible. I'm so sorry, and I hope you are "okay" but I don't know you could be, except for God's grace. I feel the need to say that you, Colleen, are never wrapped up in your own little world. You are always thinking of others. Here is one of those exceptions in which using the words, 'always' and 'never' is appropriate when communicating with a loved one. I can't imagine what you are going through right now.
    I mean what I type in the best are in the right place at the wrong time. I believe that you are meant to continue in prayer for her soul. I also feel that your hotel served as a place of grace in this situation. I know that may seem awful, but we don't know all the ins and outs here or the hereafter,but God is keeping us all. Everything is redeemed. This is 'only' my belief talking, not my feelings, because my feelings are pathetic. I love you very much, Susan

  8. Oh what a horrible tragedy. I am so sad to hear whenever someone takes their life. To think that they truly through there was no hope, nothing worth living for. Breaks my heart. I trust you will feel the Lord's nearness. Hugs to you!

  9. Thank you for what you shared here and at (in)courage. I'm so sorry that you found this woman and that she believed circumstances gave her no choice, no way out. Hang in there. I feel your strength and how much you're needed by those around you, those here, and those you've yet to meet.


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