Friday, January 02, 2009

55 Flash (Non) Fiction #26 : To Absent Friends (Suzanne Horne 1966-2008)


Usually right here you'd be reading the line: "Some stories are the same in any language." And that would fit this story as well, but for a much different reason.

Aram se, Suzanne. May you find the peace you never found here. We will remember. And every time it rains, the liquid falling from the sky will remind us of our Liquid, who left us far sooner than we would have wished. You mattered to more people than you realized. I miss you, my friend.

M6Friday: 55FlashFiction Graciously hosted by G-Man.

A great many people both in and out of the blogosphere are struggling to make sense out of the death of one of our own, Jeri Suzanne Horne -- known to bloggers (especially those that participate in 55 Flash Fiction Friday) as LiquidIlluzion, or simply Liquid.

Some of us knew her very well. I was not that fortunate. But in the few times our paths crossed, even I could see the purity of spirit embodied in this woman who seemed to have nothing but friendship or even love to offer anyone she met. Anyone, it seems, except for herself. On Christmas Eve 2008, Liquid made her final post entitled "It's That Time Folks" and then, according to those close to the story, took her own life.

It's not my intent here to romanticize suicide, nor is it my intent to pass judgment on one who chose that path. But when a life is lost -- no matter the circumstance -- it's important for those left behind to remember, to mark it down, to tell those who never knew that there was once here among us a person who mattered. My one regret in all of this is that the person who probably most needed to hear these words can't ever read them.

The original author of the following passage is unknown, but it was passed on to me by my dear friend JC, who had it passed on to her by someone else. It's much longer than 55 words, and it's not my writing so I couldn't use it by itself for a 55. But of all the words of comfort I've ever heard, these are perhaps the most profound. And so for her friends and relatives left behind, I will pass them on to you as they were passed on to me. I hope you find the solace in them that I have.

"The only way around these things is through them. So if you bury your dead, bring a shovel, if you burn them warm to the fire. Look into whatever riddance you consign them to. Lend a hand, stand and weep or watch and wonder. But stay until it's done. Keep the names of your dead alive among your people. You get one father, one mother, one true love, one life and maybe a couple of good dogs. There is no easy way to do this. So do it right: weep, laugh, watch , pray, love, live, give thanks and praise; comfort, mend, honor and remember."

Note: If you would like to view or sign the memorial guestbook for Suzanne's family, the image at the top of this post is linked to it. The guestbook is hosted by Legacy.com and will be available until at least January 27th, 2009, and there is no charge.

Update: Suzanne's guest book has been made permanent and will remain open for visitors to read and sign. There is still no charge to view or sign the book.


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23 comments:

74WIXYgrad said...

This is a very touching tribute. Liquid would have loved it, and she would have told you that YOU ROCK!

Serena said...

Such a sweet and touching tribute. I think Suzanne would have loved what you did with the photo, too.

Mona said...

That is very touching 55ve James.

Its very sad that such a beautiful person had to go like this...

Her demise is deeply mourned by one & all...

Lets all pray that she is happier wherever she is now...

SandyCarlson said...

Oh, a beautiful post that gives me the chills.

My dearest friend took his life in 2001. It was a conscious choice after 34 years of medication and doctors and hell. He taught me to respect the choice, to love all who come my way, to put kindness above any kind of anything else, to smile first and last and forever. To welcome everyone. Suzanne joins his company and reteaches those lessons. It seems to me when someone takes his or her life, he or she is telling us to pay close attention to the people we love. In a way, it's all we can do.

God bless you and your warm heart in 2009.

G-Man said...

MOJO....One Excellent Tribute!!!!
I would like to also thank you for linking up the 55ers to Cliff in your comment to me. I'm very low-tech...
Thanks for the wonderful post...G

kenju said...

I didn't know of her, but from your nice tribute, I am sure she was a beautiful person, both inside and out. Her photo is lovely.


As to my post, I don't know if the artist is his own canvas - but I doubt it.

Rising Rainbow said...

I knew when I read those words "It's That Time Folks!" you were talking about suicide. It made the hair stand up on my neck.

I so understand the desperation those words represent. The pain that cause such action. I am grateful for a hand that saved me those many years ago.

I am sorry that your friend did not realize all the hands that were there for her. Such an unfortunate loss.

I hope that those around her know it was NOT their fault. Those of us who feel that kind of pain but also do not want to cause pain for others are so very good at hiding it.

Liquid sounds like a very special person. I am saddened by her loss.

74WIXYgrad said...

Mojo, I thank you for the link too. I just want you to know that in my latest post, I have introduced you to my other readers. In the next few days, you will find what I'm about and introduce you to my "older" friends.

Sparky said...

I do not understand why people do this., I am so so so sorry for those left behind.

It took me the better part of a decade to get past the life I lost to suicide. MANY of those years I was just plain angry.

If the words I sent you help you or anyone - good.

There really is nothing to do but put your head down and get through it.

jc

Chelle said...

Suzanne was loved by many and gave love to many...she just could not seem to get that love to herself. I will miss her dearly and my trips home to see my family in Mississippi will not be the same without her awaiting my arrival...at least now, I know she will be guiding my trip safely from above. May her light and love shine on to those left behind.

napaboaniya said...

A tribute to Suzanne Horne very nicely wrote.
I read about her on Sandy Carlson's blog.
She was a wonderful lady. I'm sure she'll be missed by many.
Let's pray her soul will be in peace :)

lisaschaos said...

I never knew her but after seeing her here and on Sandy's blog I went over and the thing that struck me is how normal, happy she seemed, even in that post done on the day she did it. I keep thinking about her kids and how Christmas will never be the same for them. :(

coltfan said...

you did a really great job on this tribute to her. She will be missed , And not ever forgotten.

Tri-State Media Watch said...

I came here via link from 74WIXY's blog...this is a touching tribute, and I don't really know what else to say about it...thanks...

Akelamalu said...

I didn't know Liquid apart from she and I commenting on each other's 55s. I admired her writing very much and I admire this touching tribute you have written to her.

One's life is never in vain no matter how short if people remember you.

Mimi Lenox said...

I am struggling to understand this today and put it in some sort of perspective. I don't think that's possible. Thank you for this wonderful post and the link.
My sympathies to her family.

May she find the peace she longed for.

Catherine said...

Beatiful and touching tribute, Mojo.
You get a great sensibility.

ciara said...

lovely tribute, mojo. i didn't know her all that well either, but i appreciated her comments on my blog, loved her writing, and was glad she was in my life even if it was just in those ways.

fishing guy said...

Mojo: A very fitting tribute to Liquid. I felt so bad when I heard this on another site. Liquid and I had traded visits at times but this was a complete waste. Taking ones life is not an option and there are so many that could give help in these times. A beautiful life was lost here.

Kimmie said...

I am touched beyond words at this beautiful tribute to Liquid. You are an amazing man with an even more amazing heart. I pray that she is with our Father now and resting in His arms in peace.

Charli said...

Thank you for this tribute. You've given me the kind of goosebumps that don't leave easily. I'm creeping closer to the heater in memory of Liquid. I hope it rains today.

Amias said...

A most fitting tribute, Mojo .... One of the best.

rdl said...

Wonderful tribute - gives me shivers. and thanks for the helpful words to try & get thru this. I miss her.