My younger sister died after taking her life years ago, but never does a day go by that I am not thinking of her – especially during Mother’s Day-
I know her children are crushed still by her void, she would be so proud of all of them.
I can only hope that the genetics that drove my Mother and Sister to their own demise are recognized by our family so this
treacherous cycle of Prescription drug abuse never continues.
And to those of you with chemical dependence, find that voice within and respond to it’s call for help.
Seek it out — we all suffer when the ones we love face addiction.
To Bella Lynda Sue
9/11/1952 – 8/12/2003
It seemed that car ride would never end-
these meditative hours spent with teary eyes focused upon the road,
mind locked into a stunted, ‘auto-mode’ process
reviewing – diagnosing
yet being in denial the past three days about what you had done.
Sleeping for me came as spliced, fragmented hours with
Polaroid brain scans of the past, flashing – flashing.
My dreams became altered, damp journeys
calling your name below blackwater –
parallels and absurdities
wondering why you didn’t call me that morning?
I sat among front row among the mourners,
listened to the same Music –
The Beatles repeating,
There are places I remember
all my life,
Though some have changed Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and
I watched the tribute video,
heard the kind, rehearsed words meant to console,
but where was the truth – you were an addict-
At your house the bathroom door was open –
There was no ‘portoncini cei morti’ ,
plastering up this door to the netherworld.
The Charon you used was only a cold,
fixed, porcelain cradle
ferrying you thru,
what a dirt cheap deal you cut for all of us –
Knowing that urn was packed with your ashes
could not obscure the vision of your beautiful face
nor could it ignore the memory of your raw laughter and vital wit.
Your loving presence inside me still stirred by our last conversation
the night before your passing —
you were up, far up,
I remember thinking, how hard will this crash be ?
Nothing of your essence could be could ever be burned away by crematory fire,
those dusty ashes in that lovely container
could never suppress the source of who you were:
loving wife, mother, aunt-
my only sister – my confidant – my best friend
yet, I could not protect you.
Maybe the others were consoled by
adjectives awash in penned solace
meant to calm the transition into cessation,
but I screamed inside at your willingness to surrender
by using an act of dramatic contrition to show
the world you left behind.
If only I could have helped resolve your feelings of rejection
but opiates mothered your soul, soothed all the wrongs –
All those years of ‘downers’ taking the razors edge off-
like mother like daughter, umbilical never severed completely
between the both of you –
An infected genetic cycle that kept circling, feeding and festering
with a vampire ‘s lust,
yours became a warped continuum of living life through Dieric Bout’s, Hell
simply opting each day for that bait of peace that death kept dangling.
The three of us were bred from the same Harpie –
a bosomless woman who drove out all her men, (except for our brother)
she loved her parents and friends, but not herself,
and had no use for daughters.
She retreated to her bedroom,
to the bottled world of capitulation and chronic decay of addiction.
While I spent my life ignoring the tethers to that bond,
the slack left behind only bound you tighter –
pills also became your chemical carapace against the constant Siren’s wail in your head,
The war you both waged for your souls
was mapped out on many a prescription pad –
I found our Mother dead and alone when she was 47,
but could never find one tear to shed for her.
Your final battle was waged
upon the water, you as Captain decided to go down with the ship
as you tied your knots in the plastic darkness –
a final ‘fuck you’ rippled through those rainbowed waves
then the water went slack with calm, but measured chaos –
you continued the family cycle of mother relinquishing life
only to have their daughter’s find them – what a family legacy.
If only it had been a case of a planned suicide,
you would have come home from the office, cleaned the house,
made a complete dinner,
showered and dressed to perfection,
with a splash of Quelque Fleur before
resolutely overdosing on your chaise lounge
as a matter of a beautiful corpse.
But your naked statement left no doubt – this was immediate,
this was anger,
pills had taken all your dignity
nothing more for vultured life to suck out.
But you left us too soon Lynda Sue,
always kidding that you lived longer than our Mother once you hit 48-
You left us feeling guilty and
heartbroken in death’s long, tenebristic shadow.
While I feel for all those you left behind,
and while I am still angry with you,
I grieve harder for your hurt my sister,
I grieve everyday that you gave up on yourself,
I grieve that reality became the enemy within, but,
I grieve hardest mostly knowing that you became the one person
you always feared becoming most,
and oh God, how that sent you over the edge-
as you cut off that last strip of tape and bound it tight,
it was you who controlled the final stake-
the only act of control you took for yourself in years…