Category Archives: Comforts

Marjorie Antus’ Blog : Mary’s Shortcut

Mary was Marjorie’s daughter. She killed herself in 1995.

On her blog, Mary’s Shortcut, Marjorie addresses many of the issues all survivors of suicide struggle with. Marjorie is Catholic and applies her faith to the issues of suicide with special insight and clarity.

I do not practice any organized religion, but the belief that suicide is a sinful act resulting in eternal damnation to hell is a fear some of Lala’s friends and family members have. Though he has never said it explicitly, comments my father has made makes it clear he feels my failure to provide Lala with a Christian upbringing contributed to her suicide. Because my belief system is so removed his, I normally choose to avoid the topic entirely.

Marjorie’s latest post discusses the writings of Father Ron Rolheiser, a Catholic priest who has written on suicide. His thoughts resonated with me, and I found deep comfort within them. I had never heard of Father Rolheiser before today, and I am so grateful to Marjorie for introducing me to his wisdom.

A couple of Ze Frank’s projects….

In my last blog post, To Feel and Be Felt, I spoke about Ze Frank, a man who uses the internet to help people feel connected to others in their species. Musical collaborations are one method he employs to enlist people in a common project.

The Ray Project started when someone sent Ze an audio file featuring a song a man named Ray had written for his adult daughter who was having a hard time at work. Ze assigned his audience the tasks of remixing the song and finding “Ray”. In just two weeks, professional sounding remixes had been submitted, as well as CD art and a video; PLUS,  Ray had been found! Turns out Ray is a preacher from St. Louis, Missouri, which is a little bit amusing since the song is called “Whip Ass” and features the refrain, “I’m about to whip somebody’s ass”.  I’ve listened to some of the remixes, which are great, but my favorite version is the original, a heartfelt a cappella spiritual from father to daughter.

Another project was inspired by a woman named Laura.

Laura’s feelings of being overwhelmed by life were so extreme, she reached out to Ze, asking for a song – an “audio-hug”, one that “huddles around you and whispers “shhhhhh”(….) s’okay.” They exchanged a few emails, Frank asked her how she felt when she was overwhelmed and the thoughts that went through her mind when she felt anxious. Then he says he “wrote a sketch of a chorus and quietly asked some people in my audience to record themselves singing along….” After mixing together the chorus sing-alongs and adding his own verses he sent Laura her audio-hug, a song called “Chill Out”.

When she heard the song, Laura sent Ze this email:

Ze,

This is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. I can’t thank you enough. I don’t even know how to. To feel like everything is spinning out, and have a relative stranger do this, with other total strangers participating *is* overwhelming. In an incredible way.

Thank you so so so so much.
Laura

 

Tattoo for Grief Relief

Shirking a relentless list of urgent “to-dos” (including writing a long overdue blog entry), I spent three hours last Thursday getting a tattoo. Over the past two years, ink and needles have been flying as Lena’s friends and relatives sacrifice a patch of bare skin for a permanent, personal memorial. A sugar skull in full […]