Tuesday, December 14, 2010


One of my clients committed suicide on Monday.  He was in Cuba visiting his mother and hung himself in her home.  It's very sad.  He couldn't ever seem to find his place in the world. A very unhealthy relationship that produced a daughter he was kept from constantly; the desperation of not having anyone in this country - all his family is in Cuba.  

He was unhappy while he was here - he wanted to be in Cuba with his family - and his desperation just grew while he was there because the distance from Miami just made it all seem worse (not only was his child gone but he couldn't find a job, was losing his home to foreclosure) - it just became too much.  At first it just made me angry - such a cowardly thing to do!  Hanging yourself in a closet while your mother is in the next room!!  But then I just felt so much sadness for him!

He was very affectionate, very needy for love and attention.  But he always managed to turn to people who used him and then discarded him like trash on the side of the road.  He was unable to keep a job because there were days when all he could do was get out of bed.  And there was nobody there to hold his hand - to let him know that although things seemed hopeless, they really weren't!!  That when you feel like you are drowning you just have to BREATH - take life a day at a time - an hour at a time.

I am not saying it is not hard to lose your house.  It has to be.  But it's just a HOUSE - cement and mortar- just a place for you to live.  Your HOME is what you take with you ANY WHERE you live!  Does that makes sense to anyone?  I would not be happy if I lost my house but I could rent an apartment and make it my HOME.  We could go through a hurricane and lose all the material things we give so much damned importance to!  They are just stuff.

There are so many people losing their homes right now.  Losing their jobs.  Unable to make ends meet.... It's a difficult time for this country.  But THINGS are just that!!  THINGS!!!   A house does not make you who you are!!!  It does not HOLD you!  Yes, it's sad - it is!!  But the WORST case scenario is that you rent an apartment - a hole in the wall even - and if you have your head and your heart in the right place that hole in the wall can become your HOME.  

In my heart, a home is anywhere that I can sit with my children and have a hot chocolate; where my grand daughters can play with their legos; where my memories are created.

It's' a sad day when someone feels so lost that they hang themselves in a closet.


  1. Elena,
    Yes its very sad and hard to understand. My father took his own life about 5.5 years ago now and he suffered from depression his whole life and was up and down off medication and never the right balance. I know at the end he saw no other option and felt that my Mom was better without him dragging her down. Its so frustrating to think " just snap out of it - there's so much to live for!" but I know that in his mind there was no hope of anything good in his future.

    I like your message about "stuff" and that's all it is. It's hard here too but if we have people we love and a purpose and something to focus on - it makes it so much easier.


  2. I used to have a rather harsh view of people who took their own lives, and did think it an act of cowardice. I think I'm a little more forgiving now, realizing that true depression is not anything you can snap out of without outside help.
    I read somewhere that someone did a study of people who attempted suicide and survived. Almost all of them said that at the last moment when it was too late they felt regret.
    If only someone had been there to tell him it could get better. If only he had the ability to seek the help he needed. If only....
    Having said all that, I do think WHERE people choose to take their own lives is very telling, and doing it in his mother's home seems a very hostile act.
    I hope he is resting in peace.
    And I'm sure you've done everything you could in your position as his attorney.
    Go make some art, honey. That is always uplifting.

  3. Such an unhappy situation all the way around. Your writing about it and the truth of home is where the heart is, is so true. Things can be gotten again but the other things in life are the ones to be treasured. I hope your writing will help some one else.

  4. It is sad. However it is also easy to say just get an apartment. First you have been foreclosed on, so now your credit is crap, and you may not be ABLE to rent.Second, you need 1 month security and 1 month up front. if you are out of work, and they took your home, where are you supposed to get that money from? I am sorry to say, that in your life, you have means-more than the average person. No you aren't the Trumps, but you are not in this man's shoes. My niece, the family with little daisy was just foreclosed on. The entire community chipped in time, resources and money to put an addition on that house for daisy, a sterile dressing room/bathroom with whirlpool tub, her own bedroom ramps etc. so Not only was it a great loss for the family, but the community was left feeling a loss. The only pl;ace they were able to move was down with the in-laws in Florida, and Daisy is not supposed to be where it is hot.

    Somedays all I want to do is hide under the covers. I have a hubby and a son living home, daughter moved out...there is really not a lot of support, in fact sometimes it is more emotional garbage than love and support. I have numerous times thought about it might have been better if when I was so sick with the MRSA, I had just died.

    Even now, with lots of internet pals, and anti-depressants I have days like that.

    It is sad, and it is cowardly and it is selfish...he needed his family, so he goes home to mom, now he has support, so what does he do, he goes in the closet a room away from his mom, and does the deed...knowing she will be the one to find him, knowing she'll never be the same, she will always see that image, she will always question herself. Suicide doesn't do anything to the doer, but it totally EFFS UP the ones left behind.

    My kids all know kids that did it while in school, 2 in HS and 1 in affected everyone.

    I will be thinking of his mother and send out positive, peaceful, comforting energy.

    His family and you have my sincere condolences.


  5. Yes,it's sadly true that every last penny probably went to trying to save the house and they will already have borrowed from anyone who can help.It's alsosad that suicides dont think more about the ripple effect, if you know anyone who has done it then you also know it effects people they would never have thought of in a lot of ways for a long time and as for his Mum she has to walk past that cupboard. I think maybe in their misery they want to die at home. My best friend's son shot his brains out at home in his bedroom for his Mum to find, he just wasn't thinking straight, he was too sad.