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Bonita M Quesinberry

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A Painful Legacy
by Bonita M Quesinberry
Monday, February 02, 2004

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The legacy of suicide... it's affect on survivors


A Painful Legacy

©copyright Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C. 020204



I don't know when it began with her,
a life of fact and fantasy in blur.
Perhaps at five, 1932, when her father died,
or even twelve, 1937, at her mother's demise.
Alas, there is no memory of her until six,
1950; by then, her mind in a terrible fix.


I recall, then, standing at the back door in awe:
She was hitting the woman next door, I saw;
I remember fear but not for me.
It was for the lady, you see;
for fierce were the blows I knew well,
though no one could I tell.


So many times throughout the years,
she pulled knives on her husband yet cried tears;
yelled obscene names that were not true .
Yet, her friends were not just a few.
Why, even her kids' friends thought she rocked,
Because the truth behind doors was heavily


Times lost in count, over and over she said,
"No one loves me, I wish I were dead;"
then, turn on the gas or take a handful of pills,
while adamantly declaring she was not ill.
Time and again, to the hospital she was rushed:
each year, closer and closer to death she brushed.


Finally, 1986, just short of turning fifty-nine,
I received a call. I don't recall the time.
Her husband's brother stuttered, then said,
"Your mother is dead.
She'd sworn to do it the night before,
as my brother came through the door."


Suicide: the final solution,
where there is no resolution?
I thought so, once upon a time;
after all, Mother said it was no crime.
Praise the Lord, for me he intervened,
"You are mine!" He fiercely deemed.


Suicide: a crime of weakness,
not one of meekness.
It is a deadly legacy left to children—
and the children's children.
And, so I said, "The buck stops here.
My kids will not know this fear!"

Mother was too blind to see what she had:
a man who loved her and was not bad;
kids who loved her, too,and even grandkids a few.
But in her delusions, confusion and pain,
she never knew the joy she had obtained.


Only God can change these things,
if our woes to Him we bring.
With tears, lay them at His feet,
and quickly evil He will defeat.
But, turn the other way,
and the Devil will have you every day.


Lucifer wants to destroy our life;
so, he fills it with agony and strife.
I remember asking God, "Help me to see!"
And He said, "If it's negative, it's not me."
Oh, how very simple were those words,
profoundly setting me free to fly like a bird.


* * *  



As a counselor, I received a message today requesting help with a person threatening suicide: which inspired this poem of true experience. God always had been with me, one of the few things for which I can thank my mother: she kept us in church, sent us to be more precise. And at a very young age, Yeshua gifted me with the ability of logic to determine that it was not me who was the problem or my Dad or brother, rather that mother was not well. I think she's one of the reasons I decided to become a counselor.

As for bad memories, I can't say that's what they are; they are more like lessons I can draw upon when helping others. I spent my mother's last two years doing everything in my power to get help for her prescription drug addition as well as her mental health, all to no avail.

I ran out of avenues to persue, except for one: I placed her in God's capable hands and He saw fit to let her succeed in 1986. I remember praying to Him the year before, "If she can't take your hand, Lord, in order to overcome; then, please, take her out of her pain and misery." She suffered most of her life: at least, now she is at quiet rest. Having done all I could had a positive side-affect, however: it spared me of regrets and "If only I had..." People need to consider this: when doing all you can for another person, just remember that it doesn't matter if you succeed or not. You're better off helping another.

As for the prayer mentioned at the close of this poem, at the time I found that in recognizing 1000 of Satans devious tricks he merely had 1000 more. What I had asked was how to recognize him each and every time he reared his ugly head: "If it is negative, it is not me." So simple yet so profound.

My prayer now is that this poem might help anyone considering suicide or someone who knows someone who is leaning in that direction. As a counselor, however, I've dealt with other issues just as deadly: such as self-mutilation. This is an ugly world full of people in a great deal of emotional pain. I wish I could help them all find the great psychiatrist: God Almighty.


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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 2/7/2004

important and potent, potent write--you will have saved lives today, i know it

thank you--i once was there, but thank God, i turned it to Him...i still struggle at times, but He's there to shore me up :)

(((((HUGS))))) and love, karla. :(
Reviewed by Floria Kelderhouse (Reader) 2/6/2004
Bonita this touched my humans it is so natural for us
to try to handle our problems by ourselves...and yet...if we have
faith and turnt them over to seems the answers then come
so quickly.....I have learned this the hard way.....suicide is a
way out for a troubled mind that doesn't have the strength of mind
to turn it over to God...this was POTENT....floria
Reviewed by Vesna Vanessa 2/5/2004
..I'm so glad you are not judging your Mom ..even now all she needs is love..yes, even though she's crossed over..and yes, she was ILL..the illness being the lack of love for many women are going through this..perhaps one should look beyond their behavior and see the agony that gnawes at the soul..your mother literally SCREAMED for help..didn't any of you see that she needed professional help? least YOU can be grateful for it was her agony that now brings you ecstasy in the Lord!..weird?..His ways are not our ways..are they?

Insightful write..thankyou Bonita..*smile*

Reviewed by Denise Edwards 2/4/2004
A painful reality. You are commended for sharing this.
Reviewed by Christine Morell 2/4/2004
This is outstanding Bonita. It touches me deeply. I lost my closest friend a few years ago. He took his own life and no one to this day knows why. Many people are devestated.
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 2/4/2004
moving Bonita and sad but it speaks loud. You rhymed a sad event very poetically well. love and respects. G
Reviewed by andrea coltman 2/4/2004
This is heartbreaking, and very poignant...beautifully wishes Andrea
Reviewed by Marie Wadsworth 2/3/2004
So true. Suicide is never the answer. It is hard to be a counselor for those who want to commit suicide because I imagine you can't save them all. Powerful message.
Reviewed by jan nunn (Reader) 2/3/2004
poignant for me as it is a year since my young brother took his life..I comforted myself by saying god took him to stop his suffering and I do believe that,but I do believe it is evil that puts one in that position.
Reviewed by Debashish Haar (Reader) 2/3/2004
HEARTWRENCHING write, Bonita..You conveyed it so well..
Reviewed by Bhuwan Thapaliya 2/2/2004
Bonita....great subject matter....outstanding nluck...BHUWAN
Reviewed by jude forese 2/2/2004
outstanding! suicide is never an answer ...
Reviewed by Crystal-Rain Love 2/2/2004
This is wonderful... filled with much wisdom!
Reviewed by E T Waldron 2/2/2004
Bonita so heart wrenching...A superb poem! Suicide is one of Satans best weapons.He wields so much power when we are our weakest, and if we don't know God, or how to trust Him,when this horror pierces us we give into it. I'm so sorry your memory is scarred with this tragedy. There is always hope in Him to repair our memory...
Reviewed by Vicky Jeter 2/2/2004
Hi Bonita
For me, too, this hits close to home. And it is a legacy left to
following generations to choose how they shall dance. In my personal process of peace I studied suicide closely to see if I could find some common thread by which to begin to understand the spiral of chaos my mother chronically got caught up in. I did find threads of understanding commom in countless stories. For my mother it was like suffering a siezure of the mind and heart--when she was in it -- she was not in this world. Great discussion. Love to you, Vicky
Reviewed by Sue Hess 2/2/2004
heartrending and i agree, it is never an answer, it leaves too many feeling like they failed or wondering how they failed.
Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 2/2/2004
Bonita,,I feel the agony in your heart. This is deeply cutting. So very well penned. Lisa
Reviewed by P. Michaels 2/2/2004
Oh Bonita, I'm very glad that you found God, for only He could give you hope. "If it's negative, it's not me." Very good point. Negative thoughts do not come from God. I hope this will help someone who is beginning to believe Satan and his demons and is considering suicide.
Love, Patty
Reviewed by Oirdheirc Mor (Reader) 2/2/2004
Hi B. Q.,
A sad tale, and a terrible waste of life.

I too have experienced its trauma, and it does as you say leave, a bitter legacy to those who are left wondering if only they had done something at the first cries for help, how life may have been so different.

Excellent portrayal in respect of one the many problems one can encounter in life’s journey.
Best Regards
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 2/2/2004
Heartbreaking write; thanks for sharing, and you are so right...SUICIDE IS NOT THE ANSWER; JESUS IS THE ANSWER!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :( >tears <
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