The Field Where I Died

“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.” Leonardo da Vinci

OK, so I didn’t really die in this field. I took the title from an old X-Files episode where Mulder meets a woman he knew in a former life. She remembers how he died and where and it’s a pretty good episode. It’s also a fascinating subject matter. Like most people, I find myself wondering what happens beyond this life. Reincarnation is a little like being immortal, to become someone else and become someone else over and over until the end of time. To be united once again to our senses. To make love again, to breath air, to feel water running over skin, hear whispered moans, see colors. To live again this painful, joyful, journey of physical existence. Maybe we all have this choice after death. It’s an interesting thought.

So I didn’t die in this field but I had planned on killing myself there. At first, the place I died didn’t seem important, just somewhere my boys wouldn’t find my body. Initially, this field was convenient. Later, I found that it became a friend, a warm companion who would embrace me for one last time on earth. I grew fond of this field with its barn and outbuildings all leaning crookedly against one another, the plowed field, the clouds sitting low in the sky. I came to love this field but, as I say, I didn’t die there.

In my 35th year, I entered the dark shadow of my soul, taking on the failings of others as a cloak that blocked out the sun. Asking myself why I wasn’t enough. Asking why he strayed, why he left, why he came back and finding no answers. I looked up at the world from the bottom of a deep pit, my hands reaching towards the light. I wanted someone’s strong arms to lift me out. But no one came.

I heard of people who attempted suicide but didn’t quite make it. The woman who jumped off a bridge and woke up in ICU with a tube down her throat, ribs wired together, fractures to her face, arms, legs, back. She never walked again. There was also a man who overdosed on medication. He passed out, vomited, and was rescued only to discover he had destroyed his liver and needed a transplant. So I knew if I attempted suicide, I didn’t want to come back. It had to be absolute. There was no plan B.

But as it happens, I didn’t need to depart this world. I found my way out of the pit on my own. I don’t remember specifically what changed my mind, what turn of events made me look in a different direction. But I found after time that happiness occupied more moments than misery. I’d like to say that some specific incident occurred so I could offer help to other people in the same position. But I have no wisdom to convey. I only remember feeling better after a while and thinking how lucky I was to have this life, as flawed and glorious as it can be. I remember sitting near that field and being grateful that I didn’t take my last breath there. I looked to it as a gravestone, marking the time when I could have let my sadness destroy me but I didn’t.

And one of the things that helped feed me during the dark days of my soul was my art. I saw things when I drew them that I didn’t see otherwise. Drawing them helped me see. And in that seeing, I found a fundamental truth of our existence. We are all one. We are all the same. We all suffer the same emotions. And it’s in our shared emotions that we belong to one another. I could see the sadness of other people and I realized I was not the only one who had such thoughts. I was not the only one who was stuck, backed into a corner, attacking anyone who came near like a kicked dog. I found, by looking at others, that we are more similar than different and it’s in our similarities that we can find peace.

This drawing can be downloaded at dalegreenearts.bigcartel.com

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87 thoughts on “The Field Where I Died

  1. I’m just sitting here with my thoughts swirling, my mind racing and my chin dropping. You take your reader on a deeply emotional flight and then land us back safely on solid ground with some new insight in our luggage that will serve us well should we run into future turbulence. You are amazing.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I was looking for your contact page but when I got to it, I could not find how to contact you so here I am. I just wanted to say thank you for checking out my blog and liking what you have read and seen there. Please feel free to comment anytime. As you know, I’ve checked out your artistry in words and drawings too. You are creative..I like what I read and saw there a lot. ☺

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You are welcome. Let me be the second or third person to say welcome to WordPress. It takes a bit to get used to stuff on here…but no worries. You will have it down in no time.😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for checking out my blog and the follow. This was a sorrowful but beautiful piece. I consider you very brave to share a bit of your personal story… maybe because I struggle with that. I have one response to this piece… when you say you don’t have any great wisdom to share with others who may be dealing with depression and/or suicide, I believe you are offering wisdom just by having our blog and sharing your story! You are a hero. I appreciate your work for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wonderful all around – “I don’t remember specifically what changed my mind, what turn of events made me look in a different direction. But I found after time that happiness occupied more moments than misery.” – Yes, we are all one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your words are as creative as your art. Yes life hurts but our Father in the Heavens is here for us in our daily life. He loves us all and wants to dry our tears and give us strength to carry on. I’m so glad you decided to to that.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is incredible writing. I have been where you have been, and coming from that place, I have a much more positive view of life, and have been able to help others because of my own pain. And you have been able to use this to paint an excellent piece of writing that I think captures the essence of being human. Great job! Thank you kindly.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First, I’m so thankful you didn’t take your life that day or month or year. I’m thankful you stayed so on this day I could be here reading this powerful and brave post.

    Next, Thank you for sharing this intimate piece of yourself. We have so many things that we tend to keep to ourselves I’m this society and it’s why we’re losing good people who we’ve looked up to, enjoyed, loved at an alarming rate. I have a purple semi-colon (to represent suicide awareness) on my wrist inside a butterfly’s wings, across from it is a picture of a mother with no belly but a baby in her uterus to represent the seven miscarriages I endured while in a relationship that nearly took my life and ended with him leaving so he didn’t. I wanted it on my wrist to remind me if I could endure a decade of living with such drastic highs and lows in my marriage – one day bliss the next tubes in my nose to keep me breathing – and not take my life as I am sure I wanted to at times, then perhaps I could overcome anything.

    When we share our stories, we give life to those listening to know they aren’t alone. That someone else does understand their pain. Thank you again for sharing this and reminding us all that happy days are ahead and we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other to get to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Quote from above – “It’s in our shared emotions that we belong to each other”……..
    A wise and generous story of overcoming despair, you will give much hope to others who are at a stage of such desperation, that taking ones life would seem to be the only answer. There was healing in the field where you didn’t die, and art and all kinds of writing are saviours of the soul. I’m sure there are many other ways too that encourage a mind to remain whole and finding peace in simplicity.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow. I’m so glad you chose to live — and to share your story. I just released a book about the fear of death and have been thinking deeply on the subject as a result. Your story and lyrical writing style really touches my heart. Blessings, Dale!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to be a very angry person. It took me years to get over it. Anger is all about the person, not the circumstances. I have no patience for anger now. There are too many things to be happy about.

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  10. This is interesting. I don’t ever think I’ve read someone’s journey out of suicide. Thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for sharing what happens when suicides aren’t realized; that seems like a horrid existence.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I remember that X-Files episode very well…one of my favorites. I remember Mulder staring across the field. I remember the session where the woman stated that she had waited for him for so long & that he & Scully had fought together in the war. Powerful story. It has stayed with me since I first saw it.

    I have been where you have been. Deep pit. Blackness. Looking for a way out. Endless hours of pain. The misery. I’ve contemplated suicide many, many times…some of it quite recently. I don’t fear it as I know death is not the end. But, it always subsides as I still have a path to walk. My experience is not over. There are still things to learn & understand. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  12. My dear friend,

    People who commit suicide jump out of the frying pan into the fire – death is no option to escape – it will bring us only to the grey-zone (between astral and physical plane) – in this plane there also evil spirits – they cannot go back into the wheel of coming and going (karma: according to our deeds, thoughts, and words we are under control of cause and effect and have to go back into animal life, plant life or with the grace of God into the human body) – but in the grey-zone there are murderers, and also those who have tied an unnatural death. All problems are there to overcome them. Our purpose of life is to go back to our real Home and this is only possible when we develop, especially spiritually (Man know thyself…) – we have to learn which from where come, who we are and where we have to go. Why we have to suffer – it is a reaction of our past lives usually – good returns with good and bad with bad things – all our deeds and actions are like an echo and bad thoughts start even in our head – so we have to develop ourselves, to be aware of our doings, thoughts, and words and about its reactions and consequences.

    I am happy that you fear of committing suicide prevented it from doing it and it also shows that there is a way out of this terrible condition. You have overcome it 🙂

    All the best my friend
    My God have Grace for all people who have to suffer like that
    From heart to heart
    Didi

    Like

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