How do you solve a problem like Cecelia?

This week is the third anniversary of my blog. In honor of this occasion, I am reblogging the first substantial post I wrote here, and it is the reason I started the blog. I felt compelled to write publicly about the loss of a friend to suicide, and the writing of those feelings made me realize that I was equal to the task of sustaining a blog. Since this reblogged post refers to suicide, it is my duty to tell you that if you are struggling with thoughts of ending your life, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Intensity Without Mastery


Her name was not Cecelia, but she could have worn that name like an ermine mantle, with her red curly hair and blue eyes that spoke of the frozen North. Her hair made me think of Viking escapades. At first sight of her, I recalled how St. Brendan spotted Judas chained to a rock in the North Atlantic and that I imagined long ago that the Vikings had also witnessed the captive Judas at sea, his significance lost on them. Both St. Brendan and the Vikings may have visited America, a land unknown to others of their homelands. Like them, Cecelia went to a place unknown but imagined by those of us left behind. Now Cecelia’s red hair has been buried since January, because that was when she took her life.

I feel it is apt to mention something as obscure as St. Brendan’s voyage to America because it ties…

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