Promptly Written
Published in

Promptly Written

Spiritual Prompt Response

Cowardly or Courageous?

An Essay

Photo by Mary Taylor from Pexels

My story:

It was July 1994 when my Mother passed away in her sleep. She had been suffering from a multitude of health issues for decades but at the time she was doing well.

We were like sisters and she was my best friend. She always supported me and was my biggest fan. When she died my world died. I became severely depressed to a point where I felt nothing. I was like a blank wall standing alone for no reason. My Mom was the glue that held our family together and losing her meant the family falling apart and it did just that.

I came to a point where I saw no reason to exist any longer. I went to her house where my brother and Father lived when no one was around, I took a handful of her pills that she still had left which treated her health issues, I went to a liquor shop and bought a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red and came home. I opened the bottle of whiskey and started to drink. My intention was to take all the pills, drink the entire bottle and end my life. I was feeling nothing inside at this point. I was completely numb. I wanted to feel something, anything. I wanted to feel pain, I wanted to hurt, I wanted to cry but felt nothing. That is what depression is, feeling nothing.

I kept drinking but couldn’t bring myself to take the pills. I wanted to take the entire handful that I brought home but I couldn’t. Then, my phone rang. It was a landline phone, we didn’t have cell phones at the time. I had the answering machine on and it was my little five year old niece at the time who left a message saying “are you okay? I love you, Jojo.” With that message, I began to feel again. I cried an ocean of tears and my grief came to the surface and though it was a painful hell, I was feeling again. I then flushed the pills and poured the Johnnie Walker down the drain.

What I can say about suicide and unless you have experienced suicidal thoughts, it would be difficult for you to understand, is that suicude takes courage. It is not cowardly nor is it selfish. Had I enough courage within myself, I would have ended my life that day. My niece calling me with that message showed me that someone cared and that is the key, feeling loved.

Spiritually speaking, you could say that God intervened at the perfect time to save me from myself. I did not pray at all during this time. I was angry at God for taking my Mom and praying was something I would not do. Cursing him was what I did.

I have always believed in prayer and the “ Let go and let God” mantra but I still struggle with it to this day. What is the sense in death? Everything happens for a reason? I do believe everything does happen for a reason and there is synchronicity to each situation. We learn from the heaven and hell we experience in life. It is in comprehension of the circumstances that we have the freedom to choose our own response.

  • The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage.
  • Thucydides

Thank you for reading.



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Joanne Olivieri

Joanne Olivieri


Published author, poet and photographer. Love birds, animals, food, art, books, music. Contact -