Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wasted and Wounded:

Music touches the Spirit.

I remember when I was young that my Dad loved music. Not sure when but he stopped listening to music as he got older. I don't remember when he stopped but I know it was long ago. Long before he got old.

This August 25 is coming up fast. It will be nine years since my Boy took his life. He made that choice. But I am not sure if it really was a choice. My friend tells me there is a Suicide Spirit that is affecting our youth and our people. That Spirit is strong and looks all over. My friend does battle with that Spirit in the way he knows how; with prayer and ceremony.

For me that Spirit is alwasy lurking around me. I feel it everynight. I feel it when I see the youth.  I am in constant turmoil over the Suicide of my son.  I wonder how my children feel and deal with it. My baby is now 18. She was nine.   My wife is one of those people that keeps everything inside. But it leaks out of her every once in awhile where she can't keep the saddness from pouring out. There is nothing really that I can do to ease her pain. Everyone is different. My son named his Son, Jackson Donovan Albert, and my daughther named her Girl, Aviree-Don and my niece name her boy Donovan as well. So my Boy Don lives on in his name sakes.

Me I can't get over the loss and the waste. The guilt, the anger, the loneliness. It's weird how we never think it could happen to us. Or that it shouldn't have happened to us. I mean who are we that it can't happen to us?

When I see all the hate towards us, Indians, I guess I can see in some ways how we can decide to take our own lives. I guess no one wants to be hated. We all want to be loved. Isn't that not too much to ask? People don't think words hurt. After all its just words: "we're all PC in this damn world, no one can say anything anymore".  If your whole world has been constantly attacked maybe just maybe you might understand the weight of adding one more word on it. Constant "you're savage, you're lazy, you're nothing, you're pagan, you're filthy, you're drunk, you're ugly, you're dead". Then maybe you can understand how that ONE more word might just be the one that is so damn heavy that you can't hold it anymore. I don't know but you think?

I listen to music a lot. My grandkids say I listen to old people music. What do they know, they are five and seven years old. Got to love them. I guess I escape into a little world where my Son is still here in the flesh with me with the music I listen to .

I sure miss my Mom and Dad. I talk to them and Don late at night when I can barely breathe.

Suicide is a beast for sure. We never expect it to hit us, but what do we know? We're only people. 

"When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb."

For me, the child is gone, the dream is gone....


  1. I am deeply moved by your story. Not just because of your lost, which I know from experience, is the deepest pain; but also to learn that there is so much hatred towards Your People. It saddenes me... but there is no excuse. People might say: this hatred comes from fear... but wherever it might come from, it should not be projected onto a whole Nation of Native American. Then is it plain racism. You are beautiful.. you truly are. And my heart goes out to you and your wife and your whole family. Bless you.

    1. thank you emma. your writings are beautiful

  2. Kia Ora Steve...thank you for sharing. Surviving suicide can be so lonely. My best friend in childhood took his own life at 16. Nearly 40 years later in certain moments that can still roll over me like a wave of grief. May the wind blow gentle for you to mark this day. Tom Waits and Van have seen me through a few rough moments, and some good ones as well. Kia Kaha e hoa.

    1. yeah rob you never forget. yes music does make you travel in time.

  3. Chi miigwech for sharing your story. A story like yours is medicine. We have to rise above and I see work being done in our communities yet it is not enough to catch the ones who take their life. The burden of healing, the burden of surviving while living on our lands being occupied, etc. Racism does affect one's mental health. Being survivors of genocide it does affect our daily lives and ability to heal and thrive.

    I thought I would share this article.

    Changes In DSM-5: Racism Can Cause PTSD Similar To That Of Soldiers After War --

    I was diagnosed with PTSD during and after working on a racist work environment. In healing I realize that it is an unfair burden. Not only the burden of healing from generational trauma but simultaneously dealing with racism, discrimination, stereotypes and general hate towards us as Native people.

    Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd has actually been a healing song for me. I think of all the people I know who have numbed themselves with alcohol and drugs because of trauma. This song actually used to make me cry a lot about my Dad and brother as we were all working on our healing together.

    1. I agree that music can be healing. brings you to certain places. Thanks for the post

  4. I've seen the black fleeting glimpse out the corner of my eye.

    Turned to look but it was gone, leaving me alone to wonder why that spirit visit.

    My thoughts turn to dark, but prayer brings me back as I pray for the one that came to visit.

    Elden G. Anaquod

    God bless you and your family Steve.

    1. Love you always, much respect.


    2. I know the pain that causes suicide... I exist with it daily...and wonder why dont I just end it. It would only take but a few minutes, and the pain would be gone. I believe in my last attempt to overdose I did die, and this is my hell...this continuing pain of existence....
      But one cannot live forever on this speck of dust in space. There is something out there, we cannot even begin to comprehend how powerful, or how much love he has for us..we his children. Even if we were not perfect in this life (we are only human after all) we will all be called home. We will be with our loved ones who went before us and we will all be forever be in his glorious love light. So I exist daily...patiently, quietly, waiting to be called home, to be reunited with my loved ones and my Magnificent Creator...