Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I am feeling so saddened this morning.

L'Wren Scott, the long-time companion/girlfriend of Mick Jagger killed herself yesterday.
She was not only Mick's girlfriend, she was a very well-known and successful designer and a huge name in fashion. Everyone from Nicole Kidman to Michele Obama wears her clothes. She just did a major deal with Banana Republic. I mean- it seemed like she had such a swell life. She was 6 feet, 4 inches and towered over Sir Mick and I always sort of respected him for having a girlfriend who was so much taller than he. She was beautiful, she had the longest legs in the world. She was adopted as a baby by a Mormon couple in Utah and she grew up to be...L'Wren Scott.
And then she killed herself.

I feel great sympathy for those who loved her. But what devastates me is the fact that anyone, anyone in this world, can suffer so badly from depression that no matter what the visible circumstances of their life, their accomplishments, their beauty, their relationships are- they can reach such a low place in their souls that they choose to end their lives rather than suffer anymore.

I have skated on that river. I have felt the ice beneath my feet and seen the dark, leafless trees against a gray leaden sky leading seemingly into an infinite outline of nothing more, ever, than that.

And I have been there, as well, as the survivor of a dear friend's suicide. Been told the news, been unable to process it (He was supposed to come and have dinner with us last night! He never showed up!) and had no idea how to leap that barrier between was-there and isn't-there and yet had to try (He was doing so much better!) and failed and failed and failed and will wonder for the rest of my life if I couldn't have, if we couldn't have, done...something.

So strange. Yesterday when Owen asked me if Keith Richards was dead and I so blithely told him, "No dear. He's in Australia, about to play a concert," I was holding out the skull and crossbones scarf for him to take a picture of. And L'Wren hung herself with a scarf. And the Stones have, of course, canceled their concert in Australia.
I am not attributing one bit of anything woo-woo here at all. I am just saying that life is so weird.
And I am saying that mental illness is so real and it can kill you sure as any disease a lab can see under a microscope. And it doesn't matter if you are a famous author or a homeless person or a struggling musician or a beautiful, talented woman who seems to have the whole world in her hands.
It can kill you dead.

May she rest in peace, that beautiful woman who came such a far journey in this world. May those she left be behind somehow, at some point, manage to find a place of peace themselves about her death.
May we, as a species, learn better ways to deal with mental illness. May we learn to speak out about it, to be able, when we suffer from it, not to be made to feel guilty for having a disease which people who have never suffered from, can't imagine. May we realize that no one is immune to it, no matter how rich, how thin, how famous, how celebrated, how loved, how respected.

L'Wren's suffering is over and done. That is a fact and I do not judge her for choosing to take her own life. And I realize that as bad as I have felt at different points in my life, as much as I have wished for relief from the inner demons which have made my so very, very good life a living hell, I have never reached that point- the point where death was the only escape.

But I have been close enough to understand when someone else makes that choice.
And it saddens me to my very bones to know that it happens.
And I know the pain that those who loved her are suffering and that, too, saddens me deeply.

The Buddhists say that life is suffering and that may well be true but when the point comes in a life where the suffering is too great to bear and someone takes the only path which seems to them possible, it's scary and very real to those of us who have an inkling of what it's like.
And at the same time, we are so eternally grateful for whatever pulled us away from that brink, whether love or a medication or the support of a community or a combination of all of that and perhaps nothing more than incredibly fortunate grace.

The sun has just begun to come out. I have chores to attend to. I have a life I love and which I need to sustain because it sustains me. I will take my pill which has made such a difference in my mind, my soul, my body. I will take a walk, I will tend my animals. I will at once be so grateful and so saddened.
I will never really understand how any of this works and I'm not sure we're supposed to and most of us manage to keep on living through the suffering and the joy until the time when we ultimately cannot. And sometimes that time is caused by the body's failing and sometimes that time comes when the soul fails to see any hope at all.

May she rest in peace and may all of those who reached that point rest in peace.
May we have compassion for all of them.
And, as Elizabeth reminded me this morning already, may we have compassion for ourselves. Which, we agreed, is perhaps the hardest thing of all.


Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Beautiful. The writing of this must have taken it all out of you and , I hope, put it all back in as we reflect love back to you.

  2. What Elizabeth said.

    Too strange about Owen saying that about Keith, the scarf... -goosebump worthy.

  3. Depression is like cancer of the soul. It knows no boundaries, it just claims who it wants, like cancer.
    I think I may be Buddhist. I will have to look into that.
    When I saw the pic of L'Wren and Mick, I couldn't help but think his wrinkled up face was way more interesting than hers. Makes me want to get more wrinkles.

  4. this is beautiful, brave, and true.

    thank you.

  5. This is so beautifully and compassionately written. I have skated on that river too and have been scarily close to going through the ice. Some days I am still skating. I just keep telling myself that this feeling is not all, is not all I am or have and that voice is not to be trusted or heeded, that another day is coming with (hopefully) another feeling. Hopefully, that will be enough, though it is so hard to see the shore sometimes. It is sad and scary when someone so crazy-talented doesn't make it. I think, if she didn't make it, what chance have I got?

    I am gladdened to see the changes wrought in your world lately. It makes me think perhaps it is time to give treatment another try.


  6. You speak like a soul who has walked a mile in those shoes. I am glad you are here and sad that she did not feel she could go on. Thank you for speaking up for her, for us all.

  7. Amen. So very sad. I know those depths and coming out the other side. I know that they are, however long they may feel, ultimately temporary. I understand the wanting of the relief sought by a permanent solution to a temporary problem. When we come to those places, I would like to gather us all up and wait for the morning.

  8. Holy writing, here, Mrs. Moon.

    "I have skated on that river. I have felt the ice beneath my feet and seen the dark, leafless trees against a gray leaden sky leading seemingly into an infinite outline of nothing more, ever, than that."

    I know it.

    And you know it.

    Thank you.

    And I prefer the interpretation of Buddhism that says, "There is suffering." Life is suffering is way too much for me.

  9. What a beautiful post. Mary, you know you speak for many of us. Your strength and bravery in talking about how bad you have felt at times makes it easier when we are going thru similar feelings and can't find our voice. You are truly a special being. Love, Sweet Jo

  10. Elizabeth- It did indeed take a lot but it's been a good day and I feel much restored.

    SJ- He is closer, Owen is, to the whole center of it, I think because he is so young.

    heartinhand- Well, she was only forty-nine, compared to his (hard-lived) seventy. You're right about depression. So very right.

    Tearful- True for me. That much I know. Thank you. It is so good to have you around again. I hope you know that.

    Invisigal- We don't know about the depths of Ms. Scott's depression and we never will. But we can ask for help for ourselves and if it is needed, we should. This is our one, true lives. If we don't have to, we should not live it in suffering. I would encourage you, if you ARE suffering, to yes, please try.

    Angella- It's a horrible thing, isn't it? And of course, I have no connection with anyone like L'Wren Scott except that I too, have known that sort of sorrow. I think. SO MANY of us have. And it is heartbreaking to see how far it can take someone.

    Lisa- Yes. That last line of your comment. I feel that way too.

    Denise- That IS a much better interpretation. I know nothing about Buddhism, not really. Well, you know- what everyone knows. But it seems to me to be a very worthy path to walk.

    Sweet Jo- I was just going to ask in a post where you were! I hope you have been silent because of good things and busy-ness. I always feel better when I can hear your voice here. Thank you.

  11. It is disheartening and sad when someone who appears to "have it all" takes her own life. It show how little we know about mental illness. Something has got to change.

  12. I don't think anyone knows the why and the thinking going on at the moment of suicide, except for those who have come back from the brink and realize that life afterall is much preferred. Sad that Ms. Scott didn't get that chance to come back from the brink and perhaps rethink her decision. I read that Sir Mick described her as a lover and friend. I hope that she knew love, a deep love, in her life. I wonder if she loved herself. It's all very sad.

  13. I suspect things can be even harder for beautiful, talented people who see, intellectually, how much they have and yet feel, deep down, that they lack. Know what I mean?

  14. That is a beautiful and heartbreaking post, Ms. Moon.
    Keep skating.

  15. Birdie- So true. As we know.

    Syd- We can never know. Ever. And I can never judge. I, too, hope she knew love.

    Steve Reed- I know exactly what you mean. I think you are totally right.

    Betsy- Long as I can. You bet. You too, sweet, talented woman.

  16. Thank you for this beautiful gaze into the abyss of this woman's choice. I've been so aware of her all week, so aware and so sad for everyone everywhere who is left behind to make some sense out of death by suicide.
    (And: You are such a good writer, Mary Moon. Everybody's right about that, you know.)

  17. Andrea- Me too, in the being aware of her all week. Not that I have any attachment to her or her life at all but as a human being. Those of us who have known despair can't help but be affected.
    Thank you for your words about my writing. They mean a lot to me.


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