The Importance of the Breath After Suicide Loss


Taking that deep breath which moves me to my place of peace and inner stillness — that is the draw of who I am. Breath is the phenomenal brilliance of our origin. It is the radiant sensation of grace that creates the beautiful glow in my existence. It is my generosity, my patience, my tolerance and my wisdom. Breath is my compassion. It is my loving kindness. It is me. I am my breath, my place of peace and inner stillness. I am the draw of who I am.

Breath — as it is affixed to my individual impression, my energy stamp, my vibrational nature — is how I am merged to my mindfulness and to my level of mental hardiness. My resilience lies with the antiquities of our origins. When jostled to the level of exhausted prostration, I will still breathe. It is the semblance of finding my place of stillness, no matter how remote, by drawing from the rudiment that knows nothing other than to breathe in and to breathe out — and to start there.

This is really the wholeness of living. Understanding even though life is an active process in moving forward with my best self, my best self is really where I am at in any given moment. With the mantra “start with where you are” and with ancient and kindred guidance, I move forward with a single breath at any one time — short and shallow or deep and drawn, moving forward as my communal self to the wholeness of communal nature.

It is the breath that creates the calm beauty of my characteristic imprint — my sustaining draw that is my identity in all thought and all feeling. It is part of the stream of life that ties “the all” of everything into one togetherness. It is the awareness of our community of shared consciousness and the learned nature to feel the presence of it, to pass into it and to become part of it. However it is shaped, breath allows me to find the strength to tap into the love of myself until, like the ocean, it reveals even the most minute particle of sand that has been churned among millions of others from the tidal waves. Vibrant new particles of shimmering sand unearthed before me as the tides wash the beach anew — allowing me to endure the longevity of healing in service to my certitude.

Breath, as love, is the source of my gratitude and the source of my understanding. It is pivotal to my core of wholeness. Each breath represents a particular, beautiful, glistening, single, minute piece of sand amongst the multitudes of others — drawn out on its own accord amidst the churning vibration of a consciousness stream — a mutual love embedded in the impression of my soul.

As it is, I am sacred and divine — once I have a glimpse into the awareness of this, it is in every moment and every understanding eternally. As I look to self-love, I transform my losses so they can be churned back into the waters at the designated time of renewal as an honored member of the ocean. I believe our losses put back into the conscious streaming tides that push, churn and mingle the full conscious essence we are all a part.

When I need enduring strength, I tend to recall a particular moment when in a fleeting instance, the full impact of my loss overcame me. My body gave out and started to collapse, but instead of fainting, it somehow overcame the swoon of it. A gasp — that quick inward draw of life force — created a change in body movement. It led to a breath in with a breath out and then another longer breath in with a longer breath out. It was this moment that set a motion forward in my own survival after his death and is the memory that gives me strength whenever I am coping with the traumatic feelings from the many losses after my partner’s suicide. As it was this moment that the most basic aspect of living took over and helped me to survive that day and carried me forward to my present life — the basics of a mindful “inhale in” and then a mindful “exhale out.”

Today, when I am emotionally drained from the ongoing effects of this loss, I breathe. When I just am unable to physically move because this loss debilitates me, I breathe.  When I mentally cannot focus and am not able to make decisions, I focus on solely breathing in and breathing out. My concentration moves from my loss to the breath. I tell others when all you can do is nothing at all, just breathe, and the breath will pull you out of it. That is how important the breath is to me. That is how impactful breathing is to my moving through this suicide loss. The basics of a mindful inhale and then a mindful exhale, repeated over and over until a calm comes and removes the starkness of collapse. This is the breath, this is the draw of who I am.

This post originally appeared on The Muse of Wildflowers.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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