The Mid Collective + Suicide mother

Out of the Darkness Walk

Beate Bungardt : August 13th, 1945 -  May 10th, 1976
my mother was 31 years young when she commited suicide, I was almost 7.

Tanja, Beate and Markus

Tanja and Beate

Beate & Tanja

I always refused to make the fact, that my mother committed suicide "a thing"... I actually grew up, not thinking that it was a big deal... maybe because we never made it one? ... but the older I got, I started noticing how people reacted once I told them. It would always start very harmless with a question during a "get-to-know-each-other- conversation"... like... "so do your parents still live in Germany?"
And after a few back and forth Q's and A's it would always end up with a :
"My mother is dead"
"Oh, how did she die... ?"
... now I knew this was going to be hard ... not for me, but for them (the other person, asking, what they think is just the logical follow up question, not knowing, they are about to be hit with this one... the big one the... )
"She committed suicide when I was 7."
pause pause pause, awkward silence and stare followed by a ...
"Oh my God, I am sooooo sorry"
to another stare end I feel like I can read their minds,where I think they want to hug me or something?...

I feel bad for having to tell them, because I know they are going to feel weird, not knowing what to say etc... so I guess I just decided to ignore the whole thing and just talk really fast over the awkwardness, with
"Oh, it's OK it's been a long time... I'm OK with it Bullshit... " when the truth is, I haven't even begun to really, I mean REALLY dig into it.

So last year, for the first time ever I looked into the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) and the Illinois one was actually going to have their "Out of the Darkness Walk" at the Botanical Gardens in Highland Park!
So I had to go... I went with my "second mom" and didn't talk to anybody, put up a picture of Beate, my Birth-mom and was choked up about the memorial wall filled with pictures of people who killed themselves and my mother's photo in the middle of it.
When you go you get beads, just like the once you get at Mardi Gras, but each colour means something, so you can look at people's beads and know if they lost a partner, a parent, a child, a friend or a family member etc...
I was wearing gold beads, I had lost a parent... all I could do is look at peoples beads and their faces... "Everybody here lost somebody to suicide! Wow! That is some powerful shit!" I was thinking... I wanted to talk to others who had lost a parent ... but didn't know what to say.

So this year I went again, this time I met my friend Britni, who I had not seen in years and her fiancee. And again I didn't talk to anybody.
You probably want to hear how I went up to people wearing golden beads but no... I didn't ... again I have no idea what I would or could say?

"Hi my name is... I lost my mother when I was 7? I see you lost a parent as well... " and then what? I don't and didn't know... what should come next?
How are you doing? Are you still struggling with it? Are you mad at your parent? Do you hate them for being a coward? Do you feel their pain? Did you forgive them for leaving you? Do you still love them? Do you have issues with relationships because people leave? etc etc... they might be angry, they might be sad, they may not have any feelings about it ... yet? I still don't know what I feel... and I want to know what I should feel? I am hoping to find answers from strangers?

"Out of the Darkness Walk"... thank you... maybe next year I will have the courage to actually talk to somebody... I have a year to think about what I could say.

AFSP, Beate Bungardt, out of the darkness, and more:

Relevant to: Out of the Darkness Walk + Suicide mother