Artwork © Gunjan Bhardwaj

Planning a Funeral

For 14 years I wanted to die. I was a burden to my family.
I was worthless, and the world would be a better place without me.
People spoke poorly about me, or so I thought, so I wanted a funeral.
No one says bad things about a person at their funeral.
My funeral was my chance for people to like me.
They wouldn’t miss me, but for that one day, they would like me.
Living my life was too much to handle. When you don’t love yourself, how can you believe that others love you?
I tried to die 18 times. 17 times I “failed.
The 18th time, I was awoken.
A family member showed me patience. I had no idea it would be so healing.
I didn’t get to tell him how grateful I was until he was in hospice.
He changed my life, and never knew. I was too scared to tell him.
At his funeral, not a bad word was said about him.
A few years later, my family had to plan another funeral.
It was for a 5 year old boy who unlike me, enjoyed every day of his life even when fighting tough battles.
I was the point of contact for people.
Service dates, travel plans, or just someone that needed to talk to.
Never would I think that I would be the one supporting others.
I learned shortly after his funeral, that my parents had a plan in place should I have died by suicide.
My mom even told me who would be the point of contact, the same role I had for my nephew.
In thinking it over, I have some advice.
Don’t just show kindness to others, but believe that you deserve it too.
Giving and receiving are equally important.
Don’t just have patience for others, have patience with yourself.
You will get there.
No, it doesn’t come natural to everyone, so don’t be afraid to lean how to be happy!
You deserve happiness.
It took 14 years for me to learn that I didn’t need a funeral for people to be nice to me.
I realized some people will like me, some won’t.
That’s ok. I like me.
It’s been almost 13 years since my last attempt at suicide. I am not cured, and never will be.
That’s ok. It makes me who I am.
It makes me want to fight for myself and others.
I will struggle, but I follow my own advice.
When people are kind to me, even though it’s hard to believe or accept at times, I embrace it.
When I am given the opportunity, I pay it forward.
If one day is bad, I have patience for tomorrow, it will be different.
I have learned happiness, and work hard to be happy.
I still wonder what people will say about me when I am gone,
But I am in no rush to hear it.
I rather hear what they say to me when I am alive.

Karyn Morrison serves as treasurer on the newly formed Oddball Magazine Board. She wrote this poem in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, which started on Sunday, September 6 and ended on Saturday, September 12.

Gunjan Bhardwaj is a 22 year old computer engineering from india who enjoys painting and sketching.