by Ed Gallagher

Readers of BENT (and before that of Able-Together) will recognize Ed Gallagher as an important contributor of fiction and nonfiction and an activist in several arenas. Ed's unconventional approach often makes his writing difficult to classify. He describes this piece as written "from the perspective of a discarnate soul that sees the damage done to self and those left behind by a suicide."

"After a Suicide: Meditation" is reprinted with permission from Ed Gallagher's ROLLERCOASTER RELEASE: A Collection Of Organized Chaos, published by 1stbooks library. You can order a copy from from,, or

Well, here I am.

Where am I? I've done it, haven't I? Can't feel my body. But I hurt bad . . . Real bad. Like just before. Did I do it? Is this where I'm supposed to be? Maybe I'm dreaming. I'm cold. But can't see myself . . . Is my voice there? Am I thinking? Where is everyone? I feel a lot of weight on my shoulders. I'm stuck.

Where are my shoulders? Am I moving here? Can't tell. Where is everybody? So much weight on my shoulders. Can't move . . . I'm stuck. Have I really done it? Seeing nothing. I'm stuck.

Whoa. What is that? I do see something! My family. My dog. My brothers. My sisters. Grandma, too. It's no party. My best friends, Joe and Karen. We still can help each other. You all look so sad. Sadder than I've ever seen. C'mon, please. Please. Don't cry. I can help you. Don't cry.

Mom, I never saw you cry like this. Dad, please let me help. Is Grandma okay? My stomach hurts bad. Real bad. Just like before. But where is my stomach? I can feel it, can't see it . . . It'll be okay, Mom. The holidays are coming soon. Your birthday, too. I can still help you. Please don't hate me. Can you help me? I feel so frozen, so much weight.

Please don't hate me. I'm so cold. I'm hurting. Oh, God, I'm hurting. Oh, God, I'm hurting . . . This is nothing like I thought it'd be. Please don't cry. I just wanna hug you all. I wanna hug my dog Brandy, again. I can't move. There is so much weight. I hurt more than I ever hurt before. I can't move.

Why did I do it? Why . . . How could I? I could've talked. How can I explain this? I just wasn't thinking. I could've talked. I am dead. I am dead. I am dead. And I caused all this pain. All of it. Just one more chance. Don't cry. Please, just one more chance. So cold. I am dead. I am dead. I am dead. But I feel it. It's only worse now. So much worse.

Don't cry, everybody. Don't cry. Oh, there is weight on my shoulders. I cry without tears. Where is someone? Anyone. Just one more chance. I'll pay a million bucks to have it like I was yesterday. Just one more chance. Please. Oh, God, I'm hurting. And everyone else is, too. Everyone, everyone, everyone . . .

© 2001 Ed Gallagher


is Executive Director of Alive To Thrive Inc.
You can reach him by e-mail at ( or in New Rochelle, NY at 914-576-0355.
Read about Ed's life and work in





BENT: A Journal of CripGay Voices/July 2001