Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

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Julee Cruise’s Suicide – The Seesaw of Pain and Hope

Julee Cruise was once said to have the voice of an angel for her inimitable songs featured in David Lynch’s cult classic Twin Peaks. When her death on June 9 was reported in news, the grief of her demise for some of us was made worse by the revelation that she died by suicide. Why had she lost hope?

Edward Grinnan, Julee’s husband, wrote a piece about her passing, titled “Talking with Love and Understanding About Suicide” that was published in Guideposts. Julee’s fans knew that she had been suffering from lupus, as she made it public in 2018. She had lupus since college and it seemed to have gotten unbearably bad over the years. But Julee also suffered from depression and it was made worse by lupus, as Grinnan revealed in his article.

Julee’s brother chose to die by suicide over a decade ago and today, as Grinnan shared with his readers, suicide remains the twelfth leading cause of death in the U.S. Why do people give up hope and choose to part ways with life—at least the earthly life?

Essentially, it’s a seesaw of pain versus hope—a life-saving balance in which hope has to outdo pain to tip the balance in favor of life. The other way around, and the seesaw lands you in the valley of death. Maybe that happened to Julee Cruise. After staying on the life side of this tightrope, the pain eating away at her inner peace via her body tripped her. So she chose peace.

And peace is what we all choose to pursue happiness. As narrated in my collection of nonfiction essays Dropping the Eyelids, I was once asked to assist in intended suicide by someone who was living in agony. All I had to offer were some words of hope. To the joy of my soul, they worked. And I learnt then that words—just words spoken with a true and compassionate heart—can add to the lifeline; they can tilt the hope-pain seesaw toward hope. It’s an invisible energy traveling from soul to soul and delivering peace.

Julee Cruise had a beautiful life, the voice of an angel, and she found her peace in discarding her body plagued with pain. Now she can sing to/with the angels on the other side and leave them charmed as she did us for decades, and continues to do so via her immortal voice.

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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