Far from Lothlorien: Surviving Suicide

I have never posted twice in one night, but if I don’t do this now, while I have the courage, this poem might remain in my desk drawer. Lissa (my brother’s first wife) became a part of my life when I was six months old. She was like a second mother to me. She was there for me through the troubling middle school and high school years as a big sister. She took her own life in 1999. I have mixed feelings about her passing, and in my despair, I wrote my only other poem. It’s deep and filled with many of the raw emotions that surface after a tragedy. This poem chastises members of the national media (as the events led to a national scandal) but also deals with the despair of loss. Despite how mad I am at her, I love and miss her!

(NOTE:  I wrote this poem over ten years ago and am in a much better place now.  I chose to share this because there are many people out there who are hurting from a family member or friend’s suicide.  It is my hope that readers will recognize the many emotions surfacing in this poem and know that life for those left behind improves with the passage of time.)

Far from Lothlorien
By Maggie Murphy

How do I sort through a lifetime of lies?
Everything told to me must be questioned.
Every memory must be reviewed.

My whole childhood is at stake here!

Why did you have to manipulate me?
I was the one on the right track.
I was the one that the community looked to for truth and respect.
Was that your motivation for this treason?

I hold all those things, and you can’t steal them away from me-even from the grave!

I have always shunned those who pass on information second hand. Now they are my only source. How dare you leave us and put this information in the twisted and mangled kaleidoscopes of Tom, Peter, and Dan to display to the world!

If the truth shall set you free, how can I find it? You left me with no guidance to find my way through this maze. All that remains are rumors, opinions, and the empty feeling that comes with suicide.

I love you-why did you leave?


  1. Dear, Maggie… If she could be here to tell you, she would tell you that you were a most cherished part of her life, I bet. Suicide affects everyone, leaves many unanswered questions, and a big gash in your heart where that person used to be. I wish I had words to help soothe that hurt. Your writing is a great outlet for feelings. Keep writing.

  2. Thank you so much Connie! This was hard to post, and I really needed to hear some feedback! I went ahead and posted this bc I thought there were people who need to here that life goes on. I hope it reaches someone…

  3. I’m sorry that you had to lose a loved one in such a difficult way. I’m so sorry for your heartache. I remember how we used to go back and forth between the houses playing. She was always kind to me. Try to forgive her and make peace. The best thing that you can do for you and her is pray for both of you. If you can do an act of charity in her name like feeding the poor, etc. It will help both of you a great deal. People get weak and follow their emotions into things that can cause them pain and the people around them. Maybe do an act of charity in her name every year or as often as possible. The best gift you can give her and yourself is forgiveness. Hugs and Love!

  4. I can only imagine the loss and pain you feel and perhaps even worse, the rejection and betrayal. Somehow you have to find a way to forgive her. Your questions will never be answered and that’s a hard truth to live with, but it’s the reality of the situation. Forgiveness is the only way to move on. Know that there are many who love you and would move mountains for you. Don’t be afraid to lean on us when you need support! You are strong, but you’re not alone! Love ya!

  5. I actually wrote this over ten years ago. I am in a much better place now. However, it was tough to share, but I took this step because the poem shares many of the raw emotions that were going through my mind at the time. I hope others who are dealing with the loss of a loved one from suicide can relate to what I went through and know that life gets better.

  6. Maggie, I am glad you posted this. I did not know you very well, but I remember the day. Our Michael was six days old. A few days before, Lissa had come over gift-laden. It was the most disturbing thing in my life to that point. Lissa had been so good to me and my children. George IV had been one of the truest friends my husband had in Hillsdale. And, just as you say, there was (and still is for us) no way to get at the truth. Since then, another friend has gone the way of suicide. I pray for both of them so often. I cannot get over the “there, but for the grace of God, go I” aspect. Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Please. And for you and yours, too.

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