Suicide Note, and The Reason Eric Peterson Does What He Does

A few years back, in a class, I read this note. This note was the catalyst that touched my heart and gave me a passion to work with the lost and hopeless. God Loved Her. So Much.

 

…An Asian American college student was reported to have jumped to her death from her dormatory window. Her body was found two days later under a deep cover of snow. Her suicide note contained an apology to her parents for having received less than a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

 

Suicide Note

by Janice Mirikitani

 

How many notes written . . .

ink smeared like birdprints in snow.

not good enough not pretty enough not smart enough

dear mother and father.

I apologize

for disappointing you.

I’ve worked very hard,

not good enough

harder, perhaps to please you.

If only I were a son, shoulders broad

as the sunset threading through pine,

I would see the light in my mother’s

eyes, or the golden pride reflected

in my father’s dream

of my wide, male hands worthy of work

and comfort.

I would swagger through life

muscled and bold and assured,

drawing praises to me

like currents in the bed of wind, virile

with confidence.

not good enough not strong enough not good enough

 

I apologize.

Tasks do not come easily.

Each failure, a glacier.

Each disapproval, a bootprint.

Each disappointment,

ice above my river.

So I have worked hard.

not good enough.

My sacrifice I will drop

bone by bone, perched

on the ledge of my womanhood,

fragile as wings.

not strong enough

It is snowing steadily

surely not good weather

for flying – this sparrow

sillied and dizzied by the wind

on the edge.

not smart enough.

I make this ledge my altar

to offer penance.

This air will not hold me,

the snow burdens my crippled wings,

my tears drop like bitter cloth

softly into the gutter below.

not good enough not strong enough not smart enough

 

Choices thin as shaved

ice. Notes shredded

drift like snow

on my broken body,

covers me like whispers

of sorries.

Perhaps when they find me

they will bury

my bird bones beneath

a sturdy pine

 

and scatter my feathers like

 

unspoken song

 

over this white and cold and silent

 

breast of earth.