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Mary’s talk at the May 2014 Group Session

Saturday, May 17, 2014

So, before we start, I wanted to share with you guys, now that everybody’s a little calmer and not so emotional and crazy or whatever, we had, like all of you know, we had an incident happen on St. Pattie’s Day, which wasn’t very festive.

I got like 93 emails about it, that people were very NOT happy about Jenna and Alexi’s choice to move on. I also was kinda tweaked about it at first. But I think it’s really important that people have a dialogue and have a forum that they can talk about things that are kind of taboo subjects, like we did a couple of years ago about mental illness. Now we’re going to talk about suicide. I know those are people’s favorite subjects, but it’s a hard thing to deal with, and it does tweak people. This was something that some people wanted to romanticize, like they were like Romeo and Juliet. No, they weren’t, and it was disturbing. This was not something they did in the spur of the moment; they planned it for six months, and meticulously.

It’s a subject that can be kind of disturbing. I don’t know how many people were privy to Jenna’s note, but I know most people got Alexi’s note. I think both of them were a little misleading, not on purpose. I don’t think that they were trying to be misleading. The reason that I’m bringing it up is because it did tweak me, along with a lot of other people. I did have somebody ask Elias about it, and I felt a lot better after Elias explained the situation.

Now, the man that asked the questions for me started out by asking if their choice was one of honoring them, which Elias said yes. But interestingly enough, he followed that statement by saying, "That’s not the right question,” which Elias doesn’t usually do. I think he was tuning in to what I was feeling, and other people probably also. So the man changed it, and he said, "Was this choice one which was to their greatest benefit?" and Elias said no. Elias explained that by saying when people make choices that are to their greatest benefit, they are being present and they are being now, and that neither one of them were doing that. He also explained it’s not so black and white; it’s not that they just weren’t being present so they made this choice that was not that great. It’s a little more complicated than that.

He explained that they both went in a direction that he explained as faith. He said that faith is the action of trusting what you don’t know – which I thought was a really great definition. He said that people at times have faith, and it is a great benefit to them. It is very positive, and it can really help them. But sometimes people can go in a direction of believing in this faith to an extreme, and when they do that, then they kind of move in directions that are not always to their greatest benefit, and that’s what they did.

They had become so caught up in the idea of what you do after you die that that seemed more attractive to them than what they were doing here. Both of these women had some considerable issues. I believe that they tried as best they could to deal with them and address to them, but I do not believe that they were resolved. I say that based on the last six months that they were here. As I said, they were doing sessions every two weeks, and they were coming to my house to do in-person sessions. Alexi was flying across the country.

The three of us never talked about what they were talking to Elias about. I was like you, kind of blindsided. I didn’t expect that outcome, because they never talked to me about it, which was one of the things that bothered me. Before Elias talked about it, I felt like that was kind of a betrayal, that they had gone in a direction of interacting with me for six months in a very positive, happy, excited way, which seemed inconsistent with what they were planning the whole time. I did listen to their sessions – which will all be x-filed, so nobody will be privy to them – but I listened to them because I needed to understand what was going on during that six months. They were very detailed, and they were determined. That is all they spoke to Elias about for six months, and spoke to him in a way that did not allow for any interjection of other information. I won’t say opinion, because I don’t really think Elias has opinions. But they didn’t talk to him in a way that gave him any leeway to discuss anything except logistics, how to do it, when to do it, what to do and all that kind of stuff. They didn’t ask him what to do, they told him what they were planning, and then asked logistical questions such as, "If you jump off a bridge that’s 120 feet up, will you die if you hit the ground?" and various different scenarios of how to die, which also kind of upset me because I felt like wow, how can people be like that? One way to me and a whole other way with Elias?

But Elias’ explanation was very understandable. He said it is very similar to if you have a friend that is moving to another country and was very excited about it. They would likely be excited all the time, because that’s what they’re focused on. So, no matter what’s going on, they would probably be happy and excited, because they’re looking forward to their trip. He said this was very similar, that these people had moved so much in the direction of this faith in what is beyond, that they were very consumed with that subject and not thinking about now, which made more sense to me.

When it came to the question of was this to their greatest benefit, he said no, because they weren’t really being present; they were too consumed with the future and what was next. He also explained that for us, this is an example of the ripples of what happens when you aren’t being present and you make choices. It does ripple out, and it isn’t always a good ripple. Lots of people get upset and are hurt or traumatized. It’s not that it’s those peoples’ fault, but it is like a natural ripple that happens when you are not paying attention to what you are doing and when you are not being present – which was a really good example to me of how important it is to be present or to be aware of what your choices are. We don’t live in this world all by ourselves, and we do affect people all around us, all the time. Not that we should be thinking of everybody else first, but we can’t ignore that we live with other people too, and they do play a role in our lives, and what we do affects them, too.

Anyway, I wanted to share that Elias said that even though it might not have been to their greatest benefit, that it did honor them. How it was a choice that did honor them was that we, as a society, make rules about certain subjects – death being one of them – that certain ways you can die are acceptable and certain ways you can die are not acceptable. Choosing in a very blatant way to kill yourself is, by society’s rules, not acceptable and not okay. He said the reason that is, is that we have all collectively agreed on certain rules that we live by, and when somebody steps outside of that box and makes a different choice, we don’t agree with it, and we don’t like it, and it disturbs us or bothers us. He said they were honoring themselves in the manner that they were aware that this was not an acceptable choice by society’s standards but it was the choice that they wanted to make, that they would do it whether society says it’s okay or not, and in that respect, they were honoring of themselves in not being dictated to. So it’s a little bit of a dichotomy there, where in one way they were right on, and in another way they were a little off.

Maybe it will help other people to be a little more settled also to know that they were not making a choice that they intended to be upsetting or hurtful to anyone else. They weren’t making a choice that was necessarily the best choice they could have made. But this is also an example of faith in extreme, which is something to think about. I just wanted to share with you all, because I know people have been talking to me about it. I don’t know how much you’re talking amongst yourselves about it.

I know it was pretty disturbing for a lot of people. A lot of people were pissed off; a lot of people were really upset; a lot of people were sad. I was kind of sad. I’ve known Alexi for 14 years; Jenna I’ve only known for about four years, but I really, really liked her. I felt like she had overcome a lot of big things in her life and seemed to move in a new direction, it seemed to me, almost seamlessly. She was not somebody that you would automatically, immediately peg as a transgendered person. I think she did a really seamless transition into that direction, and it was really beautiful, and I had a lot of respect for her.

It was a hard loss, but it is what it is. So, that’s my little spiel for this weekend.