Before/After

| Apr 17, 2017

I just finished Jennifer Finney Boylan’s new book: Long Black Veil.

On page 68, she wrote “[spoiler redacted] had been a hinge in her life. For the rest of her days, there would be a time after, and a time before.”

Before and After. Alpha and Omega. Yin and Yang.

The Essence of Transition.

Life is full of turning points — both small and large. And everyone has different ones. What were mine?

Wow. So many.

Like anyone who has transitioned, there is that big one. Before: when I lived the Lie. After: Living my Truth. And that IS Major. But there are more. So many more — just like everyone.

Is transition my biggest Before/After? You’d think so. I mean, after all, it tore apart my life. I changed everything — gender, name. . . and I lost so much. Marriage, home, career, friends. As so many of us do. So many. So many. Too many.

So many other fulcrums. Graduating High School. Transferring to Penn State. Graduating college. Marriage. Moving to Baltimore. Moving home to Pa. Daughter. Were any as big as Transition?

Yes.

There was one.

Those who read my blog are tired of reading about it. Those who know me are tired of me talking about it. But it’s True. It’s Truth cuts through all the others.

How can one person, who I really didn’t know that long (better than two years of then fifty I’ve lived) change my life? Define it to the point that her coming and going define me?

Yes, I’m writing about Lisa. Lisa Empanada.

With her, there were three turning points. B/A meeting her. B/A her Affirmation Party.

Before and After September 17, 2013. 12:51 PM.

Sandy's text

Sandy’s text

When I learned that my Sister. . . my Blood. . . my Best friend. . . was dead. Suicide. And I didn’t see the signs. I couldn’t. . . didn’t save her.

That changes a soul.

Before she died, I had Hope. I wasn’t going through this alone. She would be with me every step of the way. We made a Promise to each other.

Then she broke it.

I’d had friends die before — one in my arms as he drew his last breath. His last words were “don’t let me. . .” as the blood bubbled from his mouth. Lisa wasn’t even my first suicide.

But.

She left me Alone. I would have to decide where I went from there without my Sister. She who Understood.

I promised her, at her funeral, that I would transition for us both. Almost broke that promise. Came so close to following her.

Yet here I am. Three years into my Truth. I kept my promise to her, even if she didn’t keep hers to me.

Sophie

Still Here

But you see, her Death changed so much. Before, I was Sure. I Knew I wasn’t alone in this. I knew I’d found someone to share the journey. Someone who Loved me as much as I loved her: as a Sister.

Then, After. After I was alone. Yes, I had and have friends. I had people who kept me Alive. People to whom I will be eternally in debt. But She was gone. Gone into the Light.

And so I go on. But her suicide was the defining moment in my life — the moment that some things became so clear, yet so much didn’t. The moment when I had to put on my big girl panties and move forward.

Forward — but not on. I know now that I will never get over her death. Ever. Her life affected so many others. She was such a positive force to so many. My death, when it comes, will be a mere ripple to her tidal wave.

However, her death had some positives. It got the trans community talking about suicide. All her friends. Acquaintances. People who didn’t even know her. We pulled in to give each other a collective, nurturing Hug. We all cried and talked and consoled each other. New bonds were formed. Friends. Loves.

How many of our sisters are alive today because of her act of Pain?

Every day, in many ways, is a Before/After situation. Every day, the world changes. We change. If nothing else, we are One Day older. One day closer to the Light.

I think that the important thing is that all of these changes — these fulcrums — are opportunities to learn. About each other. About ourselves. Because, in the end, all we have is each other.

Be well.

Tags: , ,

Category: Body & Soul

Sophie Lynne

About Sophie Lynne: http://sophielynne1.blogspot.com/ : http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/storywall/transgender-today/stories/sophie-lynne : http://articles.philly.com/2016-06-29/news/74075409_1_transgender-students-gender-identity-transgender-people

Comments (1)

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  1. Tasi Zuriack says:

    I had a friend too. We were close. She took me under her wing. She had transitioned. She was a wild and wonderful person. She knew I was TS but could never transition. She had a wife who met an untimely accidental death and my friend blamed herself. She moved. I knew she had suicidal tendencies. She took a solo hiking trip and disappeared. I will remember her always. The loss is always there