Pilgrimage to the Site of My Mother's Suicide
Mom died in a random parking garage. I didn't know why, but I had to see it.
Illustrations by Hokyoung Kim
I find myself with five luxurious, uninterrupted hours after I drop my 18-year-old daughter off at a television taping in Van Nuys, my three-year-old son home with my husband over an hour away. I am not used to having so much time to myself; the swath of it stretched before me almost makes me dizzy. I’ve brought my laptop; I want to find a place to sit and write – specifically, to write about my mom, who hanged herself one week after I gave birth to Asher. I know writing is the best chance I have to make any sort of sense out of her suicide – writing has always been the way I’ve been best able to make sense of my life – but it’s been hard to let myself get as close to her death as I know I need to. It’s felt too scary, too raw, too soon. But it also feels urgent to me now. Desperately so. Maybe this extra time will give me the chance to dig deep. I zero in on a teahouse with great reviews on Yelp, but when I pass the address, I realize the shop’s inside a …