Losing someone you care about it is difficult for anyone, yet losing someone you love without any warning is hard to fathom.
Imagine never getting the chance to say goodbye.
Imagine daily phone calls and constant laughter woven in to your existence, and suddenly that person is gone. Ten years ago, someone very dear to me ended their life. It was shocking news to receive and saddens me to think of someone feeling so isolated and distraught in their final moments.
It’s also a day on a calendar that began to serve as the timeline for how I view events in my life: Before August 7th, and after August 7th. I’m a different person now than the woman I knew before August 7th, ten years ago. Not necessarily a negative thing, with the exception of the absence of my loved one, just not the same. Before August 7th, I tended to excuse myself if I missed important milestones in the lives of others, because too busy or too tired was my middle name. After August 7th, I try my hardest to show up anyway, though being busy or too tired hasn’t changed much. Before August 7th, I knew I was strong and independent, though after August 7th, I was shown strength I didn’t know I had, because there was no other way but to keep moving forward. I was a mom of young kids who needed me, and as they say, life goes on.
The pain begins to dull, but the void is always present.
If you have lost someone to suicide, you know all-too-well the significance of keeping their memory alive years later. You wonder how they would feel about the world today, or if they hear you say a quiet prayer in their name. You know what it’s like to endure the dreaded year of firsts: Their first birthday, first family barbeque in their absence, first Christmas without them at the table, first time you want to share good news, yet can’t.
Again, not terrible. Just different. I still laugh. A lot, actually.
A decade later, news of another life taken brings me back to August 7th. I hurt for that family, knowing their lives will be forever different. From Kate Spade, to the college boy in Fishers I learned about two days ago, to the high school California teen who ended his future in the outfield of a baseball park where he played, leaving behind a note stating that there is ‘so much pressure on kids to do well that I couldn’t take it anymore.’
Reach out. Speak up. Be the voice. The #1 obstacle in prevention is SILENCE.
Logic – 1-800-273-8255 ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid