My daughter Sallie participated with Kim last night in a school function designed to address the issue of teen suicides. Sallie’s school has had two recent tragic events that naturally concern parents, students, and teachers. In the discussions, all in attendance were told many things, one of which included the signs to watch for in the lives of loved ones.
As many of you may know, I enjoy people, so I am a people watcher. My most recent observations have been that we as people are closer today as couples, families, friends, neighbors, communities, and even a nation because of our involvement in our current recession. We are turning to relationships, finding love and satisfaction in simple things. We have gained an appreciation for what we have, spinning away from what may have been desires focused on obtaining more. The recession has built and is building deeper relationships in human interaction and our understanding of nature. This examination I suggest is not only something I believe in personally but am taking part in.
As a family, we discussed what was covered in this gathering, and we all felt the pain of the families dealing with their unbelievable circumstances. Something hit me like a ton of bricks; my feelings about our society transitioning to improved relationships were limited. I reflected on how in this current environment, there is a contingency of folks not enjoying the light of hope for a brighter day. Their pain and suffering are so intense it may appear to them at the moment to be insurmountable. Any feeling of optimism that previously occupied their minds is now dashed in a downward spiral. What our loved ones (whether perfect strangers or lifelong friends) have lost in touch with reality. To them, at this moment, relief from the pain is suicide. They don’t see past the suffering to the day not too far away when they are back on top. For us observing from the outside, the permanency of this decision based on temporary facts is unclear. We don’t understand how desperate one can get and how seemingly simple interactions are magnified.
I am not a professional and have never studied suicide as a subject but suggest something simple as a spectator of people. We can be an angel in the life of many we interact with by doing something seemingly meaningless, which to those of us “feeling good” may seem uncomplicated or even basic; acknowledge the good in others. I can’t even tell you how good it makes me feel to know someone cares, understands, or even believes in me when I am up. Get me down, feeling no value, then give me that same recognition. It alters my path. I leave my thoughts of immediacy and realize it is just a moment of time. I find a kindling of my fire deep inside and awaken a long-term perspective. My relief is no longer extinguishing the pain by ending it all but realizing my value. A simple hug, a thank you, a pat on the back, you are valued, and knowing how much I care or can do anything for you will keep our loved ones intact, living beyond the moment.
I have participated in the giving and receiving side of this love. I have been told how much it meant (even a “You saved my life”) and to have offered gratitude to those who expressed love to me. It may be simple, agreed yet so necessary. Please never turn away from an expression of love. You are making a difference in this beautiful world; I PROMISE!