Merle Haggard just died…
However, this post isn’t about Merle.
It’s about suicide.
I have heard far too many stories of people taking their own lives in the past couple of weeks, young, vibrant people with their whole lives in front of them , or a good majority of life in front of them still…and it breaks my heart that someone’s life could be so dark that the last split second before they take their life… something , anything doesn’t enter their mind that brings a moment of something to live for…that at that moment they still decide nothing is worth staying here.
That’s a dark moment, the darkest of all – and they aren’t alone, I come from a family riddled with depression and deep seeded anxiety, I bet you do also, in fact chances are whomever is reading this has had the thought of taking their own life enter their minds once or more in their lives, no we didn’t act on it…or maybe we did, but it didn’t work… or maybe we got to that darkest of places and at the last second the light entered and we decided to hold on for one more day, and one more day became months and then years, and here we are, still here.
Or maybe your one of the lucky ones that has never had the dark thoughts enter your mind, be grateful for that. But don’t be judgmental, don’t be the person that say’s “nothing is that bad”- because maybe nothing has been that bad for you, but it was that bad for them.
Don’t say they will go to hell, because although I respect that you read and follow your bible, you are not the one that gets to pass the final judgement- you just aren’t.
When you feel the need to say you don’t understand, I urge you to close your eyes, remember a time in your life when your heart actually physically hurt every time you felt it beat in your chest. Now multiply that feeling by a million, make it twenty times darker than it is with your eyes closed, have nothing enter your mind that brings you joy, only pain, only sorrow, only darkness.
You feel that? It’s called Empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.)
It’s what makes us Human, it’s the only thing that connects us to one another in this place where we all battle and we all struggle and some of us succumb to the darkness, while others look for and wait for the light.
That person that just took their life was someone’s “Merle Haggard”, they brought music into someone’s life, they were someone’s brother, or sister, or Mother or Father, someone’s happiness, someone’s strength, someone right now is missing them so much their heart hurts.
Life is more of a struggle for some of us and less for others, I have heard people say those that take their own lives are weak, and to that I say: “Do you have any idea the strength it takes to feel everything”? Sometimes that leads people to a despair that is so overwhelming they can’t find their way out.
It’s an epidemic these days, people feeling the only way out is to take their own lives, it saddens me and haunts me and I just feel the need to say to all of them, to all of us who have felt that way-
I am sorry you felt so haunted, I am sorry your life was so dark, I understand your decision to leave this world as I am sure you understand my decision to stay.
I won’t judge you, I will hang my head in sorrow, and tell you, I wish you peace on the other side. Maybe I didn’t even know you, maybe we have never even met- it makes no difference, we are all here together, we are all fighting the same battle on different levels on different days, to different degrees.
I want you to know the world will miss you, even though you didn’t think it would.
Our light , shadowed by your darkness: Empathy