September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. This day exists to raise awareness and to eliminate the stigma that surrounds suicide. I want to talk about the importance of this day a bit early, because 1) its a most important conversation to have, and 2) I have a personal connection to this cause this year.
Last night I lost a friend to suicide. A man that I liked a great deal. He was smart, and fun, and told wickedly funny stories. He was good. He had a family, and had family problems. He was struggling. I wish I had known that. I should have slowed down, and looked about me -and realized that he needed help. But I didn’t see it. And he didn’t ask. And now its too late. Had I known how bad things were for him, I would have told him that I adored him. That he was loved and valued. That he brought a smile to my face every time we talked. I would have held his hand and looked into his eyes and asked him how he was really doing. I would have hugged him. I would have listened. And I would not have allowed him to be alone. And all of this is too late. His friends (me included) let him down. My world will never be the same. And the sorrow and regret that has come with this man’s death is almost more than I can bear.
And so I urge everyone to talk about how you are feeling, let people know what is going on with you. If you are having dark thoughts, please share them. Talk to your doctor, or your friends, anyone who will listen, or a help line (1-800-273-TALK). Please, I urge you. And trust me when I say, there is someone out there that will miss you. You are adored.
And I encourage everyone to regularly tell the important people in your life just how important they are. That you love them, and that things are going to get better (if they need to hear that). Don’t assume that they know.Because there is a good chance that they don’t know.
Just remember -You Are Loved.
**Photo Source- Flickr – MGN