My Precious Son/Daughter,
You know that logo? “LIFE IS GOOD!” It’s true on many levels. But life is also full of trials. And sometimes those trials get the best of people. I wish we knew the magic formula on what makes some people fighters and overcomers in situations where others struggle deeply and are overcome. But we don’t. And I suspect we never will.
Each of us has our struggles. And I’m convinced each of us sometimes feels uncomfortable, out of place, useless or odd. Those are normal feelings. They aren’t healthy. But when you understand that these thoughts and feelings are something each of us struggle with, it takes away the toxic nature and poison behind the thoughts. At one time or another we all question our value and what difference we make in the world.
Suicide is a devastating end result of entertaining those thoughts. A heart that longed for love, help, and care from others – but couldn’t receive it. There is a deep hurt that longs for relief. And as your mom, I hope and pray that you have never contemplated suicide or been affected by one. Throughout your life I have tried to show you the depths of my love for you and your value in this world. Without you, without each one of us, the world would be sadly different. Do you remember that movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life?” Your dad and I watch it each Christmas – Honestly, I think it’s because Dad is so in love with Donna Reed (the main character’s wife), but nonetheless it has a great message – The power of one person’s life on those around him.
Not long ago I saw one of your friends post on Facebook live his thoughts about suicide. I wondered what prompted him. Had he considered suicide? His friend? Had he been affected by a suicide? Unfortunately, most people have been. As I watched his video I was reminded of a powerful scene your dad and I had seen in a Blacklist episode on TV. The scene involved the main character, Raymond Reddington, and a woman who he had just rescued from a suicide attempt. Disregarding his concern for her, she was about to throw herself into a crossfire which would lead to her imminent death. Reddington didn’t know this woman and had no relationship with her – which I think makes his plea even more powerful. You will want to rid yourself of distractions for the next minute and a half as you listen to this clip. Reddington’s words are crazy powerful in this clip:
Although he was describing the effect of a suicide bomber, Reddington’s words, “There was almost nothing left to those closest to him,” is a powerful reminder that the remains of suicide are always widespread devastation.
He goes on to say, “The closer they were to the [victim], the more horrific the effect.” The. More. Horrific. The. Effect.
You’re probably wondering why I’m writing this letter to you today. I’m not entirely sure myself. But I’d bet by now you know someone who has either talked to you about suicide or been affected by one.
I encourage you to reach out. Look for the lonely, hurting and sad amongst your “friends.” Be that safe place for them. And when you’re feeling lonely, hurting or sad – reach out. Seek out someone that would wish they were there for you if only they knew what you were going through. We all love to be strong and present a tough exterior. But sometimes it’s better to be real.
I pray that you know you can always come to me. I will listen. And seek to understand. Or keep quiet and just give you a hug! Life is good, but tough. Or should I say: life is tough, but good!! Let’s be that safe friend for those we love.
With all my love,