(First published on December 31, 2014)
This week, very early on Tuesday morning, someone who was, although not a close friend, an acquaintance whom I liked, took the final step to end what he felt was an unbearable situation.
As I said, we weren’t close, but he worked in a local home center, and no matter when I went there, no matter what I wanted, if I saw him, he was always smiling, friendly and helpful. He was in his late twenties… slim, healthy, Latino-handsome. But… somewhere in his life was a secret pain, something that hurt him so unbearably that he thought there was no way to stop the pain, but to put an end to his life.
My friends, please remember: we are all fighting battles. Some of us hide them better than others. Some of us look victorious, but under the armor are scars and wounds that still bleed and ache. Be kind. Take a moment to listen, or to say a friendly and encouraging word. Love one another, even in little things. Don’t let your own frustration send barbed arrows into another, for they may already be bleeding.
And if you are in pain… if you feel that your burden is so heavy that you cannot breathe, and it will ultimately crush you… TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT IT. Not everyone will understand, but don’t give up if the first person you speak to looks bewildered. Most of us, whether we act like it or not, really DO care. We just get so busy with our own lives that we forget how others may be hurting.
If you can’t find someone else, talk to God. I know, that sounds hokey, but often simply spilling your heart out to the Divine will give you enough relief to get through the day. And if you can get through one day, maybe the next one won’t be so hard… or maybe you will find someone else to talk to… or maybe you will find the answer to the problem. But stopping living is not a good answer.
Later Edit: I saw this today (6/11/15) and thought it was appropriate.
In memoriam, I want to post a poem that is one of my favorites. You other poetry fans will probably know it.
By Edwin Arlington Robinson
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
“Good-morning,” and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich—yes, richer than a king—
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.