Ode to a Friend - redux
September 10 was Suicide Prevention Day.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15-19 worldwide. According to the WHO “Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination”. Worldwide over 800,000 people die from suicide every year. For every person who does of suicide it is estimated there are 20 other who attempt suicide. In the US the Military and LGBTQ+ communities are disproportionately impacted. Suicide is a preventable tragedy. If you are someone you know is having issues please reach out. You are not alone. Please use the the national Suicide and Crisis Hotline 988.
As many know I lost a friend to suicide last Christmas - 9 months ago. In his honor and to help bring awareness to this issue I am reposting my blog post from earlier this year.
So we drove home from a nice visit with family. My son drove the whole way giving me a much needed break. I got a chance to look out at the scenery for a change. Usually I see things fleetingly from the drivers seat. All the greenery. But it’s winter and the leaves are down. So I got a chance to look more closely and see what was behind the facade. I saw the broken branches, the downed limbs, the less than perfect. The pain.
On our drive the mother of a work friend called. He committed suicide over the Christmas weekend.
He was much younger. We would chat about work experience and I would Try to give advice about situations. He loved to talk baseball and was knowledgeable on baseball analytics and would pass along thoughts on that. We chatted 3 weeks ago. He was between jobs but had two offers and wanted some advice. He told me he was going to start a role in January.
He left a note about how much pain he was in. Evidently he had been battling medical issues and had been dealing with physical pain for years. I never knew. He decided to end the pain.
His note had a list of 10 people for his parents to call. I was on the list. She was fulfilling his wishes. We talked for a while. I didn’t know what to say. But I listened. It seems like he hid the pain.
You can see all the foliage and all the beauty but sometimes it’s what behind the scenes that matters. Reach out. Don’t assume the flowers on the outside mean nothing is broken on the inside.
If you are having difficulties or know someone who is at risk please reach out to someone or call the national suicide and crisis hotline 988.
Thank you for listening.
All the best,