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Friday, August 15, 2014

Who are we to judge?

What happened to that poor hobo lying there on the pavement? What went wrong in his life? Maybe he was just like you and me with dreams in his heart and brilliant ideas in his mind. Surely he also had wonderful flights of fancy about how he would see himself one day. What happened to drive those dreams out of his heart and mind? Or maybe it’s still there, and that is why he is lying there drugged or drunk. Like an old torn up doll, discarded on the rubbish without even a second thought. 

Do you know that man with the red swollen eyes who is staring out in front of him into nothingness? Lying there with his dirty stinking clothes in the way of decent folks on their way to work or their fancy houses. Do you also shudder when he reaches out his dirty broken hands to beg for money or food?  Do you think he doesn't see how much you despise him when you turn away from him in disgust? Don’t you think he hurts when you kick his feet out of your way, or curse him for his uselessness?

Maybe he is too lazy to work, or he doesn't see any reason in living any more. Could be he just struggles along every day until death comes to fetch him and release him from this pain of being alive, because he doesn't have the guts to kill himself? Or maybe that is what he is doing right now, drinking himself to death slowly but surely. Dreaming in oblivion of all he had and lost or never even had.

Does he have a family somewhere worrying about him? Or is he all alone in this world? Without anyone’s love in his life he’s slumping there on the dirty sidewalk, alone and lost. He is suffocating the dreams in his heart with alcohol and drugs. 
How he must hurt every day, living a life of no consequence. How painful it must be that there is nobody to wake up for every day, nothing to make his heart sing in happiness. Can you imagine the destitution in his lonely heart?
Who are we to judge him?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Can we really prevent suicide?

Every year there is a worldwide Suicide Prevention Day. Can we ever prevent suicide? I really don't know. Statistics prove that someone who attempts suicide repeatedly eventually succeeds. Many who are serious about it don't give away any clues. I never realised my son Emile was in a place where he was planning his own death. Only after I lost him did I realise some of the things that pointed to it. At the time it didn’t seem significant I just thought he was growing up and taking responsibility for his life. 

Because I also believe we die on the day that was destined for us I don't know how a day of awareness can stop that from happening. I have worked hard over the years to spread awareness about it. People are still dying by their own hand and the statistics doesn’t show how many lives were saved because of creating awareness. In my opinion there should be awareness for the survivors of suicide or any kind of death for that matter.

In the event of losing a loved one you will know the unbearable road of grief you are facing. Suicide is particularly hard because you have all these questions you need answers to. As a parent you feel responsible for the death of a child by this means. We all feel we could have prevented it from happening. In retrospect there was nothing we could have done to save them. When someone decides to die they are secretive about it and you will only find evidence of their plans after they have gone.

Ask any parent who lost a child and most will tell you they had no idea this was going to happen. Even the ones whose children suffered from depression of any kind will tell you they never really believed their child would commit suicide. There can be many signs and you can fear for the life of them but in the end we are helpless to protect them against it. You also can't protect them from dying in a car accident, a terminal disease or being murdered.

We should create awareness of grief in the event of loss by suicide. Parents, partners and children should know what they will face if that unfortunate tragedy ever struck them. We should teach them about the utter pain, desolation, agony and a feeling of madness that you live every day for years to come. That deep void your loved one is going to leave in your life. It doesn't seem possible that it will happen to you but it does. And you are going to need all the support, love, strength and encouragement you can find.

People should be informed of how to support a friend or family member in the event of this happening. Don’t try to advise them on how to grieve, just be there and listen and give lots of hugs and love. Nothing in the world you can say will make it better for them. Just knowing they have someone to depend on when things get too much to handle will be help on its own.

Blessed Be and Namaste!