I hope this reaches you in time.
I hope this reaches you in time, even if it couldn’t reach her in time.
It was a crisp, sunny day when I found out you were gone. I had been dress shopping with a friend, then after wards we had stopped for snow cones when she told me what had happened. I remember just where I was standing. We were at the exact place you had been working at just months before. My friend and I are nearly the same age you were.
I was speechless at this news; it didn’t seem like reality. It floated in and out of my mind that day, until it hit me that night and every day after that for a long time. I cried more than I had in a long time. How could such a precious life be gone?
Some days I still don’t know what to say. Suicide means something different than it ever did before, and the word alone has forever changed me. I don’t see numbers and statistics anymore. I see hearts and eyes broken with pain, wanting relief. I see bottles of pills dumped out on the counter and a shaking hand grabbing a hand full. I see tears streaming down cheeks as people just want someone to understand, care, and be there.
I now see your glowing, stunning face also. Your laughter was contagious, heart genuine, and love for others evident. I remember how friendly you were, and how you made me feel welcome when we first met. But your suffering was also more real than most people knew. Not too long ago, I found an old picture of you and I.. Happiness comes to my heart because of the memories, but also sadness because of what will never be. You left us far too soon, but I want you to know that I will always remember.
It has been nearly six months since you have been gone. I still can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that I didn’t get to say goodbye. The unsaid words in my heart still go through my mind and leave me with so many unanswered questions. I wonder what was your last thought, and if anything could have made you stay. If there had been something, know that I would have done anything to accomplish that.
With all my heart, I wish that you would have stayed. This didn’t reach you in time, and for that I may always ache. But I hope and pray that it reaches “her” in time; maybe someone who is right where you were, caught between hanging on or letting go.
The only thing more exhausting than being suicidal and experiencing depression is pretending you are not. Suffering secretly is one of the heaviest burdens to bear. Mental illness matters, talking about it matters, warning signs matter, and addressing your darkness matters, because you matter. If she could do it over, I know she would want each person to put a semicolon where she put a period. A semicolon means the story isn’t over yet; it is hope for those that continue to fight.
Ignorance is not bliss; the stigma of mental health makes many run the opposite direction. We are losing precious humans all the time, or even ourselves, and that’s not okay. Don’t give in to the thought that you should stop fighting for yourself or your friend. The pain of regret is far greater than being uncomfortable as you talk, listen, or get the help you need.
I’m a big believer that life will get better, but I want you to be here for it. This life is worth living and fighting for, friend. Please keep going, even when you think you can’t.
Be that person that doesn’t tell someone to get over it, but helps them get through it. No one should go through life, much less struggles, alone.
Let’s crush ignorance and educate ourselves, along with others.
Let’s stop the lies and spread more truth.
Let’s stop suffering in secret and bring it into the open. Let's be brave and show true love as we stand with and for someone.
Let’s end the stigma that tries to follow us; we are real people with normal problems.
It could make all the difference in the world for one, a hundred, or a thousand just like my friend. No one has to be next, nor do I ever want anyone to be next. Let me encourage you to not be silent any longer. I can't bear to just watch as our generation and others ends their stories. Listen, I want you to know that you are a very special human, encase you haven’t heard that today. Remember life is worth fighting for and I am cheering you on. You are not alone in this, okay?