Today I am thankful that I chose to continue living, and for all the wonderful things I would have missed if I had ended my life prematurely.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. It seems that nearly everyone knows someone who has either attempted or ended their life by suicide, it is that prevalent in our society.
I have lost friends as young as fourteen to suicide, and friends who are over sixty. I have lost too many people that I loved, and have nearly lost several more. It makes my heart ache, not only for them seeing suicide as the only viable solution, but also for their families who must continue living with a hole in their hearts that will never heal.
I understand too well the feelings of anguish and desperation, the sense of hopelessness and despair. There have been more than a few times in my life when I wanted to die, when I wanted it to just be over.
The thing I didn’t know, didn’t believe despite what people told me, is that hopelessness is temporary; life changes in ways we can’t even imagine. And most importantly, we are never truly abandoned or alone, God is with us always.
No matter how difficult, how painful or how hopeless life feels at the moment, if you hang in there things will change. It will get better. There are good things waiting for you just around the corner where you cannot see.
Additionally, there are people who love you and need you… family, partners, children, friends. Maybe they haven’t told you or shown you lately how much you mean to them, maybe you are estranged. But believe me, there is someone, and maybe several, who will be shattered if you end your life.
When I am aware of someone emotionally struggling (although we aren’t always aware), I worry, I pray, I reach out in every way I can. I encourage them to get help. I may not be able to save them, but I have to try. I have to make sure they know I care. Knowing that someone cared made all the difference to me; it was the tiny spark of hope that gave me reason to continue on.
If I had chosen suicide I would not have had my children or lived to watch them grow, I would not have met Papa Bear or known what true love could be. I would not have seen amazingly beautiful places or made wonderful friends from all over the world. And most importantly I might never have learned how much God truly loves me.
I am so thankful that I didn’t give up. I took a chance at life. Please choose life too!