Monthly Archives: January 2017

Those Left Behind…

I belabored writing this as it is not the standard fair an author would place on their Author Page. I am not going to espouse the merits of my series or any other series for that matter. What I am going to post is very personal and I ask that you please peruse through it as it is a matter with ramifications to which no one is immune.

Of late the small community in which I live has been ravaged by teenage suicides. The reasons are inconsequential as there are always reasons, but it does not make the ending any less palpable. The hole left by these tragedies span the entire width, breadth, and height of every conceivable emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual realm. I understand that my community is but a microcosm of the United States as whole where suicide rates, especially among adolescent girls, have risen by 25% in the past 15-years. There are various factors attributed to this rise, social media being the most prominent, but one factor that has not changed is the network available to those who find themselves in that very dark place contemplating unthinkable horrors, a network of family, friends, teachers, and professional organizations, such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (https://afsp.org), that would readily help if only asked.

I do not have the audacity to say that I “understand” what these poor souls harbored or endured. Everyone walks a different path and no matter how much one path may mirror another each path is ripe with subtle differences that can produce significant life changes. Nor will I announce to those who are depressed that they need only to “cheer up” or “think happy thoughts” because clinical depression is a very real and debilitating disease. Would anyone have the audacity to tell someone with the flu to just “feel better”? Most certainly not. Then why author similar advice to those afflicted with, though not a physical illness, a very real illness of the mind?

All I have to offer to those dwelling in that dark place, thinking there is but no solution excepting a terminal one, is a plea, a very selfish plea to reconsider, to at least talk with one of the aforementioned resources before committing an irrevocable act. Having lost a family member to suicide, having lost acquaintances to suicide, this is very personal for me, thus the selfish moniker. If that is not enough then let me offer three reasons to at least pause and reconsider such immutable actions.

First, suicide is a very permanent solution to a very temporary problem. That is what my father always said and he is correct. The problems driving someone to suicide, whether they be emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, or whatever, are problems that can be addressed over time. It may not seem that way, but perspective can be so easily clouded by unmuted despair. Second, there is only one “you” and you cannot be replaced. If you were to shatter a coffee cup there is a great chance that the cup can be replaced with an exact replica. Not so for you. Once you are gone an empty void takes your place, a void that can never be filled. Third, there are those left behind. It has been opined that those who commit suicide do so with the misguided belief that all would be better off without them, that the respective lives of those left behind would unquestioningly flourish. There is no more faulty rationale than this. The families, friends, peers, and acquaintances who remain behind are slapped with an unquenchable feeling of loss, guilt, sadness, anger, and other such negative emotions that, even though they recede over time, are always profoundly with them. The loss never goes away, always whispering to them in their most irreconcilable of times.

I authored this post in the hopes that some, if not all, would listen. Please forgive me if anything in this comes across as presumptuous or sanctimonious. That was not my intention. If you have read my post in its entirety I thank you and if you deem it worthy to share please feel free.

God Bless You All.

Lyn I. Kelly

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