Suicide Prevention Day
September 10th, 2016 was the day I created this blog.
It’s hard to grasp how much has changed since then. It’s even harder to grasp how much hasn’t changed since then.
I remember sitting on a bed that is no longer mine in a room that never felt like home but somehow had all my things lying around, tears streaming down my face, writing those words
“It’s been 16 days since I last heard your voice”
I honestly don’t know how two years have passed since that moment.
Today I sit in my own little office in a house that feels so much like mine it may as well be painted with the colours of my insides.
I sit, staring at a computer and the picture of you I keep on my desk, tears streaming down my face, writing the words
I am surviving. We are surviving.
And I am proud.
For months following Jake’s death, I no longer wanted to be here. My own mental illness had swollen,
despair clawed at my reasons for staying like a hungry bear.
Some days I sit and stare at the way the light filters through the leaves in the front yard of the house our grief built and feel so full of gratitude for you, sweet brother, and all of the lessons and love you have managed to give me from your little place in the sky.
Some days I turn the lights off and climb into bed, cursing the small strands of light that have managed to escape the blackout and litter the floor with unwelcome softness, overwhelmed by the thought of living an entire lifetime without you here with me.
How do we prevent people from dying by suicide?
I’m sure that no one really knows the answer to that question. I won’t pretend to know how to survive what is unsurvivable for some.
What I do know is that we can create a community of support for those living with mental illness. I know that connection matters. That pouring your guts out in whatever non-destructive way your body and mind are telling you to, helps.
I know that there are people out there willing to help those that are struggling and that the number of people waking up to the devastation and epidemic of suicide is growing.
I know we must foster a deep connection to ourselves along the journey if we are to live well.
Above all, we must know that we are worth it. Worth the work. Worth the time. Worth the investment. Worth the reach.
You are worth it.
(Jake, you will always be worth it.)
With your heart,