Here we are again. That time of year. Talk time. How time flies, at least for some of us. Others often watch the clock and wonder, when can I sleep again, when will it be dark again, when will I find some relief from the endless cycle of thoughts running through my mind. In a situation such as that, time does not fly. It seems to stand still. But wait a minute. I wanted the darkness to stay to protect from what is out there. Now the darkness is gone but I want it back. But no, I prefer light. With light there is hope. But with light there is reality. And far too often reality sucks.
So let’s talk about it. I met someone last week and, in the course of our conversation, I heard an interesting story. A story I was familiar with but, at the same time, was not. Many years ago, and based on simple math, 45 years ago, there was a death by suicide in our community. It was shocking, to say the least. And as I reflect on that I am deeply saddened. Always wondering why? What happened? What could the community have done? Perhaps if someone, anyone, would have talked about it, a considerable amount of heartache could have been avoided.
That was 45 years ago. And as I take note of the annual “let’s talk” initiative by Bell Canada I wonder. What has changed? Sure, we do talk about it. Yes, we understand that there is a stigma. But what has changed?
Back to who I met last week. I saw him approach. It had been a few years. The first thing he did was apologize to me. Apologize for not being the support he could have been, might have been, should have been, when I was experiencing dark times in my life. I was rather taken aback by that apology. Totally not warranted and not expected. How could he have known? I hid it well. I had a good conversation with him about what was, what could have been, and what really is. We laughed, we talked, and we were sad.
We talked about his brother. The brother he found dead 45 years ago. A brother who was trying to escape from inexplicable pain. The friend I was chatting with was 9 at the time, I would have been 11 and his brother would have been 13. A picture he will never, ever forget. I told him how I often thought of the events of that day 45 years ago. After all I passed their farm every time I left home. They were on the main route between me and the highways and byways. Perhaps my recollection was off but the story remains the same. We reminisced. It felt good. We caught up. It left a feeling of sadness.
It made me think. Here he was apologizing to me when so many years ago he went through something, god forbid, no one should go through. There is so much pain, for so many when a suicide happens. Most times the only one who escapes the pain is the one that died.
I was young back in the day when this person’s life ended. I was not young last year when I attended two funerals of people who had died by suicide. In those 45 years have things changed? Here is hoping. The world keeps turning. Life keeps happening. I know talking helps. It has helped me and keeps helping me. Has it helped enough? Can I do more? Do I sound frustrated? I think I am. Make it a good one.
“The more you hide your feelings, the more they show. The more you deny your feelings, the more they grow.”