My open letter to all suffering issues problems concerns and worries that are currently unknown to anyone but themselves and or their family:
I’m no expert on this subject but I need to say this. Perhaps more qualified individuals will read this and I hope add their two cents.
I’ve met and assisted several young people through difficult times that wanted to end their lives because they were sexually abused. One young man in particular touched my heart. A few years after we had a talk in which I encouraged him “to not let this person take any more of his life from him”, to live for himself, to get counseling to work on the issues relating to sexual abuse and how it was affecting him, he ran up to me on the street (I didn’t recognize him as he’d grown, filled out, was happy and looking particularly sprightly). He asked if he could hug me. I wasn’t sure at first. Then he explained who he was and that he would forever be grateful for my words reached him, meant the world, and saved his. He was now a bonafide chef (something he’d always wanted) and was offered a job at a wonderful hotel and he’d accepted. He looked at me with such respect and yes love and absolute delight.
I can’t recall another situation in which a man had that must joy, happiness and heartfelt gratitude on his face and in his body language which combined spoke volumes, he was going to be ok. You can’t imagine how humbled I was both then and now at having had that opportunity to interact and help him get his life back and on track. I didn’t know that I’d given him enough encouragement, a heart-felt caring word that obviously was the right word at the right time, to motivate him to seek out those that could and would support him until he could once again fly. Sadly, the reality is, it doesn’t always work out that way.
A young man my son works with and has for over 1 1/2 years, was dealing with some heavy issues by himself. He was 21. His mother has ms and is in rough shape, as well he has at least one younger sibling and one older. The older one felt the need to get out and left. Being the responsible individual he was, this young man took on the roll of breadwinner, the supporter in all things medical financial while working full time and also trying to get an education.
He left XXXX and went to XXXX university where three days ago, he took his life, jumping off the top of the building. As you can imagine, everyone that worked with him is grieving and dealing with the situation and it is indeed difficult.
Unfortunately and sadly, there is no support system in place in this university. If your grades are slipping, you’re put on suspension and told to buck up. This obviously is not supportive to someone whose head is bobbing in and out of the water as is and who is trying to manage a heavy load with the threat of losing the only thing that meant worlds to him.
Tragically he wasn’t aware he could reach out for assistance to carry the load. No one was aware the depth of his pain as he couldn’t share it. Whether that was because he felt he’d be less of a man (and our society has constantly subliminally told our men to buck up to be strong to carry the load to “be the man” and not deal with your emotions and if you crack, for lack of a better word, your a pussy, your weak, your less than. If only…
I never met this young man personally, but I saw pictures of him at work, with my son and with other friends. He was a beautiful young man. Indeed this is a tragic loss and he will be missed.
We, none of us know what kind of load the person sitting next to us on a plane, on a bus, on a tram, or standing beside us in the grocery store is carrying. A kind word can make a difference.
If you know someone suffering, reach out and if you don’t know the right words, listen and offer to find someone that can help.
I’m dealing with this loss at the moment myself, though I didn’t know him personally. The tragic loss of anyone is sad let alone the loss of one so young, who was trying so hard to do the right thing.
If you need or want assistance, please reach out to a friend or counselor to help.