A family member experienced the suicide of his son in the last few weeks. Sam was bright and energetic and accomplished.
And he was bipolar.
It made me think of all the loved ones left behind after such a devastating tragedy, trying to make sense of the insensible. Sometimes they wonder what was going through the mind of the mentally ill that would lead to such a drastic and irreversible action, yet feeling they may never know.
Maybe I can help bridge that chasm a bit with what has gone, and continues to go, through my mind.
I’ll try and speak up for Sam.
Continue reading To those the mentally ill have left behind…
For much of my life, I’ve been anxious and worried about things to come.
You know, Sunday afternoons and evenings were a bit dreary because I knew Monday morning would soon be here and I had to go to work.
Not that I was lazy or didn’t want to work; not at all.
I worried about possible problems and interactions and how I should handle things. Looking back, I wonder if was just generally not really comfortable in my own skin.
This necessitated that I become a pretty good actor. I could figure out what was expected and I usually filled the role, if I do say so myself, pretty darn well.
You’ve heard of people dying a thousand deaths? Well, I died inside that many times before the actual reality gave me a chance one way or the other.
Kind of like I had not only crossed the bridge, but ran back and forth across it with many different scenarios (all usually horrific accidents), usually before the bridge had even been built.
Continue reading Is real courage simply the manifestation of love?
When I was in grade school, my Dad was the bishop in our LDS ward for a time. There was a wonderful young woman in her late teens that had listened to the missionaries and felt the beginnings of a burning testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She chose to be baptized.
Everyone was so excited. It was such happy news.
But not for her parents or her siblings.
Her family believed devoutly in the Catholic faith. They were truly Christian people; kind, compassionate, charitable. They were people that all of us would benefit from following their example.
I remember one Saturday afternoon watching this heart-broken mother pedal her bike up the long dirt lane to our home, carefully lean it against the house, and ring the doorbell.
She and my father talked for hours while I played, unaware of the significance of what was going on inside. I will always remember, though, watching them both come out of the house, my dad putting her bike in the back of his pickup truck, and opening the passenger door for her to get in. Continue reading That was courageous. How so?