This week has by far been the most challenging week I have faced, the questions, the emotions, the guilt, the tears, the heartbreak. This week I lost an employee, a friend, to suicide. This person had a love for life, she was kind, she was happy, and she was everyone’s friend. One way that I process, and cope is to find lessons in the tragedy’s that life presents us. There are two lessons this week has taught me, I believe we, as a society, need to learn and teach others.
- You never know what people are going through, what is hiding behind their smile, so always choose kindness. Hearing this news truly brought me to my knees, I was devastated and shocked, she was the last person I would have ever thought would choose to end her life. The woman I knew loved life, lived for her family, for adventures, and had no fears. I have replayed all our conversations and still cannot find a sign that she was in so much pain. We truly don’t know what internal battles people have and we need to be kind ALL the time. Don’t wait for others to be kind first, don’t be kind when it’s convenient for us, be kind all the time, no matter how “bad” your day is. We live in a world that is always busy, we are always on the go, we need to slow down and truly listen when people are talking, be present with them. We need to look up from our phones and smile at each other, have real conversations, give each other complements, really take time to be together. You truly don’t know how much someone needs to talk, to see a smile, or hear a complement. Let’s do better. Let’s intentionally spread kindness, let’s look for ways to show people how important they are to us.
- We, as a society, need to change the stigma around mental health, let’s talk about it, let’s normalize it, let’s make sure everyone has access to help. Life is hard, it’s hard for everyone in different ways, no one should feel alone, no one should feel as though they need to hide what they are going through for fear of judgment or stigma. No one should have to wait for help because there are no resources available. I know social media gives the impression that everyone’s life is perfect, we can hide behind the pictures, videos and posts, but no one’s life is perfect, no one, and that is okay. Let’s make it okay to not be okay. Right now, in our country we have a lack of access to mental health resources, this should be, this needs to be, a priority. Everyone deserves the access to the tools and the support to get through their tough seasons. No one should struggle in silence. Let’s advocate for each other.
Over this past week I heard the phrase “No feeling is final” and that truly hit me because there is so much truth to it. No matter how bad the feeling is, it’ not final, the storm will pass, people want to help you, and no one wants to lose you. If you know someone that is struggling, please share these resources with them.
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Call 988
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
Crisis Text line 741 741 text HOME
Make kindness a priority from this day forward, find ways every day to spread kindness to your friends, family, strangers and most importantly to yourself. Remember kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give! You matter, I matter, we all matter.