Today, we’re concluding author Julie Cantrell’s post on what it’s like living through a loved committing suicide.
You can find Part I here.
Welcome back, Julie.
When Robin Williams passed away, the world was abuzz weighing the controversial issues of mental illness, depression, and suicide.
While some people were unable to extend kindness or understanding, proving we have a long way to go in our culture’s recognition of chemical imbalances, the international conversation gave me hope. It proved that people are finally willing to say the word SUICIDE out loud, without the hushed whispers and back corner gossip.
Putting this word on equal footing with all the other words in our vernacular is important. It lessens the sting.
I consider this progress, and I am optimistic the forward momentum will continue.
It is time.
I write this blog today for several reasons:
§ One, I am proud to have been the sister to an amazingly bright spirit who left this world too soon and whose memory I want to keep alive.
§ Two, I want to increase understanding and support for the millions of people struggling with chemical imbalances.
§ Three, I want to offer support and empathy to all who have lost a loved one to suicide and encourage you to speak out loud to honor their spirit and to educate those on the other side.
§ Four, and most importantly, I have a very important message for anyone struggling with depression.
One week after my brother died, we received notice that he had landed the career opportunity he wanted with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. That job may have been enough to offer him the key to that cell, the something to cling to, the reason for reason. Maybe, if he could have stuck it out one more week, he would still be alive today. Seven days, and he may have had hope again.
Today, when I see someone struggling for hope, looking for a signal, a reason, proof that their life matters and that the pain will indeed end, I think of my brother and that phone call that came one week too late.
If you are struggling with depression, please remember… you are in this world for a reason. Youhave a very important journey you must complete. You were born to accomplish something, something only you know. You will suffer, you will hurt, you will feel hopeless and alone at times. But you are not in that space forever. Keep walking, keep moving forward, and you will find your way through in time.
When you hit bottom, please remember this: You are loved. You are never alone. You were born with everything you need to survive this journey. You matter. And once you are on the other side, as you will soon be, then, you will look back with wiser eyes, the eyes of a survivor. You will know your soul survived the stretching season. And you will move through the world with greater empathy and understanding, a gift like none other. For you, sensitive one, are the blessed. And we need you here. In this life.
Be brave. Wage war. Hold fast to the light inside of you.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
This post will be shared across multiple platforms for National Suicide Prevention Week. Learn more about suicide prevention by visiting: http://www.suicidology.org/
Julie Cantrell is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Into the Free, which won Christy Awards for Best Debut Novel and for Book of the Year 2013. Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship. She and her family live in Mississippi, where they operate Valley House Farm. Her new novel, WhenMountains Move, hit shelves September 1, 2013.