Suicide isn’t the answer…
But, what is?
A few weeks ago, after a great Mother’s Day lunch with the adult “kids”, in-laws, great-grandmother
of honor and grandchildren, I returned home thankful for all I have been blessed with.
Who knew that less than 24 hours later that I would find myself in a hospital
ER room next to one of my children, hanging on for what he considered a not so great life?
Early Sunday morning, following the previous Saturdays late Mother’s Day luncheon,
a group of family members received messages from him letting us
each know that he was sorry for all of the problems he felt he had caused.
That was pretty much where it had ended, but something “felt” wrong with his
statement. Isn’t that how mothers are, though? That instinctual “knowing”,
so I replied with questions. “What’s up?” with no reply. A few minutes
later, I replied again, “Answer me!” “HELLO?”. Still no reply. I had been
over 50 miles from the area I had been familiar with him living. I reached
out to others, at which time I learned about the other 3 people he had
contacted, as well. Between the 4 of us, we started bombarding his phone and
messaging account. His grandmother called 911, and when the police went to
her house to investigate, the 911 operator was finally able to get him to
answer and talk to them. One county reached out to another and a team of
different county officials connected the dots between 3 districts to ping my
son to his location. I, meanwhile, was on the other side of the state, a
passenger, not a driver, none-the-less. I actually felt trapped and helpless
at that point. But I am learning, all things tend to work out for the best.
By the time I was actually able to get to a place where I could drive myself
to where he was, there was finally a “where he was” located to drive to. I
will never forget how he looked when I pulled up in the hotel parking lot.
Paramedics and police were attending to him. He appeared to be made of soft
rubber as they were wheeling him down the stairs of the two-story extended
stay motel room. During the whole episode, I can completely comprehend the word
“helpless”. Helpless, yes, but not hopeless. For the next 3 days I sat with him in the ER.
The first day and a half they were detoxing him, running tests on his liver and kidneys and checking cognitive functions. On day one he was upset that his attempt had failed. There was a dire hopelessness in him, in his spirit. As he was interview by the doctor, I saw his dark abyss. Swallowed up by so many fears that he was blind to the support and love around him. And so I sat with him, listened to him and stitched. This blanket in particular is for someone who unknowingly supported our family in a way he could never imagine. He just gave advice that he knew in his heart to be true, yet his impact was felt throughout. The ripple effect keeps on giving. These therapeutic stitches are for him and the strong council he gave to my daughter when she called her boss to let him know about what had transpired over the weekend. When he told her that she was a strong person and God made strong people so they could provide support for people like her brother. I also heard in the words my daughter shared with me from him, that love is healing. And this is so true. Almost everyone has wounds that are not visible to the naked eye. They dwell deep in our souls, hidden from society, buried in bullship, even, at times, hidden from the eyes of the person who possess them…until tragedy hits. I finished 2/3’s of this blanket those three days in the ER waiting with my son for an available bed in a hospital specialized to treat such conditions of the mind. In each stitch was prayer, prayers of thanks, prayers of blessing, prayers of faith, prayers of hope. Mental health is not a game, and yet our insurance programs in America treat it like it is an “elective”. You know, like someone has a choice in whether to harbor depression or PTSD or schizophrenia, or what ever plethora of mental illness engulf society these days.
Like those who suffer from these types of illness actually have a CHOICE as to whether or not their brains chemistry will or will not allow them to have a good day. It is treated as taboo, a dire sin. During my trips around the sun, I have known six people that have battled these deep inadvisable wounds. One third of these people were successful in taking their own lives. That is a high percent in my opinion. God knows how many other people I know that have these battles raging in them, that have experienced this level of pain. A pain that is much deeper and fierce than just about any average physical pain one can even begin to imagine.
Update: Well, since 2017, when this was originally published, a plague has hit our world, and mental health has come to a forefront. The truth regarding this “invisible” dis-ease has reared its ugly head, and I am relieved that it is finally out in the open for the light to shine on it and for healing to begin.