New Year’s Day is supposed to be a celebration, a reflection, a hope for things to improve.
From this year on, I will always remember the 1st of January as the day our family friend’s 15 year old son took his own life.
Time doesn't heal all wounds. His loving family is left with no answers, except that perhaps he is no longer suffering in silence.
News travels fast on social networks. Within a week the boy’s Facebook page lit up with thousands of posts, each one from someone in similar disbelief sharing how much they loved him, and will dearly miss him.
He couldn't have known how wide and deep his network extends.
When someone who is loved and very popular, seemingly happy with life, and always up for an adventure, decides something is troubling him so much he can't seek help, what chance do others have?
I know I hugged my sons extra tightly when I heard the tragic news. It was an upsetting and tough conversation to then have with them about why it happened. But it’s an awareness that’s helpful they have.
I tried to make it clear, if they're ever struggling with life there is always someone to talk to. We can overcome all of life's problems, no matter how big they seem.
Do all our other family, friends, colleagues know they have someone to talk to when they feel down about life?
There is an awareness programme based on this unusual email subject line. They encourage people to ask “Are you OK?” They believe a conversation could change a life. I believe it also.
I do hope you're OK.
Perhaps someone in your circle could benefit from hearing you want to know they're OK too.
P.S. Some coincidences are very interesting. Just before I was going to hit the send button on this message, I received today’s list serve message from Tim Rowberry. Not only do we happen to be sharing a post on the same sad topic, the ominous date he mentions as being his birthday, is also my birthday.