I received some unsettling news today. A friend and mentor passed away yesterday. He was an active member of the community, of local associations, and an avid volunteer. Someone I respected. Someone who was always upbeat and had nothing but positive things to say. Insanely successful in everything he did, the epitome of a great salesman. Someone who just recently wished me a happy birthday. Someone who reminded me of my Grandfather, full of catch phrases and good advice. Unfortunately, though, his passing was not one of old age but of suicide. I'm saddened that someone who seemed to to have the world on a string could find the pressures of every day life too much. It doesn't leave the rest of us much hope if someone as wonderful as him could succumb.
What's most startling is that wonderful people like him do succumb to it every day. The statistics show that nearly every 14.2 minutes someone in the USA dies via suicide. In my twenty-nine years I have only personally known three people who have passed due to suicide. A high school friend who couldn't see beyond the pressures of his daily life, a coworker and young mother battling depression, and as of yesterday a colleague/mentor who was battling something many of us are still unaware of. It makes me want to do something. To act. To help. Anything to help any of my current family members, friends, coworkers, or acquaintances think twice about bringing their life to an end. I myself have had low points where I've thought there was no way to go on, that things were at their absolute worst, and somehow I managed to move past these moments only to look back and realize these situations were far from the end of the world. Phil Donahue sums this perspective up perfectly: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Whether you are thinking about suicide or are worried that someone in your life is, reach out. Talk. That innocent phone call to check in might just save someone's life...maybe even yours.
"Just because today is a terrible day doesn't mean tomorrow won't be the best day of your life. You just have to get there." - Unknown