Today is World Suicide Prevention Day
Suicide is claiming nearly 800,000 lives per year and is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. If that isn’t scary enough more than 9.8 million people have seriously considered suicide and is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. It affects all races, all age groups and all socioeconomic levels.
If you haven’t lost a loved one to suicide, you probably know someone who has.
I lost my Dad to suicide almost two years ago. The pain of losing someone you love so dear is awful and then add in the mess of emotions knowing suicide was their best option, their only option.
Below is a poem I wrote soon after his suicide… I share this with a tender heart today.
He lost his anchor and now I’ve lost mine
I’ve been blindsided, knocked down and completely crushed.
My dad ended his life.
We couldn’t see the warning signs...
He was strong, quiet and kept his darkness and demons buried down just far enough to manage a life that appeared to be… pleasant.
He was the patriarch of our family, the one who could always provide rational advice. The rock. He was our anchor… but he somehow lost his.
And now I’m left drifting through these tumultuous waters, getting knocked around, pushed and pulled, heading into uncharted territories not knowing how to find my way or how to steady myself…. He lost his anchor and now I’ve lost mine.
How do I sail on? I have to find strength, there must be some buried deep inside.
I’m starting to notice that it’s through these dark times that I’m able to see and appreciate the light. Seeing what I do have, the great loves in my life. And I realize now, more than ever what it’s all about.
It’s easy to lose sight, get lost, and choose to check out because all this living can be so incredibly painful…
But I must show up anyway, messy, hurt, sometimes even feeling very broken… and when the light does come I can embrace it more than ever.
I’m choosing to see it, focus on it and use it as my North Star.
He lost his anchor and now I’ve lost mine…. but I’ve found my North Star.
*If you’re feeling suicidal or know anyone who is call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255