Some of you that have been around my blog for awhile will recall my involvement on Facebook with sharing profiles of pets in shelters to spare them from euthanasia. This happens by either having any of my page subscribers be a potential foster/adopter or be able link any given animal with a rescue that may be willing to pick up that animal. The people with whom I network in this process are all over the world, and we have many different group pages on which we share information.
It is about a woman in this network around which today’s post is centered. She and I hadn’t officially become “friends” on there, but I had crossed her path many times over the last 3 years, and I’m sure we must have conversed on several occasions. I was very familiar with her name and the icon she had been using for that entire time. Many people change their profile pic all the time, but hers was constant, and instantly recognizable.
A few weeks ago, we got the news that she had taken her life. I went numb when I read that. I feel guilty that I never did “befriend” her on there. She even lived within 2 hours from me. But the fact that I didn’t “know” her has not diminished the sense of loss and amount of sadness I feel. I’ve heard bits and pieces about what led her to this decision, but in the end these don’t matter. This was a caring, giving, loving person who sacrificed so much to help others. She rescued several animals herself, and was an incredibly respected woman.
But we never know what someone’s limit will be. We never know what burdens another may have that might finally crush a person. Depression is so often not a sign of weakness, but a sign that someone has had to be too strong, through too much, for too long. Some will (and have) been outspoken about what they feel is a completely selfish and irresponsible act on the part of individuals that have come to making the choice she did. I choose to see (and encourage you to as well) that a person must be in an incredible amount of pain to come to that decision.
I understand quite a bit about depression and what it can do to a person. I have suffered from it myself through many stretches of my life. I have had so many people close to me suffer from it as well. In fact, some of those that are closest to me at present are so because we’ve bonded together over our experiences, sharing them, and supporting each other through them.
I will even volunteer here that I tried to end my own life once myself, in 1995. I’m not going to discuss the details of that here, but I know how low a person can get. Everyone has a breaking point.
I had a CD playing in my car which has 2 songs which remind me of this woman’s loss, one of those songs possibly describing the thoughts that may have gone through her head in the days preceding her death. The other one speaks to me of the story of those that loved her having to let her go. It was just coincidence that this disc was playing in my car at the time of her death, and I suppose I hadn’t really thought of the lyrics in question in this way before. But I was driving, the songs played, and as I listened to the words, the correlation hit me. I continued to drive, crying all the way to my destination. I’ve included links to videos of these songs which include the lyrics.
What I want to close this post with is just to say that please don’t judge those dealing with depression. Please be observant of your loved ones, and try to be aware of the warning signs. Even if you see a coworker to whom you’re not especially close that seems in distress, or a stranger that seems upset, does it cost you that much to say, “Excuse me. Are you okay?”
I worked with a guy once that said to me, “All we ever have is each other.” I asked him if he was talking specifically about me and him, dealing with a boss that was not fun to work for, to say the least. Or was he talking about something broader, more universal, between people in this world. He said, “Both”. And he’s right. In this chaotic universe, dealing with tragedies anywhere from personal to global, all we ever have is each other.
And those people that you love? Please let them know it. You never know when you will have spoken for the last time.
(This photo was found on the site http://www.dawnoftheunicorn.co.uk)