The Hole so Deep

 

cave

Anyone who calls suicide a decision clearly doesn’t understand all that it entails. We are complex human beings. More goes on below the surface than we can even comprehend.

More and more, we hear about people taking their lives. And suicide/depression is not limited to a certain class of people. When we use terms like “those people,” we demonstrate our lack of knowledge on the subject.

But before I begin, let me say I’m no authority on the subject. I don’t have letters after my name. But I feel I have something to say.

I almost became a widow three times. And my husband, whom I love very much has shared with me how it felt when he was in the thick of it. With his permission I have written about our life in my book, BROKEN.

Depression is a hole

Mike shared, “It’s like a cave I couldn’t get out of. A hole so deep.”

Yesterday, like millions of others we watched a program about Robin Williams. I was curious to hear my husband’s response when they spoke about Robin’s family. Curious because it’s been this puzzling piece to me. How a person who is loved, and part of a family could go down that path.

My husband’s response was, “Wow, that is so heavy for his family to have to go through that.”

No. I didn’t blurt out, “What about you?” Maybe in the past I would have been tempted to. But living with someone with depression has slowed down my quick remarks. I listen more.

When my husband was nineteen years of age, a neighbor came up to him and said, “Hey, there is a black man in your car.”

So Mike went to the garage where the door was blowing open and shut and he saw something he would never forget. Leaning his head against the glass he saw a man. But not a black man, a man he called “Dad.” it was his father, asphyxiated. He had not driven away as they thought. He was there in that car for four days.

Depression is generational

Suicide had also taken two other relatives in his life. And when Mike suffered with depression his father’s option became a viable one for him as well. It was always in the back of his mind.

Depression in three generations. Would it continue? Please tell me no.

When our son was a teenager he silently fought that same monster of depression. He was cutting himself and we had no clue. Then one day we received a call from his youth leader, Kyle.

“Hi Anne, is Nathan there,” he said quickly.

No small talk, no chit-chat, just the question.

“What’s up Kyle?”

“Anne, I have reason to believe Nathan is going to hurt himself.”

And so began our nightmare. Friends offered to look for him. That hour and a half seemed like forever. They found him alone in the park. Nathan had planned to end his life, but instead he said God gave him music. And today his passion is to reach out to struggling students. Because he remembers how lost he felt in that hole.

You can hear Nathan’s story here.

Compassion is the answer

So why am I sharing all this? Because we need to have compassion for those who suffer. We need to let them know we’re here for them. As long as it takes.

Suicide is not a simple choice they make. And it doesn’t mean the person doesn’t love his/her family. In their minds, at that moment, they think they’re alleviating pain their families have suffered. They believe their families will be better off without them.

My heart goes out to the family of Robin Williams. It is a long, lonely road back to feeling normal.

So unless you have seen the ambulance pull away as attendants shoot questions at you in rapid fire. Before you judge the actions some make, forever affecting those left behind. Pray. Pray for the family. And pray for those who may be in your circle of influence.

Maybe we can figure out a way to help them. We have to try.

I Did it!

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I did it, Peggy.

I set out to write your story and I completed it. But what I didn’t know was that I would be adding my own story as well.

I also didn’t know how hard it would be to put it in black and white. I figured it would be okay since I’ve shared our story for years. It was different, very different.

Holding the book in my hands the other day when I got it through the mail was surreal.

A lot of life within those one hundred and seventy-five pages. A lot of pain.

And now here I sit. Knowing I accomplished what I set out to do leaves me with mixed feelings. Yes, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The technological part alone caused me a lot of big headaches. And you can verify that with a number of people.

And as any author knows besides writing the book, I still had life to do. I dealt with things like a leaky pipe, a soaked carpet. Taking the rug out.  My computer broke. I had work done on our house as they insulated it. We had a few days clean-up after they were done. I worked on another computer, which was difficult. Well, you get the idea.

But I faced those obstacles and did it anyway. It feels good to say, “I did it.”

But I’m sad too. Writing BROKEN, opened the door to some memories which have camped out in my mind, refusing to leave. But maybe that’s okay. You see, remembering the difficult parts of our lives makes us sensitive to others who are hurting. I want to be sensitive to others.

We live our lives where people settle for imitations of community. Many are lonely. And when hurting people are alone, the pain is intensified.

I’m praying for those who hurt. I’m praying God uses words I’ve written to ease someone’s pain.

God’s the only one who can do that. He comforts us so we can comfort others.

I miss you Peggy. But that’s okay, it won’t be forever. Some day we’ll see each other again and then we’ll catch up.

But for now I’ll think about a story I recently wrote. It was about you, Mom and me going for a special tea. I know the story wasn’t real, but it felt real. And for five hundred words or so, I felt like we were together again. We talked, we laughed. It was special.

Well I’m going to have to go, the book launch is today. People can actually buy the book on Amazon.

I’ve made a list of things that determine what success means regarding this book. And you know what? That list is really helping me.  And guess whose idea it was? Your eldest son, Drew.

Too often we determine our success by the wrong indicators. We use things like money, numbers of sales, etc. Knowing this book can encourage someone will mean I’m successful.  Knowing someone else may feel less alone, that too would mean success.

It’s all perspective.

Well, now I do have to go. But I’ll talk again soon.

In the meantime. I can imagine what you would say if you were here.

You’d smile and say, “That’s good, Anne. I’m proud of you.”

I love, you Peg. I always will.

Your sister,

Anne

Remembering Peggy

Peg and me

Me and my sister Peggy

September 12, 1982

The day you disappeared. Out of my life, but never my mind.

There was a hole that never got filled.

You and I were supposed to be sitting together talking about our grandkids.

You never even got to see yours.

When you lose a loved one you get a lot of nevers to deal with

I hate that

I want to focus on the always statements instead

I’ll always be glad we were sisters

I’ll always remember the little stories

I’ll always love you

One day we’re going to be reunited, Peggy

And we’ll sit and talk incessantly, like we used to

And we’ll laugh. A whole lot.

And we’ll never have to say goodbye.

I love you more than any words can say

And that won’t change

I promise

Hey Peg, it was me that took your Easter peeps out of your basket.

I just thought you should know.

P.S. I wrote a book about being broken

I wrote about you and I wrote about me.

I just want to help anyone out there who might also be broken.

One day we’ll be completely whole. One day.

Love you Peggy,