Ever hear something or see something and get an odd feeling. Like there’s more to the story than what you just heard. Like you KNOW there’s something bigger and somehow it’s going to impact you.
September 11, 2001 was like that for me. I heard a little news blurb on the radio on my way to school. “A plane had hit a building in New York.” Something told me there was more to the story.
I had another moment like that on Sunday. I was browsing Facebook and saw a local news thing. A local man had been found dead.
And it made me pause for a bit. Something nagged at me. Bothered me about it.
And I kind of went on with life for the next 24 hours.
Our church has a prayer chain. When something needs to be prayed about, it goes out via text message to everyone who’s part of the chain.
My phone beeped and I glanced at it. A prayer chain message.
In a few words, stuff just shattered.
A name. A name I knew well. Once a student of mine, a bright eyed, blond little boy with an infectious grin. A little boy who had grown up to a young man, still bright eyed and still with that great grin.
He’d taken his own life.
Suddenly that article I’d seen 24 hours earlier made horrible sense.
My phone rang a minute later as I still processed what I saw. My husband.
See, that young man was more than just a student of mine once upon a time. He was also working for my husband. He was also related to one my husband’s best friends. We were close to him and close to the family.
So the last 7 hours have been hard. Hubby literally dropped everything at work and went to be with his best friend, to be there for him. My sister-in-law came by with her kids, along with my father-in-law and a couple friends. We had our grief. We had a moment or two with our nephews and niece, making sure they know that no matter how bad things are, no matter how dark a place they seem to be in, we are family and we love them and we are there.
My heart is raw and numb and as much as it hurts, I know I don’t hurt nearly as much as some others right now.
I’ve been in a dark place before. I’ve gone down the highway in my car, staring at my shaking hands with tears streaming down my face and wondering if I should just jerk the steering wheel to one side and flip the car. I’ve wondered if I should go looking for the pistol I knew my dad had. I’ve been there.
By the grace of God, I got out of it. I found ways to deal with my pain that didn’t hurt me or those around me.
I wish my young friend could have done the same. I wish he could have a second chance. Just so he could see how loved he was. I wish he could see how much he’d be missed by so many people.
I know this is a mess and I’m sorry. One of the ways I learned to process pain and grief was through writing. This is one of my ways I heal. And maybe it will help someone out there. I couldn’t help that young man, but had I known just how much he needed help, I would have.
For anyone out there who is in this much pain. Please… Stop. Think. So many people love you. They may not show it well. They may never say it. But believe me. They DO.