I think of many sad, horrible, and uncontrollable situations I have seen in my lifetime. Although they sadden me and I see how the struggles have changed the person to the core–– I see how they brought families closer, deepened faith, increased awareness, and so on. I can at least see a little good, even if it is just a smidgen. I believe a smidgen of good can leave an everlasting positive effect in this world.
There are a few things I find no meaning and absolutely no good in. I have not been forced to face any of these in a family member or close friend, until last night…
I put the kids to bed and I grabbed my phone to plug it in and noticed I had missed a phone call from an out of state relative. I knew it had to be bad news. I listened to the message and her shaky voice confirmed my suspicions. “Stacy, call me back. I have bad news.” I automatically assumed it was my uncle. He is at that age where it wouldn’t surprise me. I stepped outside, took a few deep breaths, and called her.
Her voice was the same familiar voice but it was different also. There has always been an undeniable strength in her voice. She is one of the strongest people I have ever known. It is funny, because my best friend is so much…almost too much like my aunt. As soon as she started speaking I felt her brokenness.
There is something catastrophic about when a strong person breaks. I think we depend on the strong people in our lives to always remain that way. But, there are things in this life that even the strongest cannot survive.
It wasn’t my uncle. It was my cousin. “He’s dead,” she said. She told me it happened a couple weeks ago. I knew he had health issues, but I was shocked. I was more shocked she was just now telling me. I asked about the funeral. She told me they didn’t have any service. She then told me in depth about his health issues. Then she said, “I guess he just got tired of it all and killed himself.” I didn’t press for details. I just listened. She said if I didn’t hear from her for a while to understand. She asked me to write her and keep in touch though. Then she asked me to tell the rest of the family.
He was in his late forties. I don’t know why I somehow associated suicide with teenagers. As if, we become adults and are supposed to just endure this life with our heads held high. I know when teens commit suicide they have their entire lives ahead of them and it is awful and the thought of losing a teenage child this way disturbs me to the core. But adults, when they lose hope and fall into darkness, it disturbs me to the core just as much…maybe even more? I don’t know.
My aunt said that this was going to kill her and my uncle. They are broken. At their age, I bet they don’t have the strength to fight it. I don’t know if I could. I am struggling with this. I cannot find any good. I feel a bit broken right now too.