An Open Letter To The Ones Thinking Of Giving Up

To the ones thinking of giving up,

This past week marked one year since my hometown lost a talented and good-hearted spirit. Not to a car crash or another accident, but to himself. For reasons of privacy and respect, I won’t tell you his name, but I feel it’s important to share his story, or at least, what I knew of it.

He was talented; he was kind; he was bright in both mind and personality. He was a great musician who wanted only to bring joy to those around him, and no matter what, he always wanted to make sure that everyone else was having a better day before he left a room.

None of us knew anything was wrong, and by the time we did, it was too late.

I remember when I first heard the news, that cold, sinking feeling in my stomach that you read about in books and hear about in movies. His best friend’s knees buckled underneath her, and she sobbed until her parents came to pick her up. People flooded in and out of the counselor’s office that day, searching for some semblance of relief, and that night at the memorial service, his friends could barely speak of the ways he had touched their lives through their choked back tears. I remember the way his parents shook at the funeral as they said goodbye to their son for the last time and the look in his brother’s eyes, like he’d just lost a part of himself that he’d never get back. But most of all, I remember the church, packed so full of people that had either loved or been loved by this boy that they were trying to find two inches of standing room, packed to the brim with people who cared.

Since that day, I’ve often found myself wondering what might’ve happened if the situation had somehow been different. If we had known how he was struggling or if he had known how many people were really there for him, would he still be with us today? I don’t know, nor do I think I ever will.

I’m telling this story for the ones who are feeling similar to how he did, but haven’t taken that leap yet. Loneliness is a dark path that sometimes blinds us to the people around us waiting with open arms. That’s not to say I don’t understand the feeling, because trust me, I do, but suicide leaves nothing but devastation and ruin in its wake. I know because I’ve seen it, heard it, felt it.

We’re never as alone as we think we are. Sometimes all it takes is just to reach out and grab hold of the nearest hand, whether it be a family member, a friend, or even a teacher. Someone will listen. Someone will hear you. As one who has experienced the aftermath firsthand, who has seen one death tear apart more lives than I can count, I’m writing this letter to beg and plead with those of you still listening.

To the ones thinking of giving up, remember the good days you’ve had and will have again. Remember the smiles, the laughter, the joy. Remember the love that surrounds you every moment of every day. Remember the little miracles of the simple moments, like the way the rainbow appears right after it rains or the way that the birds chirp to signal the new morning. Remember that the dark days won’t win.

To the ones thinking of giving up, please don’t.

Sincerely,

The Ones Who Care