I try to write something each year partly in remembrance of my Dad but mostly out of a commitment to being open and honest about his suicide, and what it means for me, and all of my family, to be living with suicide.
I wasn’t sure what to write about this year. I wasn’t sure how to capture what it means to be living with suicide 11 years in. I wasn’t getting any lightening bolts of new insight or inspirations for how to communicate my experiences meaningfully.
Today is the day.
And then, this morning, around the time when my Dad ended his life, my family began circulating communications acknowledging each other and reminding each how much we love the other. So began my first tears of the week.
Life is humbling, whether we are living with suicide or not. And, the relationships that both remind us to be humble and bolster us when we feel broken are our lifeblood. Being broken isn’t bad. It’s just being human. So, attempts to avoid or shield ourselves from being broken, or pretending we aren’t to some degree already are self-defeating. They are a front, hiding who we are from those around us, limiting our ability to touch the world genuinely, and preventing it from touching us. Acknowledging and sharing our brokenness and piecing ourselves back together with others is our greater calling – the pathway to our becoming more fully human, to developing relationships and lives that matter.
As I reflected on the emotions stirred by my family’s messages, I realized that this is why. Living with suicide is about being broken. It is about a shared vulnerability and a responsibility to love and appreciate those who are also broken – all of us.
We are all living with something. Wouldn’t it be nice if we just acknowledged this and met each other with a note of appreciation, love, and humility?
Thank you for being broken with me.