Friday, October 05, 2007

Half a year on

It just struck me as I was sitting here at the office that it was six months ago yesterday that I lost my brother to suicide. A bit of a milepost, that. I guess. I was thinking about him anyway, not realizing that it was half a year ago. So spring turned to summer and shorts and lemonade and today I wear a heavy coat and it's been six months.

Time blots a lot of things out. You want to remember a song, a phrase, a phone number, you want to keep it written in bold Sharpie in your brain. But you have to go to work. And then you read the paper. And then some other thing happens and it's gone. Things have to move on, the sun has to come up in the morning, you have to make breakfast for the kids. Routines get settled into. That's how it is with me, still, even as I carry this heavy load. The muscles get stronger to carry it but the damn thing is still pretty heavy.

When I announced Rick's death in this space, I did so not as a eulogy but as a plea. If you're suffering, get help. If you know someone who is suffering with depression or mental illness, help them. Reach out. Say something. Cast sunlight on an issue that's often tucked away in darkness. Say it out loud instead of thinking you should say something. That's what I want to reiterate today. If you read that original post, you may have put the seeking of help for yourself or someone else on your to-do list. If it slid off that list, please put it back on. It's important.

Get help.
Get help.
Get help.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Your post encouraged me to get help. I was in one of those I'll-be-okay-on-my-own phases and I needed a kick in the butt to get back to the dr. and stick with it. It's still a struggle, but I needed a reminder of how important it is and what losing this battle looks like. You reminded me that I owe it to myself, my husband, my family, my friends to not slack off when it gets hard or when I start to feel better. I feel better because I'm taking the meds, not because I don't need them. It sucks and the side effects suck, but I know that I am fortunate to live in a time when therapy and meds are available and have much less stigma attached to them.

Thank you. I wish you didn't have to go through what you have.