I first met this family during my internship. This was the first time in my professional life that I was impacted by suicide. This family provided me an experience of love, acceptance, caring, and perseverance that has forever shaped my professional identity and my passion for serving others. At some point in time, suicide will touch all of us. As I’m writing this, I am realizing that over the past several months I have had too many close calls, learned of too many attempts, and have learned of too many lives cut short.
I know that completely eradicating suicide is as likely as obtaining world peace. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do our part.
For those that struggle with suicidal thoughts, attempts, or feeling as if you are along and no one cares; I urge you to read this post. You have impacted this world. You have brought joy and laughter and smiles to so many people. You may not realize that mark you have made. If you are struggling, have friends (old and new), acquaintances, colleagues, family write you a letter. If you know someone that is stuggling, could you do this for them?
Let me end my part with this note and challenge – when was the last time that you reached out to someone just to see how he or she was doing when the thought crossed your mind? Are we really so busy, as an American people, as friends, neighbors, brothers, and sisters, that we can’t take 30 seconds to reach out? You might be the person that changes someone's future.
Reposted with permission.
April 11, 2017
This day has come again. It sucks. Here’s the cold hard truth about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. I hope today my Karynza is celebrating her heavenly birthday. I hope they are having so much fun in Heaven that she is not missing us. For me, it is just another day without her.
Because every day I think about Karynza.
I think about the day she was born, the day she died and the days included in the dash in between. Karynza made me a mom. (All I ever wanted to be in life was a mom) She loved church and God. She was baptized at least 3 times that I can remember off the top of my head. She loved her first friends, her MOPS friends and Emily. She loved introducing her friends to Jesus Christ. She loved helping kids with special needs at church as she was growing up. She had a passion for helping others as she did this throughout her years in school. Karynza was a great student and was very close to her teachers and everybody seemed to know who she was. Karynza’s teachers and other school staff were very good to her and I can’t recall any that did not go above and beyond to help her succeed. She left her mark on anybody she came into contact with.
Karynza suffered from mental illness. This illness was something she tried to keep hidden from other people. This illness made her vulnerable to abuse, from others as well as herself. Sexual, physical, mental and self-harm. This illness made her see the world differently than the rest of world saw it. This illness made her more compassionate at times. It also made her very mean at times. Getting the brunt of her meanness aimed at me hurt me deeply and still does. I have always said God gave me Karynza because no one else could have done it. I was tired, I escaped but I never gave up on her. We were either best friends or best enemies. There was no in-between. She had a very hard time seeing that the things I did and wanted for her were in her best interest. She wanted to be free. Mental illness ultimately killed Karynza.
Yes, I am broken and always will be. A part of my heart has died. A part of me sits on a shelf in my living room. I am hurt, angry, sad, and frustrated and everything else one could possibly feel all mixed up into one pot. I am not the person I once was. But this is not all bad. I will never see Karynza again in person, but I see her all the time in others and things around me. She is still very active in our lives. I am still a mom to 4 wonderful children, some of them adults. And they still need me. All the children, families and friends that have become a part of my life remind me each day just how precious we all are. And the joy that is brought into my life everyday can never be taken away.
My goals now are to educate anybody that will listen about this relentless disease called mental illness. No one is safe from it. It lives in all of us. Something triggers it, it becomes active and effects people to varying degrees. Just like most illnesses. I will seek to understand it better myself and be here to walk with those that need me.