I never met you personally, but I feel like I know you through my dad. You were his work son. He took pride in you and all that you accomplished. He talked about you, about teaching you, and about working with you.
You were his apprentice, his co-worker, and his friend.
I do not know why you took your own life.
I cannot imagine the pain and suffering you must have felt to get to that point. To feel so hopeless. To feel like there is no other way.
I wish I understood.
But there are somethings I wish you could see. There are somethings I wish you had known.
You were not alone. All was not lost. I just wish you knew that you had a family at Ford. You had people in your corner who cared about you, who loved you, and who were cheering you on.
I wish you had talked to someone about it. I’m sure you did try. You probably said things. Little hints. People did not pick up on it. I wish you had told just one person what you were planning on doing.
I wish you knew that your guys at Ford loved you like a brother…like a son.
I was with my dad. Were you there with us too when he got the news? Did you see him sit down on the steps…completely overwhelmed with emotion? With such pain and grief as I have never witnessed from him before? I cannot even properly put pen to paper to describe it. I will never forget. Seeing my dad like that ripped my heart out.
I wish you knew that you were loved and that you had a good friend.
I wish there was something that we could have done to change this outcome. Was there any way we could have stopped this?
Hindsight is a bitch.
You were not a celebrity chef or designer. They will not talk about your death on the news. There won’t be any TV broadcasts dedicated to your memory, but there should be. You DID accomplish great things. You were a good man.
Every single life is precious including yours. Every single life has value and purpose beyond words including yours.
I wish you understood how great you were. I wish you understood that you touched people’s lives and that your existence helped others.
Did you know, Larry? Did you just lose sight of it in all your pain and grief?
People who survive suicide attempts often say that they changed their mind. I have watched interviews of people who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. They all say the same thing. After they jumped. After there was no going back. They changed their minds. I wonder, is this true for all people who commit suicide? If they have time to think, do they realize that they have made a mistake?
What did you think and feel Larry? Did you wish you could take it back too? You were alone. Help did not come.
I wish you knew that NO MATTER how bad things seemed, there is ALWAYS hope. Whatever it is, you CAN make it through. There is help.
I did not know you Larry, but my heart aches for you. It aches for my father and for all the friends you left behind at Ford. It aches for your dog and for the neighbor who found you.
I wish that you had decided to stay.
Someone Who Cares
Suicide Is Not The Answer
We have to do something. I feel lost. I am just one person. What can I do to prevent this from happening ever again? I am not a mental health professional. I do not claim to know the right things to say or do, but I know that something must be said. Something must be done. So I am here to start the conversation. The only thing I know how to do right now is to write about it and talk about it.
For anyone out there who is suffering or considering suicide as an option, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE talk to someone.
Suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY problem. Even if your problems do not feel temporary, they are. There is help. There is always someone who loves you and there is always someone who wants to help.
DO NOT DO IT. There is another way.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday
Are we doing something wrong as a society that makes people feel this way? Why is suicide even an option on the table?
Suicide rates have been increasing in the US. Why? I can’t help but feel like it is a symptom of a more sinister problem. We have to figure this out, and we have to change it.
Is it the way our society has become? Is it too much social isolation? We are more connected than ever through social media, but it is too easy to hide behind a screen and sling insults. Is it too much Wi-Fi and cell phones and not enough real human interaction anymore? Is it that we work ourselves too hard? Our priorities are out of whack? Have we completely lost God? Are we too self-centered? Too wrapped up in our own lives and our own problems that we forget to see others?
One thing I have learned is that you have got to trust your gut. It knows. It is that little voice somewhere deep inside that speaks to you. It is usually just for an instant, and it is easy to miss. It is that little fleeting feeling of “something is just not right…” A déjà vu of sorts. There for a moment then gone. That little wisp of a dream floating away just outside your grasp…unless you learn to pay attention.
When that little tiny feeling creeps up. We need to stop cold in our tracks. I think that we all have gotten too busy to do so. We feel like we don’t have the time to stop and listen anymore. It’s always run run run. On to the next thing. What if we took more time to talk and listen to each other. Actually listen. Not listening to respond but listening to understand. What if we took more time to be mindful, to be grateful, to remind people of what they mean to us and how great they are?
I don’t know exactly what the answer is. It seems like we have A LOT of work to do, but I am here to start the conversation before it is too late. I do not know exactly where I go from here, but I hope maybe these words can reach someone in time. Someone who needs to hear this message.
Words To Remember
Let’s Keep This Conversation Going
Not just when there is a high profile celebrity death, but all the time. Let’s start talking and working and never stop.
I ask today that you leave a comment, share on Facebook, pin this to Pinterest. Maybe someone you know needs to read these words. Reach out to family and friends. Reach out to someone you are worried about. Let someone know how special they are and how you appreciate them in your life.
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