Yesterday, I got up, got dressed, and headed to work like I always do. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the day was new. However, for a family in my community, It was not as bright and shiny. It was the first day of the rest of their life without a member of their family. The night prior, their son (and brother) was found dead in his car from inhaling toxic chemicals.
I never understood why someone would take their own life. I know people who have tried and sadly, I know those who have succeeded. This was the son of a well-known family in our community. He would have been 25 next week. I would see him around town, I played soccer with his sister, and would often see his parents taking walks around the golf course in the evenings. Nothing to the casual observer would think that anything on his life was amiss.
It isn’t always obvious, but every one you meet is fighting their own internal battles and struggling to carry their own burdens. There was a story that always sticks with me in times like this. (I found this copy on www.smilegodlovesyou.com )
A young man was at the end of his rope, seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer… “Lord, I can’t go on,” he said. “I have too heavy a cross to bear.” The Lord replied, “My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.” The man was filled with relief and said, “Thank you Lord,” and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other room, he saw many crosses; some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. “I’d like that one, Lord,” he whispered. The Lord replied, “My son, that is the cross you just brought in.”
When life’s problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more fortunate than you imagined…
At times, we all hurt and we all suffer. It can be overwhelming and you may think you are the only one strugling. It can feel like you will never manage to get past the pain, or continue to carry the weight. It may lead you to think ending things is the only way to get through. It may not seem like it at the time, but everyone has someone who loves and cares about them. If you are hurting, ask for help; I guarantee you will find it.
Always remember that things will get better. You can’t appreciate the good, without going through the bad. The sweet is never as sweet, without having tasted the sour. We are all fighting our own fights and carrying our own burdens; try to remember that and treat everyone you meet with kindness and compassion to help them get through the day.