i be me and you be you cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

A couple are walking with their dog. One says, or maybe both say, “There’s really nothing you can do except with me you be you and allow me with you to be me too.”

It was five years ago now that my brother Mark died by suicide. I was the last one to see him and spend time with him. We met in a beer and wings joint for a few hours. He wasn’t doing well. But I didn’t realize how badly he was doing.

I still see him walking away with the groceries and the flat of beer I bought him for the weekend. That was the last I saw him alive.

The second-guessing and the 20/20 of hindsight make it so difficult for me. It’s an incredible loss and I miss him every day.

From then on I make it a point to be a safe person that you can share your struggles with. Also, if you’re not doing well and let me know, I unapologetically and explicitly ask if you have any intentions of harming yourself.

I’m here to support you and you’re here to support me. We can be honest with our feelings without shame and without fear of needing to bear them alone.

Let’s truly listen to one another and support one another as best we can.

Thanks for just being with me now as I share my own pain with you.

You are so comforting and I thank you.

Much love, my friends.

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1 comment

The thought of the damage to my children and loved ones has kept me on the planet more than once. I have the suicide hotline in my contacts on my cell phone and use it if I need to. I am so sorry for your loss, David. We never know what’s going on in another if they are not willing to open up and share it.

Beverly Straight

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