I still remember every minute detail about the day; Friday will mark 12 years. I had just graduated from law school and I was already studying for yet another final exam; the bar exam. We would be moving to Sioux City, IA, in just over a month, and I was starting to cull through our things to ready the house for our big move from Norman, OK.
On this particular day in May of 2000, my brother-in-law was on his way to visit us for a few days, having just completed his sophomore year in college. He had arrived only a few minutes before we received a devastating phone call.
My husband's cousin had been found dead; an apparent suicide. This cousin had also just completed his sophomore year, alongside my brother-in-law. He seemed to have his whole life ahead of him; and yet, there must have been dark demons lurking somewhere just below the surface, unseen and unheard by others.
We were stunned, perplexed and deeply saddened by this completely unexpected news. I still think about him often; I still question the depths of despair he must have felt; and I simply wonder why.
On that day, as I have so often, I turned to my faith. I reached for my devotional; the one I've been reading since March of 1998. And of all the 365 passages in that compact volume, the shortest one of all, dated May 17th, the day that our cousin drew his final breath, is the one I remember best of all.
This is the entry for May 17th:
"Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
My bravest are those who can anticipate the morning and feel in the night of sorrow that underlying joy that tells of confident expectations of the morning.
That's it. Nothing more or less.
And every time I read these words, I think if only he had read this; if only he could have found that underlying joy of knowing that the morning light would bring clarity to his thoughts.
But he didn't.
Instead, he sat alone in the dark and decided that he couldn't face another day. He was unable to see even the faintest light beginning to streak across the night sky.
If ever you feel the deep despair as black as the night, please know that everything always looks better in the dawn's golden light. And that's a promise.
There are no second chances with suicide. It doesn't just end one life, but forever leaves all the lives around that person broken like a window that's been smashed with a bat. You can try to tape all the pieces back together, but there will always be a few pieces missing.
If you have final thoughts about ending it all, please reach out to someone; anyone. Help is near. Over and out...