I found out today what you did.
I never knew you and yet you were so close.
Just four floors above and yet you might as well have lived on the other side of the world.
We must have passed many times, side by side in the elevator and yet, I never noticed.
Did I smile?
Did I show you kindness?
Or did my preoccupations blind me from seeing you?
I’m sorry if you thought the world didn’t care. If the world didn’t pay attention.
I shed a tear for you today.
I never knew you, but I’ll never forget you. I’ll never forget how you must have suffered.
I want you to know your life was not in vain.
In your honour, I will be better.
In your honour, I will strive to keep my eyes and my heart open.
To really see the people I pass. To see the people I don’t know but are every bit a part of this shared world.
In your honour, I will be kinder.
In your honour, I will strive to be the best version of myself.
In your honour, I will love my life to fullest extent possible.
In your honour, the boy I never knew.
May you rest now in peace.
Those who have never experienced the darkest corners of their mind, will never be able to understand why someone would contemplate suicide.
I myself can’t, but from experience I believe I can, at least, appreciate how it might lead there.
To those who might label them as selfish – who are quick to judge – I would ask you to think for a second and consider this.
If a man were burning alive and you handed him a loaded gun, would you judge him for shooting himself?
Living with a depression that drives people to take their own lives is something very few of us will ever be able to comprehend.
What I can say with some degree of certainty, however, is judgement won’t help those in the battle to save their own lives.
They need our love, compassion and understanding.
They need our help.
Be kind and if you think someone might be suffering, reach out.
Something as seemingly simple as asking for help is anything but easy when you’re drowning.
You never know just how powerful a lifeline you might be offering.
To those who are suffering, who don’t know how to ask, who can’t seem to find the strength, please know there are people waiting to embrace you when you do.
There are people who still love you and know you have what it takes to come back from the brink.
If you can find the courage, I’ve left a list of links below where you can seek help.
(FYI I wrote this back in May after finding out that a young boy, just 16 years old, committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of his apartment in the high rise above where we live. I wanted to share it again in an effort to spread awareness and remind myself why mental health is such an important issue – especially this year. We need to make sure we are looking after ourselves and each other now more than ever. Wishing you all peace and love on this years World Mental Health Day. AP2 X)