A Little Boast, A Little Tear

Tears-of-the-heartSince my son died just over 15 years ago I have made it my life work to do as much as I possibly can to educate myself and others about suicide, suicide prevention and support for those bereaved by suicide.  I have always said that just knowing the work I do has saved one persons life or one mother from the grief I have known would make it all worth while.  Today was one of those of days.

This is the message I received today from one of the peer support workers I trained last spring.

I need to thank you for sharing everything you did when you trained us earlier this year. From all your support and training and genuine caring, I handled my first attempted suicide call yesterday. I was able to keep the person on the phone with me 25 minutes until I could get the police and paramedics there where they then took him to the hospital to be treated for an overdose. It’s people like yourself that have shared experiences, caring and heartfelt love for what you do that have given me strength to work in a field that I was not sure I could handle at first. I just wanted to thank you for being you and to please know how many people you touch and inspire on a daily basis. You really inspired me and I thank you.”
And so I blubbered in my coffee a little at 6 a.m. when I was still trying to wake up and I smiled a little and said, “Thank you Lord.”
I am always aware there is not enough being done to prevent suicide.  It is still a taboo sort of subject in many circles and many people have already stopped reading this blog because they are uncomfortable with the subject.
I get it.  I’m uncomfortable with it too.  In my life it has taken my child and my best friend along with many other people I have known and worked with.  It is a hurtful and difficult subject and no one really wants to face the consequences of it.
I also know most people don’t really want to die.  The problem is they just don’t how to cope with living.  The things they face have become too big to handle and too overwhelming to deal with.  There doesn’t seem to be any way out or through and in a strange turn of thought they become convinced the world would be better without them.
It is a dark and impossible place to be and the only hope for life is finding people who care enough to listen long enough to the hopelessness until the person is finally able to rediscover their own hope.
I know I speak of this often but until I don’t hear any more reports about a young person who took their own life I will continue to mention it whenever it seems appropriate.
Just so you know, statistically, the rates of suicide during the holiday season are relatively low.  It might be a good time of the year to reach out to people so they can carry the hope of the season into January when once again the rates begin to rise.

About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (www.riverofhopeenterprises.com), I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Little Boast, A Little Tear

  1. You have the kind of experience and qualifications for the job that no-one would ever get voluntarily, and it’s good to see someone express their gratitude to you. You are doing an important job. Keep writing about suicide and don’t worry about losing followers, because you will also gain more followers as you help to make the topic a more acceptable one.

  2. It’s wonderful that your son didn’t die in vain. You just helped so many people by posting this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s