I don’t remember the sound of his voice anymore or the way he looked when he walked down the halls with his funny swagger. I don’t remember the butterflies I used to get when I saw his face across the room. I barely remember anything we shared other than a silly kiss at the homecoming dance. All that’s left is the notes we passed and the pictures.
I’m almost entirely sure I’ve never been the same since he’s been gone. I cringe every time I hear someone joke about death and the stories of others taking their lives makes my stomach so sick I want to fall to the floor. And during the month of March I will always overanalyze and reprocess it all and wonder if just maybe there was something I could have done to change it all. Maybe had we all paid a little closer attention we would have seen something. Or maybe had we not gotten so close then other things wouldn’t have happened. Or maybe had I listened a little more. They always tell you that there’s nothing you could have done, that when someone decides to take their own life there is no stopping them, they’ve already made up their mind.
I wonder what went through his head, if he was scared, if he was mad, sad, or alone. I wonder if he thought about us, or if he was so hurt he didn’t even remember. I wonder if he felt any pain, or if he had time to regret it. I wonder if he was still here, where we would be. There’s a lot of things I wonder but won’t ever know.
I do know though that had I ever had the chance I would have said something like this: You are enough, right now you feel at the bottom of the world, as if everything is falling down on you a thousand miles an hour and there’s no way to stop it but it will stop. I can’t tell you how and I don’t know when but if you just push a little harder I can promise you that it will stop and the rain clouds will stop pouring down and your raibow will appear and you will have your sunny days and oh my will they be so glorious. I know you want to make a very permanent decision but right now your pain is temporary it won’t last forever if you just hold on. Just hold on because somewhere in this great big world there is a place for you, just keep looking and when you think you’ve looked everywhere look just a little more. I know you don’t want to be here anymore but if you just close your eyes and imagine the day when you wake up happy to be alive I promise you will get your day too, and you will be happy to wake up. I may not know what you’re feeling or what you’re going through but I do know that you are loved and if by nobody else then you are by me. Just hold on a little longer, just push through a little more, just smile a little harder, and just keep keeping on a little farther because somewhere eventually there is a happy ending for you too, and my goodness do you deserve it.
None of us want to talk about suicide because it’s so horrible, the idea of someone taking their own life is awful. The questions and pain it leaves behind is unbearable. It’s much easier to turn our eye or back to the fact that it is happening. For every completed suicide there are 25 attempts. In order to significantly reduce this number we must speak up, we must realize that this life is not easy and we as humans aren’t expected to be perfect 100% of the time. In order to stop turning our back we must raise our hands in support of those around us that are dealing with such scary thoughts.
The thought of this world being a better place without you in it is downright terrifying.
So let’s talk, let’s end the stigma, let’s stop glorifying depression and suicide. Let’s realize the need of our generation to be welcoming and understanding and accepting of those around us that are suffering so that nobody else has to forget the laughter of a friend or the warmth of their embrace.
Let’s surround each other with the encouragement because maybe if we all just hold on then we can be in this together.
If you or someone you know is suicidal PLEASE reach out for help to this hotline: +18002738255 YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.
In forever memory of Matthew.