I started this week thinking about birthdays and memorial reflections. Each day is someone’s birthday and each day was someone’s birthday. Many of us remember the day we lost someone to death, but I like to remember the days I gained someone through new life. In my experiences, the pain that influences suicidal thoughts and suicidal actions is triumphed by the love and compassion that helps save a life and helps unite survivors of suicidality.
I am reflective of all the independent choices that help save a life from sorrow, isolation, and death. Independence, the will to do something meaningful, of one’s own volition, and in service to others is what I celebrate this week.
When my sister tried to take her life, she called to say goodbye. I have known others who were not so fortunate to have their loved-ones request for help be so obvious. My heart aches for the losses sustained and my heart beats for the survivors who can experience another day to fight, survive, thrive, and celebrate not only America’s birthday, but those of the people close to them.
My hope and goal is to build that connection of people I think about when I want to celebrate birthdays. That connection of people who I want to feel less sorrow, less isolation, and who I want to be able to celebrate living for as long as the earth gives them breath. I want to open my eyes so that if you are feeling pain, you can see you are not alone and together we can survive, together.
For those who have gone on before me, know you are not forgotten, your birthdays are still sacred, you are still remembered. I have seen how a collective of independent actions can save and sustain the lives of us who remain in your place. Happy Birthday wishes United States. Peaceful Birthday wishes to those who have died from suicide. Hopeful Birthday wishes to all survivors.