I’m once again reminded of just how precious this life is, and how very quickly it can all change.

Someone I knew from high school recently committed suicide.

The first question people ask when I tell them this is, “Did you know him well?”

My initial response is to think, “Does it matter?!?! Someone DIED. Unnecessarily.”

But if I’m being truthful, which I generally am, then I have to admit that no, I did not know him very well. However, several people who I consider very close and love very dearly DID know him well. And while I mourn his loss for myself, I grieve for their loss as well.

I have not moved from my uncomfortable position at my desk chair since I read the news. I have been sitting here, numb with emotion, fingers poised over the keyboard, waiting for the words to come to me. They haven’t yet. But I couldn’t sit any longer. I needed to type. To express. To feel.

It breaks my heart to hear that anyone could ever feel so much pain; they did not think life was worth living anymore. This kind of hurting is incomprehensible to me. It tears me up inside to know that someone did not realize just how loved and appreciated they were.

Why didn’t he talk to someone?

Why didn’t he reach out for help?

Why didn’t we see his hurting?


If you are reading this, I want you to read it very VERY carefully: do not EVER doubt your worth on this Earth. You are important and you are loved. And if you ever need someone to remind you of that, call me. Seriously. No one should have to feel that kind of pain. No one should have to feel that kind of hopelessness. No one.

And if you ever suspect that someone you know might be considering ending their own life, or harming themselves in ANY way, say something. So what if you’re wrong? Wouldn’t you rather be wrong than right in this situation anyway?

Say something before it’s too late. Please.

I love you all. Really, I do.

Ben Gerling, you were one of a kind, and you will be sorely missed.


Vanessa's Dad said…
Suicide is all too prevalent in youth. Those movies and TV shows that dwell on angst of youth are not that far from reality for some.

It's hard to know how many times your kindness and appreciation to some friend (or stranger?) provides just the boost to self-image and Hope that someone needs to survive despair.

I reflect on the Wilson-Phillips song "Hold On" and wonder how many lives THAT song has saved.

I'm glad you care, that you are not jaded to tragedy.

Heavy sigh.

Hugs, hugs, and more hugs and a generous dose of prayers.
David Brown said…
Natalie, you and your numbed heart are beautiful. I so agree with your Dad, thanks for caring about Ben and his friends who are also your friends. Yeah, and may the guy who appreciates the work in progress be assured by our Lord that you are indeed worth waiting for.
Amanda said…
Numb. That is an excellent way to describe what you are feeling. I, too, have been in a similiar situation. An aquaintance of mine and a friend of Noah's took his his own life on a ship a few years back. He was a husband and a father of two small children. I was devasted at how life could get so bad that he no longer felt like living, if not for himself, but for his small children. And shocked that being surrounded by so many people in the close enviroment that the ship provides that no one, no one, waa able to see how torrmented he was and reached out to help him the way he desparately needed. I agree that just because you weren't neccessarily close to the person doesn't mean it can't cut you to the core and cause you to re-examine all areas of your life. I'm sorry for your loss, your friend's loss and for Ben's family that must be overcome with grief, sadness and regret right now.

I'm sad that your first blog entry in months had to be for such a sad topic, but so glad you were able to find an outlet for your pain. It is excellently written and thank you for your love.