Thursday, July 24, 2008


Every year about 32,500 people commit suicide. In 2004 my little brother was one of those 32,000+. There are some statistics HERE, if you're interested in further reading them. They aren't encouraging but might bring your awareness up to a point where you might be able to help someone that's hurting.

Today, July 24 is my brother's birthday. If you're a reader of my blog you know that last year I also made an entry about my brother, Doug. I'm not a big proponent of causes, I don't normally take part in charity walks, fund raisers and stuff like that. Don't get me wrong I respect those that do and think it's a valuable use of their time but it just doesn't stir my heart like it does some others.

Today, my brother would be turning 22. I often wonder what he would be like as an adult. He really loved children and the elderly. He was very patient and gentle with people that fell in those two categories. He really enjoyed music, I could always count on him to give me the update of what's "indy" and what was up and coming. And for some reason he would get stuck on one type of food and just eat the same thing over and over and over again. I guess he got that from me. I'm sure his love for people and for music would have endured...

But for the rest of my life I will remember Dougie as a 17 year old. Sometimes, with regret, I remember how at times in his life he never quite figured where he fit into the world. I think as a teenager that's a very normal feeling and a great source of frustration. Normally as one grows up and out of those teen years that bring more questions and insecurities than it does answers and reassurances that feeling of "where do I fit" and "how will I make it in this world" fade away. Sadly, one either stops asking those questions and doesn't care any longer or one finds his or her answer and pursues that with her life.

Today you can answer that question for someone suffering from depression. You can show them how they fit into this world. You can be a listening ear. You should ask your depressed friends if they are considering suicide. You can let them know you care about them deeply and would miss them terribly if they were no longer living. Finally, take all mention of suicide seriously, encourage the person to get professional help!

No comments: