Posts Tagged ‘depression’

As the young folks say, “It’s been a minute.”

This means that it’s been an extended period of time. And I haven’t written anything since July!

It wasn’t malaise. Although this country (world) has truly been on some kind of a roller coaster! Politics aside for the moment.

I hesitate to blame it on writer’s block.

Some type of low grade depression?

Maybe. My friend Karla figures most of us are experiencing a touch of that in the past year.

Anyway, whatever it was, today is the day.

This past Wednesday I was very busy. Three things that day had me thinking profoundly.

They are three very different stories and deserve their own space. So, another time!

But I was thinking about the fragility of life. One day someone is here and then they are not.

A childhood friend and I were messaging the next day. We had a mutual friend who had died suddenly Tuesday/Wednesday at the young age of fifty. Someone I worked with many years ago and one of her high school friends.

We chatted about life, families, acceptance, etc.

S. works at a nursing home and told me about a recent interaction.

One day, she sees a resident just wheeling around in his chair. Eyes closed.

Asks him, “J., buddy, what’s up with your eyes closed??”

He replied, “I’m exhausted but I am not sure how many days I have left on earth so I can’t spend them in bed.”

Bang. There it is.

She told me that he has arthritis and is in pain 100% of the time.

Also told me he smiles 100% of the time.

None of us know how many days we have left on earth.

If we wake up in the morning we are blessed with a choice.

How do we want to spend this day? This gift?

Read Full Post »

People all over the world were writing messages on their hands. This one is a relative of mine. It was just striking.

March 16, 2013: 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi went missing.

I blogged about his disappearance on March 26th.

His name was splashed all over the media on April 19th. Falsely identified as one of the suspects in the Boston bombing.

April 23rd, 2013: His body was found in the Providence River.

His poor family. I cannot imagine their despair. Having a child missing. Feeling like you should know and feel where he is. He is yours.

I have a 21-year-old college student. My heart really, really hurts for them.

Did they have nightmares of him calling for them?

And then insult added to injury.

My oldest daughter told me that her friend, a Brown student, had texted her after hearing that Sunil was a possible bombing suspect. He was frightened and asked if he could stay at my Mom and Dad’s.

That didn’t end up happening since two new suspects were soon identified. But this irresponsible act of screaming and streaming false information through the media did cause panic in people. Brown University kids living on campus that might not have known him. And his family, while knowing Sunil’s nature, could not hazard a guess as to the nature of other people armed with this information. Scary stuff.

I understand that everyone wanted to put two and two together. Put an end to the Boston madness. I’m totally okay with that. But there needs to be some discretion. Fact checking is a need to do and not a nice to do. Google is not God. Let the investigators do the investigating.

There were distraught people in this equation. An already wounded family was the target.

Sunil’s desperate family. All they wanted was for him to come home. They knew he was depressed. They loved him and wanted to help. A special family. I am sure he knew how very fortunate he was to have them.

The only good thing (I thought at the time) that could come out of this was that Sunil’s name was in the media and maybe it would prompt more folks to look for him. And hopefully find him.

His illness was just that. An illness. No reflection on anything or anyone. We are complicated beings. Made up of amazingly intricate bits and pieces. Instead of being shocked when humans don’t work like they should I think we should be absolutely flabbergasted when things actually do work properly.

I am quite certain that Sunil knows the great lengths his loved ones went to find him. Everyone should have the blessing of such a family. Everyone should have someone looking for them. And everyone should be found.

Rest In Peace, Sunil. May the beautiful memories of you comfort your family now.

Note: The beautiful photo above is one of many messages from around the world meant to encourage and welcome Sunil home. This particular one was by a relative of mine. Mairead’s use of this color blue was striking and soothing at the same time.     

Old blog posting below about depression and reaching out for help.

Read Full Post »

Too Soon

Rory called me from college last night. I could hear that she was upset and crying. A terrible thing to hear over the phone. You just don’t know what to expect.

She told me that a student had committed suicide by jumping from the sixth floor window of the dormitory next door.

Lord, have mercy.

I can’t imagine the desperation the poor boy was feeling that led him to die in such a painful, horrific manner. I cannot imagine the shock and trauma of those students who were the final witnesses. Nor can I imagine everything else that follows such a tragedy. I cannot begin to imagine the pain of his family.

It’s Finals Week at the school and there’s a lot of pressure. Rory said she wondered if that had anything to do with it.

I told her that I hoped not. A final exam is just a grade. And not indicative of who you are or of any future success. You just do your best.

That’s what I always tell my kids. Not to soften them up and make them any less competitive. But to make them realize you can only do your best. And your best is good enough. Always.

I really hope that it wasn’t pressure from his studies. But if that wasn’t the reason then it was something else that caused the young man to take his own life. For some reason he felt like he couldn’t go on living. And that breaks my heart into little pieces. As a parent and as a person.

I believe that there is no good reason for people to leave this earth before their time. But I also know that people struggle with deep depression and life seems insurmountable. They can’t see all the wonderful things.

There is always help out there. Even in the darkest hours. Some folks rely on their faith to get them through the tough times. Others lean on their fellow human beings.

But the important thing to remember is that there are many folks out there that want to help. There is help. It could be medicine. It could be friendship. It could be support. No one has to be alone in their despair.

No one should leave before their time. When it happens survivors are permanently wrecked and bereft. Mourning the loss of the future. The contributions, talents, friendship, love, and companionship that no longer exist.

If life seems insurmountable and wonderful things are nowhere to be seen then it’s time to reach out for assistance. And if reaching out is too difficult then just grab the hand that is extended. And keep grabbing. And then grab some more.


In memory of my Auntie Maureen who died soon after her twenty fifth birthday. She was a nurse, intelligent, loving, had a gift for languages and a wonderful sense of humor. 

Read Full Post »