Some time ago good friends of ours lost their son through suicide. I am still shocked and think about it now and then. He was a handsome and intelligent young man who seemingly had everything to live for. Yet, he was walking through a dark tunnel from which he never emerged.
Life is a matter of going through periods of darkness when it seems that circumstances will overwhelm us. Usually, we emerge from the darkness and we breathe the cold fresh air while our eyes adjust to the bright sunlight. We feel free of the constraints that once burdened us and we are enthralled with a new beginning. But, when our eyes adjust to the light and our lungs are chilled by the cold world around us, we sometimes look ahead in fear of the next dark tunnel. Life is not always bliss. There are trials and troubles that lurk behind turns on the road we travel. Don’t walk that road alone.
As we age, we realize that this is the reality of life. There will be personal struggles, monetary struggles, struggles in relationships, struggles with health and struggles within our own minds. For too many of our youth, they quit without struggling through the issue. Two of my friends from my youth committed suicide. I often wonder what I could have done to help. Perhaps my friendship was not enough. I think we need to have honest conversations within our families and among our friends. It is okay to walk through the dark tunnel and we should not be embarrassed to tell others. We’ve all been there before. In our individualistic society guys are pressured to be tough and weaknesses are suppressed. It’s all kept inside until it explodes. In the most extreme cases the explosion may involve killing others. In many other instances, suicide is the answer. I think there is a better answer. The answer involves creating a more intimate community where we are transparent with our struggles and weaknesses and where caring people come alongside the people who are hurting and struggling in the dark.