It has been a long weekend. I guess getting through that 4 week mark was hard for me.

This morning the thought of being at church, hearing the worship and seeing people, was overwhelming to me. I just couldn’t do it.

Thankfully Dominic understood and took the kids on his own. I don’t feel like I was isolating as much as maybe I was practicing a little self care in the best way I could. I just couldn’t handle sobbing through another worship set….music seems to do that to me now.

I spent the majority of the afternoon and into the evening working on more thank-you’s. I am getting close…not quite there, but made some much needed headway again.

I am a words of affirmation person. When I turned 40, Gindi contacted several people in our friend circle and my family and encouraged them to send me cards for my birthday. She wanted me to be showered with my love language. It was so wonderful.

Never have I wished though that my mailbox would be empty….while I am incredibly humbled and blessed by each and every card I am just so sad that they have to come because of this.

Each card that I read has been filled with such sincere expressions of sympathy. We have received cards from people we don’t know even. People who understand our type of loss who want to send encouragement, people who want to remind us we are not alone. Hundreds of cards. I can’t believe it really.

A friend sent me a link to a news story about this study done years ago. Where this man started sending letters to patients that had recently left the hospital after suicide attempts. The idea was simple really…the patients that received the letters of encouragement generally felt less lonely, they had less relapse than the patients that didn’t receive the letters. An interesting idea isn’t it?

Our words matter and more than ever I am convinced that we can and should use them for good. When someone has come to my mind these last few weeks, instead of just either praying for them or brushing it off, because let’s be real we all get busy and it happens…I am sending them a message.

What if we all did that? Not just to people that are suffering the hard, but to anyone that comes to mind. Maybe someone who is suffering in silence and we just don’t know. Maybe someone who needs to be reminded that they matter and they are not alone.

But there is another side to this too…

Something I think Isaac struggled with, we all do I believe, and that is being real with how we are doing. I think it is important to have “safe” people to share those things with….I am grateful that I have several people that I can say just about anything to and they don’t judge me. I can be honest with how I am really doing. We all need people like that in our lives.

We are a “I’m fine” society. We want people to think we are fine and also I think we often are uncomfortable if someone isn’t “fine.” We don’t really know what to do with the “I am not ok” responses.

But if we want to see the overwhelmingly large number of suicides that happen each year decrease….something needs to change. And maybe a part of that is getting comfortable with people who are hurting or angry and struggling and loving them through it. Being an encouragement and a light, asking the hard questions and not being afraid of hard responses.

I don’t have all the answers….I am certainly not equipped in this area. Suicide prevention was never on my radar. But it isn’t ok, I don’t want another family to walk this path. It is way too painful. So what can I do to change that? Something, anything……I guess it must start with me.