By Sandy Kirby Quandt
This morning I listened to a CD I haven’t listened to for some time…James Taylor’s Greatest Hits. The songs brought back t-o-o-o-ns of memories. Some good. Some not so good.
Hearing “Fire and Rain” again took me back to the Valentine’s Day after my 19th birthday, when I attended the funeral of a friend while another friend played Taylor’s song on his guitar. I still remember the navy blue dress I wore.
What do you say to the parents of a teen who was driving too fast, too drunk, on black ice that was too slick?
Thinking of Vaughn’s funeral reminded me of the beginning of my senior year in high school when a friend told me Karen had been in a car accident on the way home from the Homecoming dance. Her boyfriend was going too fast, was too drunk, and Karen was decapitated when she flew through the windshield of the car.
My mind wandered further and stopped for a moment on Bruce.
On the way to English the week before graduation, I learned my friend had drowned in the Potomac River while skipping school. I’d skipped during Senior Week and gone to Great Falls, too. But not with Bruce.
Before leaving these very sad memories, I thought of Greg.
Greg called a couple weeks after his 30th birthday to chat. While we talked, he told me he thought his best friend was a donkey’s behind for what he’d done. I agreed. During the conversation Greg said something strange…he told me about a story he’d thought of, and said he was giving it to me to write.
To this day, that story remains in my mind alone, but I should have paid closer attention to what Greg was really saying when he told it to me.
At the offer of the story, my Spidey-sense went off and the hair on my arm prickled.
Still, I didn’t ask the questions I should have asked. I didn’t take the conversation in the direction I should have taken it. Maybe if I had, Greg’s wife wouldn’t have become a young widow two days later when Greg placed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
And that, my friends, is the reason for this post.
SAVE Suicide Awareness Violence Education says:
- Suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans every year.
- Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65.
- Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.
- For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
- Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.
- 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year.
Among the information The Center for Disease Control has on their website regarding the signs, risk, and prevention measures for suicide, they state suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (homicide is 16th).
While Jesus is a friend to all of us, and is available all hours everyday to listen and to help, sometimes it’s up to those of us wandering this earth to let people know they’ve got a friend in us, as well. Someone with skin on them. For those of us needing a friend, we need to speak up, reach out, grab hold of those friends.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide…contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.
Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Proverbs 3:27 (GNT)
I wish you well.
Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!
Yes…I noticed the typos in this video. Grace.