Eleven days ago I stood at my brother in laws wedding. His wife came up to me and pointed out a young man who could not have be any older than mid twenties. She asked me if I thought he was gay. The young man being pointed out was her brother, a quiet introverted soul that her family have wondered about for some time. I looked at that young man, told her that only he could tell her, and then went back to my wife and son.
Today she is on her honeymoon; yet she will receive a phone call telling her that the man she pointed out, the man she called brother, has taken his own life.
A family that came together in celebration such a short while ago will have to merge again in the same month to mourn.
My wife called me in tears, she was informed by her mother, who in turn had received a phone call from her new daughter-in law’s distraught mother. She never knew the lad but the event has shaken her, made her fearful and all too aware of the fragility of life. She is terrified of losing me or our son, becoming a parent means that now your greatest fear is outliving your child.
Life is a fragile thing, but that’s why it should be lived to its fullest. If we let fear rule us then we are not truly living. To live we must accept ourselves, but to live well we must accept those around us. By accepting others we show them love, and love makes the difference between existing and living.
To qute a very wise woman: ‘Without love we are not truly living. Nobody in this world wants to feel alone. Nobody wants to feel that they can’t be themselves. We are all the best versions of ourselves when we have love and acceptance in our lives.’
We may never know why he took his life. He was clearly a troubled soul that felt he had no other recourse left to him and it makes my heart ache with sadness to know that he felt so alone.
The world is not a perfect place; there is injustice and cruelty, people hide their ignorance and bigotry behind faith and ‘traditional values’, and many hate others just because of the shade of their skin but we CAN make it better.
Look at the people you care about, your friends and family. Do they know you love and accept them? Do they know or do you just assume they know? Answer honestly. If the answer is a maybe or less then tell them. You never know what fears a person may harbor about themselves, fears that can be made smaller by knowing they have love. Love for the person they ARE, not the person they think you want them to be.
If you have kids, go kiss them. Give them a hug and tell them you are proud of them. Hug them frequently and tell them you love them often. Never let them doubt how much they are loved for being themselves for even a second. Children don’t ask to be brought into this world, that’s our choice. Its therefore our responsibility and duty to spend every day thereafter supporting them.
Love is unconditional, love is love.