For those of you playing along at home, this is the 100th blog entry here at Millie and Mollie. We had a great (read “mojito assisted”) meeting of the minds last weekend and we’ve got some fun ideas for this site, so stay tuned – and thank you for reading us!
Lance and I went to a memorial service yesterday for a former co-worker of his. It was a heart-rending occasion, because this was not a time of happy reflection on a long, full life well-lived. This was a room full of people who were stunned and shocked because unknown to us this dear, kind, good man had been so full of pain that he saw no other course but to end his own life at the age of 43.
Most of us know someone who has died way too young, when it seems as though they have only half-lived their lives. We know people who have left new spouses behind, who have left young children, who have BEEN young children. There’s always a feeling of, “wait, come back! It was just getting GOOD!” In the case of suicide, there can be such a tremendous feeling of self-recrimination, of “if I’d been a better friend/ mother/ neighbor, he could have turned to me and maybe this could have been prevented.”
Well, probably not. We never know everything that’s in someone else’s mind or in their heart.
I do know one thing, though.
There was a slide-show playing during the service and it showed picture after picture after picture of the guest of honor as a young boy: riding his trike, fishing with his brother, playing with his cousins, eating ice cream, sleeping, singing, jumping exuberantly off a diving board. Whatever demons plagued the man, it was obvious that the boy had led a happy, secure and well-loved life. His mother and his father – and his uncles, aunts and the other adults he knew – had taken him to the park, to the beach, to the pool, camping, star-gazing, down the street for an ice cream cone. They had taken the time just to BE with him, and to let him just BE.
I hope his mother, sitting in the front row with her head bowed, can take some comfort from that. She loved him, and he knew it. He loved her, and she knew it. It didn’t matter anymore how old he’d been when he was toilet-trained, or whether he broke curfew on prom night, or what his GPA was in college, or whether he got the corner office with the window. She loved him.
And he knew it.
Let’s make sure OUR loved ones do.