Yesterday was the eighth anniversary of my mother’s suicide.
Like many other people who lose loved ones in their lives, I am always keenly aware of the anniversary date as it arrives. I’m also aware of other dates – like her birthday and favorite holiday(s) – as they come up, but the death anniversary is probably the most intense. It’s the anniversary of the day she made a choice that changed her life – and the lives of all the people who loved and care about her – forever.
My mom struggled with believing that she mattered. She was convinced that people would leave her. She was convinced that nobody really cared whether she lived or died. She was convinced people would forget about her. And she was convinced that everyone would be “better off” if she was no longer here.
Those were all lies, of course, but Mom couldn’t see that. She couldn’t see past her pain, the confusion that ruled her life and the constant pendulum swing oh highs and lows that the bipolar disorder she suffered with wreaked on her mind.
Yesterday, I posted the words below on social media.
“Who told you life wasn’t worth the fight? They were wrong. They lied.”
Every year I think I won’t post anything about you, that I won’t broadcast what’s actually on my mind and heart this day each year. People don’t have to know. They don’t have to be reminded. People don’t even necessarily care. Not because they’re heartless or aren’t interested in my life or yours, but because life goes on.
And that’s a good thing.
But every year, I end up posting about you anyway because I can’t bear to think that people won’t remember you. They’ll forget (or maybe never know) that you sang, laughed, danced, breathed.
They’ll forget that you lived.
Or, even worse, I’ll forget.
So, I post. I share.
Because your life mattered. It mattered then. It matters now.
And it will matter tomorrow and every day after.
Eight years in Heaven.
Forever in our hearts.
These words aren’t only true for my mother. They are true for everyone.
Your life matters.
You are seen. You are heard. And you are deeply loved. Not only by the friends and family in your life, but also – even moreso! – by your Heavenly Father.
Whether you believe it or not doesn’t change that fact.
Your belief does change, however, how you feel about yourself and your life. And, for that reason, I pray that if you struggle to believe it, you’ll reach out to someone to talk about it. Reach out to a friend, a counselor, your pastor, a stranger, it doesn’t really matter who. So long as you feel comfortable with and they will listen. I also pray that the Lord will begin to replace the lie(s) with truth in your mind and heart.