"NOT 13... JUST ONE REASON WHY!"
For the third time this week, and the week isn't over yet, I heard of a suicide. It began with a dear Bandhu, who messaged us in agonizing pain that another dear friend and classmate had ended his life; then we saw a stunned, shocked Facebook post of a person we work with, about his college buddy having ended his life at the age of 23 ? 😳and today, the shocking news of Linking Park's lead singer, Chester Bennington who committed Suicide.
Why? Troubled lives? Drug and Alcohol abuse ? Relationship issues ? Does it really matter ? Do we really care ? Much as we try to find reason and logic behind the act of someone who takes their own life, we will never ever know. What is possibly really important to understand or comprehend is the amount of despondency they must have felt, the moment of realization that they were devoid of any sliver of hope, that sheer nakedness of their inner loneliness and how vulnerable to hurt they must have been that they chose "Death". I do not write as a mental health expert, neither am I a therapist, I merely am another human being who was moved to tears, when I saw this beautiful rendition ( Linking Park - One More Light ) of Bennington, that was rendered as a tribute to a close friend of his, Chris Cornell who ended his life in May of this year. Ironically, Bennington died on Cornell's birthday. Could it be that he felt so desolate and alone that his best friend also had chosen to die ? What about the others who were in so much sadness that it hurt - will we ever know why ? But then, you ask, "doesn't everyone go through situations when everything seems to go awry ?" We would never know, would we ? There are so many of us who put on brave faces, don charming smiles, and hide our pain behind a gregarious armor. Our Mahima ji, herself, never once let on to the outside world, the amount of physical pain she was in, she smiled through every crack she felt as her degenerated bones scraped against each other as she attempted to walk; as she went from being an accomplished dancer, a beautiful actress known for her grace and elegance, to not being able to even stand up to dress herself, let alone walk. She braved on, fought for as long as she could, believed and professed that "happiness is a choice", channeling her warrior spirit and kept on until her physical form gave up eventually. Why do I go back to talking about her, when this post began with the morbid news of suicides? It is to emphasize how we never know someone or what they must be undergoing, from external appearances, from superficial pleasantries, or even regular interactions.
So many of us say and do things that are hurtful, disrespectful and mean to satiate our own egos, yet, seldom do we open our hearts with empathy to be able to pick up on someone else's energy- be it despair, hurt, pain or loneliness. We stand in judgement of those who end their misery, by calling their "suicide" an act of cowardice, possibly shed a tear or two, write a wonderful eulogy about how wonderful a person they were, never once having expressed it in person when they were alive. Perhaps, just perhaps, if we had, they might just have found that one reason why to keep on keeping on, and not left everything behind, outlining reasons to die, like Hannah in 13 reasons why !
To anyone who might be feeling alone, or despondent, hopeless or broken, or feeling so insignificant that you ask.... "who cares if one more light goes out ......in a sky of a million stars ..." - I have this to say, as Bennington sang .... "well I do !" You are NOT alone ! Don't give up ! I am here for you ! We may be strangers to each other, but weren't we all strangers to each other when we entered this world ? Reach up and reach out - This too shall pass !