The choice to stay.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I think you can possibly see that this isn’t going to be a light and fluffy post. Because sometimes things are too hard. Sometimes it is just all too heavy, and all too bleak, and all too hard, and all too much effort. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it, but sometimes the darkness has a bloody good try, and sometimes it all but succeeds. Sometimes those things that are supposed to keep you tethered to life just aren’t strong enough. They’re just not loud enough in your head, or large enough in your heart.

I wish I could say something profound. Something that people will read and be inspired by. Something that can bring light to those who can’t see any, and strength who can’t find any of their own. Something to stop someone stepping off the edge of the world, or into traffic. Something to stop someone standing calmly on the level crossing watching the train coming closer…

But I can’t. Anything I can say here would be trite. True, but trite. And meaningless when life’s that dark, that hopeless.

All I can say is this: I didn’t do those things. I wanted to. I came very close to it. But I didn’t. Because of what it would do to people I loved. Because I couldn’t bring myself to leave the world with more suffering than I found it. Because I didn’t want to miss out on singing Palestrina on the brightness of one Sunday morning. And now – I’m really, really glad I didn’t.


3 thoughts on “The choice to stay.

  1. I remember a survivor saying to me, ‘I just wanted the blackness to end.’ You would understand that. How amazing that the creative genius of someone who lived over 400 years ago reached across through the centuries and lit a candle of hope for you – fragile, flickering, faint – and the darkness did not extinguish it. You have been to the edge of the abyss and in walking away, you have walked towards a different hope-filled future, not yet fully realised.

  2. We’re really REALLY glad that you didn’t! I continue to bless Palestrina for giving you something to hang onto when there was nothing else.

  3. Thank you, both of you. All of you. And yes, I bless Palestrina. I wish I could write to him. I bless all those people who gave me something to hold onto, and who still are light and strength for me.

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