Summertime 2016

The days are longer, the kids are out of school, baseball is in season, lemonade stands are in the neighborhoods, and families are enjoying what summer brings. This has been a summer of violence in many countries including ours. The violence pinpoints people of color and many others who are killed by extremist religious groups.

This summer has political views all over the news. Never before has their been so much political slander on candidates. I am sure this will continue until our next President is elected and who knows even beyond that. Our country is in a bad state of affairs. If you have recently lost a loved one by suicide perhaps the news isn’t anything you care about and I can understand that. Just getting up and getting through the day is hard enough. For some, it has been awhile since your loved one’s death and you are aware of the issues facing our nation.

When a loved one dies by suicide, we are often times wanting to point a finger at someone or something that caused their death. Perhaps, even the word suicide is hard to handle. Thinking that someone killed your loved one is easier than knowing he or she died at their own hand. They were their own judge and jury and condemned themselves to death. They didn’t need political activists to end their life. They fought their own battles and lost.

As a survivor you have a responsibility to your loved one as well as yourself. Do not condemn yourself to a life of bitterness and aloneness. People need each other and you will find that your life does have meaning. Perhaps, a different meaning than before and you may have to look for it. Don’t just exist but make your time on earth mean something. Do something to help others. Volunteer your time in some way. I certainly can’t tell you what to volunteer for but I can tell you volunteering has helped me. I realize that there are a great many people who cannot even leave their homes and to have someone come in and just read to them is a real treat. Working at a food bank and sorting items can be helpful. Volunteering time at your religious organization is another way of helping. There are so many organizations in need of volunteers and would welcome your presence. It does’t matter whether you give a day, a week, a month, or longer. What matters most is that you have taken the first step to reach out to someone else.

With the state of our country, it is necessary we help each other. There is always someone who is much worse off than you. Why not give this a try? I just bet you will feel better.