Attending Paul Baker’s memorial service last December at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts, I had just come from the funeral of a dear friend’s husband, who had committed suicide. Yes, as you guessed, it was not a happy day and I was not cheery.
Upon arriving at the center, I ran into Yvonne Crum, who is always bubbly and happy. Surely, this encounter would change the bitter taste in my mouth/mind. Yvonne was with another couple of folks including Dallas Children’s Theater President Julie Hersh and did the civilized thing of introducing them to me. Instead of my being equally civilized and making acceptable small talk, I launched into a tirade on the selfish act of suicide. I started rambling on about its being a thoughtless act that leaves in its wake family and friends who are at a loss for what they could have done. After all, I know everything.
Despite my tsunami of words, I noticed that Yvonne was giving me a Charlie Brown “OMG smile” with eyes shifting to Julie. Reading her body language, I realized that something was amiss.
Before I went on with a final lunge about suicide, Yvonne diplomatically parried my non-stop thrusts noting that Julie was in the final stage of writing a book on suicide.
It was then that I learned that this bright, beautiful woman not only was writing on the subject but had attempted suicide three times.
Instead of shaming me into guilt, Julie gracefully guided us into an amazing discussion on the subject. Through this conversation it became apparent that suicide is a very misunderstood condition that may seem selfish to some, but to the one suffering from such extreme depression there is absolutely no other escape in their mind.
The reason for bringing up this encounter is that Julie’s book, Struck by Living: From Depression to Hope, is now published and has been written up in the Morning News today. Strongly suggest your reading it.
I, on the other hand, have written on the chalkboard 500 times, “I don’t know everything.”