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Written by: Lynn Wallich
Date: November 24, 2015

A Walk in the Woods.

A Walk in the Woods. Photo: Linda Owen/Flickr

Recently, the local newspaper ran a series of articles focusing on suicide and symptomatic behavior to be aware of when faced with a friend or relative having problems.  Having read most of these articles, it became clear that regardless of the symptoms, if someone has a wish to end their life, it will be done.

Needless to say, the week’s reading list has been very depressing and heart rendering.  It is also important to note that many of the suicides discussed in the articles have focused on young people, inclusive of those in their fifties. Originally, this blog was to be light with an emphasis on fun and holidays, however, the faces of those who took their life after cracking jokes with friends weighed heavily on this message.

Holidays are approaching and with holidays comes stress.  Clearly, each person who took their life felt that it was too much to go on living and that they or the world would be better off without them.  Stress in one’s life can become unbearable.  With the holidays comes high expectations and low cash flow.  Party life is high and substance control is low.  Family and friend visits are in abundance while the need for interaction is small.  People are quick to crack jokes but remain closed about feelings of depression and hopelessness.  While many people feel this is a time of year to be joyful there are those who find themselves adrift and alone.  So, how does one make a difference in the life of another?

Let us pay attention to people.  Let us slow down and spend less.  Go for walks.  Go to the zoo, visit the Humane Society and walk the dogs, visit people in a nursing home or senior center, lend a hand to a friend and/or neighbor.  Be thoughtful and genuine.  Make calls to people and check up on them.  Decorate a room.  Decorate a yard.  Decorate yourself.  Laugh a lot!  Be there for people.  Cook a meal.  Tell someone you love them and mean it.  Listen to what someone is saying and better yet, listen to what is left unsaid.  Watch for behavior changes.

People matter and they are worth time and attention.  While most of the holidays are spent rushing around and purchasing material items, take time to sit and visit.  Hug a friend and seek assistance when needed.  Know that everyone makes a difference in the lives of others.