This morning I saw a poem that has triggered me to write this post.
I will share it below but I will put some context around why I am sharing it first.
Some of our Inspiring Women members meet monthly for a Mini Meet.
This is where we casually catch up, shoot the breeze and talk about issues on our minds.
Sadly the topic of suicide has come up a few times now.
Even though we live in an area known for its beauty, the dark secret here is the amount of suicides that happen on the Northern Beaches.
These are not reported on in the media understandably because of the fear of copycats etc. However each time there is suicide, a ripple goes through the community, another set of family and friends is affected, another set of dreams goes out.
Another group of people ask why did this happen?
The number per year is horrifying.
The devastation left behind is enormous.
But none of this is ever discussed openly.
We know in the business community we know because of the industries we are in… mental health, counselling, funeral ceremonies, wakes, solicitors etc.
We see more than we want to know.
We know more than we want to know.
We are getting frustrated that another person has managed to pretend that everything is ok when it is not.
Monday morning’s discussion began due to the “sudden death” of a local business woman. Someone who was well connected, admired and looked like they “had it all”.
This woman has left behind her young children, a devastated husband and a business community and a circle of friends in shock.
The reasons why suicide happens is never going to be one quick, easy answer. The RUOK movement is a start but there are too many slipping through the cracks.
The pressures of fitting in, bullying, getting everything done, financial pressures of living in this area, dealing with children, older parents, looking perfect, being a certain clothing size, being the breadwinner,being judged or judgemental, dealing with disabilities, mental health of others or ourselves, the list of reasons is endless.
The pressures keeps mounting.
I recently became the ambassador for Lifeline’s Way2Wellness program for the Northern side of Sydney.
This free service of for those of us who are starting to feel the overwhelm.
You may not feel everything is right, work may be becoming a stressful situation, life may be just getting hard. A phone call and some online tools could be just what you need to gather your thoughts and remind yourself that you matter.
The reason to become an ambassador was an easy decision for me, I hear over & over again how many are struggling behind the scenes. The pressure keeps mounting.
We all get a sense of overwhelm from time to time and my wish is that it is not something to hide but to talk about openly as we ALL get to that stage from time to time.
For many people just being reminded that we all go through it, is enough to put it back into perspective. For others their crisis means they need professional help.
It is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength to ask for help.
Occasionally you need a nudge to remind yourself to do some self-care!
We all are so busy so we can easily forget to check in on those around us.
Easy enough to do, but sometimes we need a kick to pick up that phone and check in.
Why the phone?
It’s too easy to hide behind a keyboard. You never really know from a social media post what is true and what is not. A voice is something tangible, you know when asking questions if you feel they are ok or not or just bluffing.
So what started this post in the first place?
A wonderful poem. A reminder to put it into perspective.
On the day I die a lot will happen.
A lot will change.
The world will be busy.
On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.
The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.
All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.
The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.
The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.
All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.
My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.
Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.
My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.
The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.
All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.
The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.
These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.
Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen.
On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.
They will feel a void.
They will feel cheated.
They will not feel ready.
They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.
And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.
I know this from those I love and grieve over.
And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.
I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.
Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.
They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.
Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.
It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.
Don’t let your life be stolen every day, by all that you’ve been led to believe matters, because on the day you die—the fact is that much of it simply won’t.
Yes, you and I will die one day.
But before that day comes: let us live.