I got a call the other morning from a woman that I “rarely” talk to. She was “emotional, frantic, and highly upset.” She was borderline screaming and obviously she had been through something “extremely traumatic.” She informed me that her daughter, who was severely depressed, had just “committed suicide…” When I am really tired I am not at my best with my thought process, but I could tell from the sound of her voice that she was at a very “dangerous state.” I did have enough awareness to let her “speak and vent first.” From the way she was going, I doubted I was going to get a word in anyway (nor did I even try to interrupt her while she spoke). She went through a “slew” of emotions in a relatively short period of time, and while she was venting I was trying to figure out what I could possibly “say” to her to bring her back. When it comes to a situation like this, what can you “really” tell someone? Are there any “appropriate words” what should be used? I had to think fast even though I was extremely tired. Finally, when I got the chance to speak, I asked her some questions in a very “calm” manner. I did not want to ask her “any” details of ‘how” it happened, because I did not want to make her “re-live” any of this event all over again. However, I did ask her just “how close” she was with her daughter. At that point she said that they did just about everything together. She also said that she “knew” her daughter was depressed but didn’t think that it was “this bad.” I told her that if her daughter could speak now, would she blame you for the path she took? She replied “No, she wouldn’t blame me at all.” I then told her at that point that if that was the case then you “don’t need” to blame yourself. I then asked her if her daughter would want her to feel as desperate and frantic as she was. She replied “No” to this question as well. I then informed her that if she truly loved you, then she would NOT want you to follow in the same footsteps as her. I also informed her that “if she truly loved her daughter then the best way to live out the rest of your life is in MEMORY of her.” You see, this woman sounded “suicidal” herself while on the phone, and for those of you who have every dealt with someone like that, it is very “tough” to reach through to him or her. I let her know that “trying to erase it from your mind will never work” but trying to utilize what happened to bring about any type of positive change “would.” You see, just like this poor unfortunate girl, there are “many more” on this planet that are feeling the same way right now. They are “giving up the will to live, because at every turn of their lives they are getting blocked from making any progress. Nothing I could tell her would be able to bring her daughter back, and nothing I could say would make her feel any less unhappy. I was willing to settle for “calm,” so while I couldn’t get her to settle down for the sake of herself, I tried to get her to do so for the sake of her “daughter.” I let her know that if the “memory of your daughter means “anything” to you, then it would be imperative to live out your life as your daughter would have wanted you to.” After I said that, I got a fairly “long silence….” She then said in a very soft tone, “You’re right…” Somehow I managed to get someone in a highly traumatized state of mind to calm down. I cannot guarantee how long that will last, but I “did” tell her that “whenever” she needs to talk to me, make sure and do so… “ESPECIALLY” before contemplating “anything drastic.” She said she would and she thanked me. She said that she had a lot of people that she could have called, but she needed to speak to me first. Since we “rarely” talk to each other, I was surprised to hear her say that, but as long as we “ended” the conversation in a better state than how it was started then I could live with that. For the record, I do NOT feel as though I “rescued anybody.” Truth be told she could have gone an jumped off a cliff right after I talked to her. However, I did manage to feel good about her disposition when we finished our conversation. I have no idea of how it feels to lose a child and I hope I “never” find out. One day you may encounter someone going through similar circumstances. If they called you for help, would you know what to say? “Nothing in life is guaranteed and no one lives forever…” I just hope that she can pick up the pieces of what she has left… and continue to strive forward… Thank you for listening today, and as always, I wish the absolute best that life has to offer you today. Have a blessed one.
Brett Jolly and Robin Roberts