Remembering, on her birthday

Thirty years ago today, just a few months before my own 15th birthday, Stacey turned 15. I would meet her for the first time a few weeks later and there are parts of the months that followed that are still quite vivid in my mind as I type this. Her loss, not long after she turned 17, was shocking and painful.

Of course, suicide has been in the news quite a bit lately and, when it is, it's hard not to revisit the past. The world that existed in 1988 seems, in my mind, to be so much smaller without the internet in our pockets. For example, the act of leaving the house meant you were completely disconnected for a while. There was no phone to ring in the car and no email or iMessage or tweet that had to be answered over lunch.

Loss, however, has not changed. I feel for the families, especially the children, of those left behind by suicide, high-profile or not. A lot of feelings will come up for them in the years to come such as anger, sadness, the idea of not being "enough" to keep someone here and so much more.

Aside from the guilt of what we think we missed, those left behind also live in fear of it happening again so we typically overreact when people we care about are upset or angry or even just too quiet. This can cause a whole new set of problems.

After all this time, I mostly find the balance in this but it is tough and some days the balance is just not there. The worry takes over and it is hard to convince myself that this act is the exception and not the rule.

In the years since, other people I have known have taken their lives. It's always hard for me to understand and all of the emotions from so long ago play back as if they just happened.

I share this because the best way I feel that I can honor Stacey today on what would have been her forty-fifth birthday is to share the information below in the extremely low likelihood that someone in need might accidentally come by here one day in the future and click one of these links or dial the number and make one of the toughest yet best decisions they can ever make - ask for help.