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Posts tagged ‘suicide’

Embrace Support Systems


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Stand by your man

The woman’s husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day, when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, “My dearest, you have been with me all through the bad times. When I was laid off, you were there to support me. When my business failed, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you stayed right here. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. You know what?”

“What dear?,” she gently asked, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.

“I think you’re bad luck.”

OK, LAUGH!! But, no, don’t take that seriously!
Our spouses are such an important part of our support system!

But not all are blessed with a supportive spouse.
Some live alone;
some live in turmoil at home;
and some just feel abandoned.
Some just need a hand…


In “Mornings with Jesus,” my daily devotional today,
the scripture featured was

Isaiah 49:15-16

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands…”

The nail prints engraved on Jesus’s hands remind us that He died in our place.
We can be sure He will never forget us, even if everyone else on earth does.


Have you ever felt abandoned by everyone else –
left with nowhere to turn,
looking for solace
and finding it only in your faith?

I haven’t!


But I have friends and family who have experienced those emotions.
And some of them don’t know how to turn to their faith, either.
I had a niece who felt that way –
and she committed suicide!
So this topic of emotional support systems is very dear to me!


In the case of my niece,
she isolated herself from family and friends.
She suffered in silence.
She left the rest of us wondering where we went wrong.
How could we not have picked up
the stress signals that let us know
the depth of her despair?
But we didn’t…

Don’t be deceived by outward appearances!
Look deep inside.
Be the friend in whom your family and neighbors
can confide by asking questions and showing concern!

Yesterday I shared about the grief of losing a friend – – – an ATV buddy who died while we were on our trip. And I shared the difficulty of our news about my husband, Bob’s, health issues. The outpouring of love and support from friends on Facebook and blogging buddies here was heartwarming. I thank you for embracing my grief and sharing my hope and faith in good test results and clear diagnosis and effective treatments. Your emotional support is so appreciated!

This week is full of labs and scans, biopsies and various exams.
In the midst of it all, I draw strength from my faith.
I know God is with me and Bob.
I know He is in control.
I believe He works for our good.
And I feel your love and encouragement.
Thank you for being a part of my support system!
I appreciate you!

None of you shared yesterday
if there is a way I can pray for you…
a specific need you have.
Let me know, okay?
And thank you for keeping Bob & me
in your prayers as we take this one day at a time.

God Bless You!

Love,
JanBeek


Embrace Connections


https://smarturl.it/ThanksForTheDance

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness

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Did you click the link?
The link was “Thanks for the Dance”
From Leonard Cohen.

If you didn’t hear –
Didn’t see the video,
Go up and do it!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

EMBRACE CONNECTIONS
Look into another’s heart
See the hidden pain

Learn to disagree
Learn to listen with your heart
Show your compassion

Connections can save
The loneliest from despair
Suicide is real

Express your concern
Let your compassion embrace
Those in depression

Depression is real
Too often it is hidden
Inside solitude

Leonard Cohen’s poem
Hit me right between the eyes
Took me to my niece

‘Twas nineteen years old
When her life appeared hopeless
Jumped Golden Gate Bridge

Photo by Mohamed Almari on Pexels.com

‘Twas two weeks later
When her decomposed body
Washed its way ashore

Only dental charts
Helped to identify her
Memories are raw

Never imagined
Her pain was so very deep
Didn’t see the signs

So much is known now
Nearly forty years ago
We just weren’t aware

Today it’s rampant
Especially Montana
Third in the nation

Growing suicides
It’s not a good statistic
Something must be done


These are images from Leonard Cohen’s impactful video. (Haven’t watched it yet? Go back up to that link. Take five minutes and then come on back.) The poetry and his raspy, musical voice will touch your heart. You’ll carry it with you.

You’ll ask yourself, “What Happens to the Heart?” and you will want to be more aware, more compassionate, more helpful. You’ll look in your friend’s eyes. You’ll study your loved one’s face. You’ll ask questions. You’ll care. And you’ll want to know WHAT CAN I DO? When you see sadness, despair, loneliness, you’ll want to help. How??

There are visible
Ways we can show how we care
Check out resources

Reach out to others
Make meaningful connections
Share your thoughtfulness


Embrace Connections
They can make the difference
YOU are important!

Thanks for dropping by JanBeek

Sending you love and hugs
Stay Connected!!
See ya tomorrow


Everyone Needs Help Sometimes


This is the end of National Suicide Prevention Week,
But it is not the end of our need to reach out and help.

Everyone needs a little help sometimes –
And some of us need more help more often than others.

So print this chart of help providers
And have it ready to give to a friend in need.

We are told that the best help we can give
Is just to be there, to care, to listen.

No one should be left to feel unloved, unnecessary,
Unwanted, unappreciated. Every life matters!

You matter. I matter.
Don’t doubt it for a moment!

See ya later.

Easter Sadness


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I have heard holidays are sad times for some people. There are more suicides near the various holidays each year than at other times of the year. Have you heard that? Have you ever related to such sadness? I’m not THAT sad, but this was not a typical Happy Easter day.

I grew up in a typical American family in the center of California. At least I thought we were typical. Since then I have begun to question what is “normal” – is there such a thing as “typical”? In my world, I Love Lucy and Bugs Bunny made me laugh, Sundays were church and family time, gatherings at our house or at relatives’ homes were the norm for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, when I found myself in a funk this year as Easter approached and no family was coming to gather, I should not have been surprised, right? Wrong! I was caught off guard! Where is the laughing, carefree Bugs Bunny when you need him?

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Our church hosted a potluck after church today –  Easter Sunday; designed just for folks like Bob and me whose family is a thousand or more miles away. Ham would be provided. Last night I created my favorite comfort food for the occasion- scalloped potatoes Andre’ style. I put them in the garage refrigerator for safe-keeping. I spent an hour this morning up in my sanctuary, as usual, in prayer and Bible Study, in meditation as I listened to the robins singing outside the the window. “He is risen indeed!” Shake it off, Jan! ReJOYce! It’s Easter!! Pick up your music. Pick up your Easter lily. Pick up your spirits. Get to your house of worship!

We arrived at church 45 minutes early to practice with the choir. Surely potatoes au gratin and “Up From the Grave He Arose” would lift my sagging spirits. Oh no! I forgot the potatoes where I had safely stored them in the garage refrigerator last night! A dear friend, Susan, who arrived early to work on the potluck volunteered to drive back to our house to get them. Only five minutes away, thank God! Christian friend to the rescue! God bless her. She put them in the church oven and returned to her seat in the pew just as the service started.

I perused the church bulletin. The songs were not “He Lives!” or “Hallelujah, He is Risen.” Instead, “Low in the Grave He Lay” and “In His Time” with a sermon topic, “Failure.” What? Here I am feeling low, missing family, beating myself up for forgetting to bring the potatoes, and the sermon topic is about FAILURE? I drew a sad face next to it! I was not prepared for a downer message from the pulpit! But then as the service began, we all sang, “He Has Made Me Glad!” and the choir sang, “In Christ Alone/Solid Rock.” My spirits were lifting and I paid particular attention to the words of the next song, “Hymn of Promise,” by Natalie Sleethe. The second verse especially spoke to me:

   “There’s a song in every silence, speaking word and melody;
   There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
   From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery,
   Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

What a wonderful segue into the sermon. Listen carefully, Jan. Take your sermon notes in poetry – as you usually do – and see what “Failure,” as spoken by Reverend Jean Johnson, says to you:

Silence is in Failure.
Shouts in Victory.
Resilience lies in Failure –
Lessons there for you and me.

Moral Victory or Losing?
Which lesson do you see?
Is the score the truest measure
Of a win for you and me?

Defeat: Success is gone.
Rationalization: Better now.
Reality: Acknowledgement –
There’s a future – somehow!

Failure feels miserable.
Hope seems surely gone.
But the loss is temporary.
New beginnings greet the dawn.

God doesn’t call it quits.
He fills our loss with LOVE.
His peace is ours eternal;
Ours is Victory from above.

Christ defeated death and darkness.
Shouts of VICTORY ring ever true.
His resurrection is our promise.
Hope rings eternal for me and you.

Amen? Amen!

I drew a cross next to that sad face – and on the other side of the cross, a happy face.

No need to stay in a funk! Listen to the last verse of Natalie Seethe’s “Hymn of Promise.”

“In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity:
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity.
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

Thank You, God. Thank You for Jesus… for His life, His death, and His resurrection. Thank You for the promise of Eternity. Thank you for helping me see You, the source of all life and hope, all joy and peace, all compassion and justice – alive and victorious this day and always. May my life be a witness to the new life You offer. You are new every morning. So am I! Happy Easter!

happy-easter-religious-cross-banner

Reaching Out


Loving one another requires reaching out. That seems pretty obvious, but it really hit home with me when my niece jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge at age 19. That was more than two decades ago, but it is a lesson I carry in my heart every day. Suicide is such a sad way to leave this earth. It leaves behind so many unanswered questions. It leaves behind so many broken hearts and guilty consciences. The sadness never leaves those of us who loved the victim. The sadness never stops making us wonder what we might have done. The sadness brings with it a sense of helplessness. We can’t go back and redo what was left undone or say now what was left unsaid then. Sometimes the sadness lessens as we put the suicide behind us and look out toward the fair future. The gloomy skies of glaring grace-gaps can be filled with the sunny skies of serenity only if we allow the retrospective regrets to turn into current compassion. The reasons for my niece’s suicide can be speculated, but never resolved, never fixed in her brief lifetime. All I can do now is use the heartbreak of her despair to drive my compassion to new heights. Who needs my smile today? Who needs a sincere hug or a friendly phone call? How can I help dissipate someone’s loneliness? Reaching out via the internet – blogging, e-mailing, posting photos – can go just so far. But a touch goes so much farther. I’m shutting off this computer for the rest of today. I’m headed out to reach out. How about you?

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