Suicide In My Town

"Red Cardinal" sitting on a tree branch

Red Cardinal sitting on a tree branch

Before turning the computer off for the night last night, I checked my emails and here was the last mail of the day:

March 29 at 11:34pm
Hi, Esmeralda. I’m not sure if you’ve already heard about this tragedy or not, but I thought you should know about it in case you want to reach out to this young man’s family at some point. It happened so close to home. 😦

Your strength continues to inspire me. Please send my regards to the family!


The email was from one of my daughter’s friends. I clicked on the link and saw that this had indeed had happened close to home. I read the details… I was stunned by my reaction.

I was shocked – I am always shocked and distressed when I am informed of a suicide. Indeed, people do “inform” me, they want to make sure I am aware of a suicide or of an attempted suicide or of someone seemingly vulnerable to suicide.

I am always available and “happy” to do what I can, if I can.

I was saddened – I am always sad, I am devastated, I know the horror, the terror, the panic, the pain, the scouring of the brain, please stop the world someone… but the world doesn’t stop and neither can the survivors, by hook or by crook they have to find a way of facing the sun rise on their sorrow every day.

I know all that, I’ve lived it, there are times when it is better, even MUCH better, but I still live it.

What stunned me last night though, was how even in the face of a tragedy that I know only too well, a tragedy that squeezed my insides as though they were wet rags… yet it was not my personal tragedy. I closed the computer and went to bed. I didn’t sleep very well mind you, but I went to bed.

That’s how it was, I thought, for many people, when Andrew died, at the end of the day they went of bed, it was my family’s tragedy.

A beautiful red cardinal has been sitting on a tree branch outside my window.

“What’s your name?” I ask him. “What news do you have?”

He chirps, he hops from leg to leg, he looks at me for a while, then flies away.

John was twenty-four years old. His funeral will be tomorrow.
The only thing I can offer John Kelly’s grieving family are my heartfelt prayers for strength and courage.

And you John, dear, dear child, rest now, rest.

With love,

Esmeralda, Andrew’s Mummy


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