The Strength of the Sunflowers

To my saddened town, my hurting friends, and those in the shadows,

Losing someone to suicide cuts deep. It’s a jagged knife through a soft heart, undeserving and overwhelming. I know you’re bleeding out.

Everything changes now. You count out too many plates at dinner and then you lose your appetite because who can eat after this? You hear the door handle twist open and you picture their face, tears well up in your eyes when it’s not them. Graduation comes, and all their friends put on their caps, they walk single file towards their future, a future without their friend.

The days turn into weeks the weeks turn into months and you get further and further from the last time you saw them.

But here’s what happens, you never forget them. Their voice will ring in your head in all the right moments. Their laugh will echo in your dreams. Their name will be on a street sign as you drive through a town you’ve never been to. Their life will go on, through yours.

Look for them, they’re always around. Their picture falls in the hall as you pass by. Their dream car pulls up beside you at the stoplight. The song they sang till their lungs filled with laughter comes on the radio as you drive by their little league field.

You’ll feel them when their spirit stops by, keep your eyes open let it hurt, change, and heal you. You won’t want to miss any of it. They’re not gone. They’ll never be gone. Not as long as they have you.

And to you, the one who’s feeling like it’s too hard, like this life isn’t worth the struggle.

It is.

They say it all the time, things won’t always be like this. It’s true. The anxiety you feel about the future is tricking you into thinking you won’t make it, you will. The fear you have about asking for help is tricking you into thinking nobody cares. We do. The hate you have for your life is tricking you into thinking it would be better to just give up. It won’t.

You need to have hope. I hope you find the strength to stay. Not for your parents, not for your friends, for you. The you that will rock someone’s world. The you that will grow up change and build a life. The you that will bring something valuable to the table. The you that will make someone’s heart feel whole. The you that won’t always feel this way.

I know you’ll find love that fills you from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. I know you’ll fall into friendships that will pump your heart with so much love, that it will feel like it’s bursting in your chest. I know you’ll be happy in a life you built from a struggle you survived.

I hope you can be someone for someone.

I hope you can hold steady through the storm.

I hope this life goes easy on you, and I hope when it doesn’t that you can find strength in the sunflowers.

All my love, S