Sunday, March 1, 2009

You Are Not Alone

In this big world of 6.76 billion people,* my dad taught me not to be dependent on anyone. (The population at that time was around 3.6 billion.**)

He also used to say, “Take care of your things, and they’ll last longer.” I’ve always taken that concept a step further: Take care of your friendships, and they’ll last longer. But it takes two.

Late last year I was diagnosed as having precancerous cells. The prospect of having the same type of cancer as my mother had, scared me.

Concurrently, I was ghostwriting a biography for a person I thought to be a friend and who had become my client. Less than one month after receiving my adverse-health news, my client-friend withdrew his friendship and, using registered, certified mail, “demanded” his advance money be returned to him. This unfortunate event was strange on two accounts: First, he said he sincerely liked and respected my work and intuition on his book; second, friends don’t dump friends when they’re down.

Fortunately, God has blessed me with the best friends on earth, on whom I can and do depend. All who knew about my condition rallied for and supported me through a short, but dark hour.

But what if I had few friends? What if all my friends were like the former client? Would I, in my distraught state, have taken my life quicker than cancer could have?

One of my former client’s “friends,” an energetic, handsome, perpetually smiling man, recently took his own life. His memorial celebration was attended by hundreds of prominent people.

Why would such an attractive personality draw death upon himself? Did he subtly reach out to one of his friends, who couldn’t hear him? Did he present a weaker side that a friend humorously brushed off? Or, as with many men, did he feel he couldn’t ask for help?

We’ll never know.

But I will be a better friend and listen with my heart, because I want my friends to live full lives…
and die naturally.

copyright © 2009 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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* U.S. Census Bureau via Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Suicide is a phenomena that we all confront at least once in our lives, its part of learning mortality. Sometimes we succumb to its dark call...

    I find that the older I get, and the pain I have 24/7, it gets easier and easier to think about it. Probably there are more older folks who just take a few extra pills and no-one is the wiser. It's more of a shock when a younger person does it because of the possibilities they have given up...


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