Have you ever looked up the definition for the word “tough”? I find it quite fascinating that this single word can be defined as,
1.) “very difficult to do or deal with”
2.) “physically or emotionally strong”
Two definitions for one word that imply being weak or being strong. I don’t believe this is an accident, because I believe that when we overcome something that is tough, it makes us tough.
Here on The Bailey Bunch Blog, I believe in sharing all that life throws at me…good, bad, glamorous and not so glamorous. I also believe in celebrating others who share a similar outlook. Today on the blog, I’m sharing my platform and inviting y’all to read about the struggle that my dear friend, Kim, has been bravely walking through for the past year.
Just over a year ago, Kim’s brother, Kenny, took his life. Kenny was battling Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. The devastating loss rocked the world of Kim, and her mother, Joann, in a way that no other death ever has. Kim describes grief after suicide as “complicated” adding that it prompted her to question everyone and everything in her life. After reaching new depths of grief, Kim and her mother opened up about Schizophrenia and the loss of a loved one due to suicide in a two part article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. I’d like to invite you to read their touching story here: Part 1 and Part 2.
After opening up, Kim shared with me that this year she has learned that people often don’t know what to say when it comes to suicide, and that’s okay. No words can bring a departed loved one back, but saying no words isn’t the right way to deal with not knowing what to say. She says that much comfort came from people offering to listen to her. That simple offer let her know who was really there for her.
If you or someone you know is struggling mentally, please, talk to a doctor. From someone who personally battles anxiety and depression, help is out there if you seek and ask for it. Fighting the fear of opening up is so much easier than the constant battle in your brain…trust me, I know, and I am here if you ever need someone to talk to who “gets it”.
If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide, Kim says that while you will never get over the loss, you can get through it by talking about it. She wants to encourage those grieving to turn to loved ones and open up about what they are feeling. While everyone grieves differently, opening up has helped her the most.
I can’t help but wonder if Kenny’s story could have turned out differently had someone before him bravely shared their story as Kim and Joann shared theirs. We will never know, but Kim refuses to let her brother be defined by his death. By sharing, her hope is that someone who needs these words finds them.
Life is definition 1.) tough, but you can be definition 2.) tough by acknowledging and responding, and I am so proud of this friend of mine who defines definition 2.) tough to me!
Be Blessed + Be A Blessing