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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Love Your Sibs...Even if they're a pain in your BLEEP

It's true to say that no one can push your buttons or get you riled up faster than a sibling.

After all, they're the ones you've lived most of your life with.  In many instances, the first other kids you'd ever known.  Your first friends.  Your first partners in crime. The ones you hated at times, but would still die for.

They know all the buttons to push, when to push 'em & how hard.

Siblings are an important piece(s) to the puzzle that is your life.

Around this time of the year, I get really sad.
On August 27th, 2007 I lost my younger brother.
It was truly one of the worst days of my life, if not the worst.

I'm not going to get all high and mighty and speak with piety - because the worst part of my brother leaving this planet without me getting to say good bye is that we weren't speaking, and I hate that!  We hadn't spoken for several years.  Even worse than all of that - our not speaking had NOTHING to do with each other.

Outside circumstances - people - events are what came between us, what divided us.

Eric was my first sibling.  Number 2 in the pecking order, with me being the big sister, the numero uno at the top of the heap.  He and I fought - oh my gosh, how we fought.  As an adult, I'm embarrassed to say that we actually fist fought and even drew blood.  If my kids fought like we fought, I don't even know what I'd do.  Looking back, it was really awful - but we loved still each other.

He always knew that as much of a pain in the butt as he was - and believe me, he was - I was always there for him.  I was always the first person he'd call if he needed help, if he was really sad, or if he needed money.  Whatever it was - he knew he had a no questions asked policy with me.

Even though I was his older sister, I was his main care taker growing up.  He knew that, I knew that.  So when he left this planet - I was completely out of sorts.  I wasn't there to help him this time.  I didn't know he was suffering.  I didn't know he had pain.  He didn't come to me, like he had in the past.  He struggled with whatever it was - in silence, not talking to anyone.  As a result, my dear brother took his own life.

I genuinely think of my brother every single day, feeling as if I'd failed him in some way.

A friend of mine's mom went through the same situation with her sister.  Many years before I lost Eric she would tell me over and over, "Jenn, keep trying.  Just keep trying.  Call him, send him letters.  Do whatever you can - because if something happens and you're not speaking, you'll never forgive yourself."
She was right.

My point of this posting is not to draw sympathy to me - but attention to your own sibling relationships.  I know a few people - right off the top of my head who aren't speaking to their siblings.  Some issues are big, others small - others just flat out foolish pride.  It's not worth it!  Let it go!

Your siblings are the closest people to you - besides your spouse and children.  Even closer than your parents on many levels.  You grew together.  You have the same memories.  You've done all the stupid crap together & worked to get over on your parents together.  You built dreams & maybe even made them come true.

There is NOTHING on this planet worth a division between siblings.  NOTHING!

Not money, not your spouse, not a ridiculous family feud that has nothing to do with you.  NOTHING!

Work it out!  Somehow, some way.

Because in the end, when you look back on your life - the endless reel of memories that will play out in your mind WILL have your siblings in it.

How awesome is it to share that with them?

Thank you for reading my blog!

Love you guys, really!


PS.  Darren, I love you & I'm sending you hugs through here for now.  xxoo
(To those of you who don't know...Darren is my "baby" brother)

Rest sweetly on the wings of angels, Eric.  Love you and miss you always.  

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re-post from August 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When the funny fades...

To tell you that I hate to dwell on this crap would be the understatement of the decade.

I try to say what I have to say, do what I have to do and then move on.


Not so much in these types of situations.  When suicide enters your life - it's very difficult to just turn your back and walk away.  Suicide settles inside of you.  It crawls into those deep dark crevices and makes itself at home, like a rodent in the eaves of your home - chewing at the wires until it creates a really dangerous situation, or at least that feeling does.  It's a feeling I can't describe, nor do I want to.  It's a feeling that I hope you don't know, if you don't already.

I know that there are so many people who read my blog who don't get it. I know my husband is one of those "don't get it" people.  That's OK.  Not everyone does.  I used to be one of those "don't get it" people until it happened to me.  Twice.

I feel INCREDIBLY LUCKY to not suffer from depression.  LUCKY. Fortunate!  Depression runs rampant in my family - two suicides, alcoholism and drug abuse.  RAMPANT.  I've been sad. I've been really, really sad and maybe a tad depressed, but I've never wanted to die. Sadness is a feeling you can get beyond.  Depression takes hold.  That is the difference between sadness and depression.

I can remember back to when I was a little girl, sitting next to my dad on the couch watching Mork & Mindy.  I can remember my dad's hearty laugh and his statements of Robin Williams being "off the wall."

Robin Williams was, without a doubt, hysterically funny.  He is, well was, one of my favorite funny people.  He was my dad's too.  They were both funny guys, though my dad was no Robin Williams, he sure thought he was.  They both left this place in the same way - by their own hand.

Tears of a clown is the best analogy I can come up with.

Depression is a bitch. Depression is one of those things that people have learned to try to hide. Try to self cure.  Drugs. Alcohol. Dangerous living. Being funny. Pick a mask, any mask. As long as the depression doesn't show and make anyone else uncomfortable, it's all good.
No it's not.

I try to express my feelings on this as often as possible, without turning away those of you who don't "get it" or don't want to hear about it.  I understand.  NO ONE wants to hear about it.  NO ONE wants to talk about the "crazy" the "sick" the "it never happens to me" the "they need shock treatment" the depressing depression.

It needs to be talked about.

That taboo?  That "elephant in the room" as someone so graciously input on my FB page - that elephant needs to be addressed.  That elephant needs to be called out and dealt with.

Until that happens, people will continue to die at their own hand.

People do NOT have to die at their own hand.

There is SO MUCH life left to live.  So much wonderful life.  Yes, there will be pain.  Yes, there will be hard times.  Don't let the lies of depression tell you that it's hopeless.  It's never hopeless.
You are never, ever alone.

If you are in depression's grasp, please let someone you love and trust know.  If you don't feel like you love or trust anyone at the moment, tell someone else.  It doesn't matter who you tell.  Tell someone. Reach out your hand.  Someone WILL grab it!

The mask can only last for so long until the pain takes over, until the funny fades.

Mr. Williams - thank you for the laughs and for a wonderful legacy of funny.

May you, and the others before you find the peace that you were unable to find in this place.


I wish you peace and love.


**  If you are struggling with Depression or Suicidal thoughts - Please DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE!  PLEASE reach out.  Let someone help you.  Life is good.  Really.  **

(as shared from )

National Suicide Prevention Helpline (U.S.)
1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)

International Directory of Suicide Hotlines
Need someone to listen & help without judging?

Warmline "Listening Line" Directory (U.S.)

Befrienders (International)
Concerned about someone online?

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

If someone you love told you they wanted to die.... How would you handle it?

What would you do if someone you love told you they tried to die?

How would you handle it?

Would you embrace them?  Would you thank them for trusting you with something so personal? Would you tell them how happy you are that they are still here?  Would you tell them how much you love them?  How much God loves them?

These are all of the things I wish I'd done, now - looking back.

I wish I'd said and done all of those things.

I didn't though.

Instead, my heart filled with pain and I got sucked into the emotion of the suicides I've lived through, and in an almost scolding manner asked WHY they didn't call me? Why didn't they come to me, knowing I'd listen?
Why didn't they call to me?

Looking back now, even though I didn't mean it that way - it sounds a little selfish.

In my deep fear and pain in the words I'd just heard, I'd forgotten how hard it is for someone in the midst of struggle to reach out and say, "Help me, I'm drowning."

I'd forgotten...

Depression is a bitch!

NO - Depression IS Satan.

Depression will tell you that no one loves you.
Depression will tell you that you don't matter.
Depression will tell you that no one cares.
Depression will tell you that everyone is better off with out you.
Depression will tell you that it's hopeless.

Depression LIES.

I am here to tell you that you ARE loved.
I am here to tell you that you DO matter.
I am here to tell you that I, among many others, DO care.
I am here to tell you that it is NOT hopeless.

You are loved,  you matter, you are worthy,
It is NOT hopeless.

I am here to tell you that He is not done with you yet.
I am here to tell you that life without you would create a giant hole for the rest of us left behind.
I am here to tell you that your life is a great and shining beacon of joy and hope.

To my friend, please allow me to start over.

I love you.  You are special and important to me.
Thank you for coming to me and sharing something so private with me.
I am so thankful that you are still here.
I know how difficult this is for you.
I am and will always be here for you.

Depression is Satan, the master trickster.  The master liar.
Depression doesn't get to win.

God isn't done with you yet.
...And neither is anyone else.

Lots of love,

** If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please do not suffer in silence.**

I know it's hard to reach out - but PLEASE REACH OUT!
Someone does love you.  Someone will miss you.
You DO make a difference.
Whatever pain you are suffering never goes away.
It simply passes on to those you leave behind.
You are loved.

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