lydiaI didn’t know her personally.  I’d see her in passing in the halls of the elementary school for Open Houses or the school Carnival.  She seemed like an artistic soul.  Tattoos, piercings, and a look in her eyes that said she saw things in a much different way than the rest of us.  My wife on the other hand knew her from a nursing group back when our youngest was an infant.  It was a support group for breastfeeding moms.  I remember my wife telling me about “Lydia”, and that she was a very nice, younger gal.  Very artistic.  Not the typical mom you’d run into at a nursing group meeting(that’s a good thing).  In a town filled with the drudgery of churches every 1000 feet and the cultural equivalent of a Circus in a National Guard Army, this young mom known to me as Lydia was a breath a fresh air.  Someone who didn’t see the world through the same rose-colored glasses as everyone else.  A fellow human fighting the battle of mundanity…

Sadly, Lydia was fighting more battles than I could’ve ever imagined.  My wife called me Tuesday morning and told me Lydia took her own life.  She left this world for somewhere else.  She left four children and many, many people that cared for her very deeply wondering what they could’ve done.  What could have they said that may have made a difference.  “Could I have been a better friend?”  “Could I have been a better sister?”  “Why wasn’t I with her?”  “Why?”

I can’t even begin to imagine the depths of despair this woman fell to.  Not even the thought of her children growing up without a mom could keep her tethered to this world.  It’s heartbreaking.  We’ve all been low before.  We’ve had our moments of doubt.  But this?  This is beyond anything I can fathom.  She had the love of four children and many friends, yet none of that could redeem her.  That’s the thing.  As low as we can get, we still know we’re worthy of redemption.  We’re worthy of a second chance.  Regardless of how low things get, there’s still a spark of hope that keeps us going.  Without that spark, it  just remains dark.  You’re lost and you have no idea which way is out, so you blow a hole through the wall of the universe and make your own escape.  You see it as your only way out of the pain, loneliness, and defeat that seems to be your life.

Suicide has touched my life a few times in my nearly 40 years.  It’s never easy to get through, let alone understand.  But Lydia taking her own life has really made me think about things.  Maybe because I’m a parent now.  It’s that paternal instinct to protect my children at all cost.  The idea of me not being here to make sure they’re taken care of and that their scrapes are cleaned and bandaged, and assured that they are loved and will always be loved no matter who they are or what they do.  The thought of me not being here to be that grounding figure for them.  The stable rock they can come to when they need to be comforted.  Or need advice on taking the right classes, getting a car loan, taking a job, love and marriage, and raising their own children.  That’s all the reason I need to keep me here.  Keep me scrapping with the universe and flipping the bird to anyone who deserves it.  It puts the fire in my belly and allows me to say “It could always be worse, and I can always make it better.”  Lydia didn’t have that spark.  Somewhere along the way it got put out and she never figured out how to light it again, and that’s so very sad to me.

Like I said before I didn’t know Lydia personally but I mourn her regardless.  She was a parent like me.  She was also a sister, aunt, daughter, and artist.  I mourn for her children and her family.  I hope she has found peace.

If you need help and have nowhere to go, go here.  Or call 1-800-273-8255

About the Author jhubner73

This is where I drop the spat and spittle, the sentimental fat and drivel... Music and such, and maybe a word or two about a word or two. Midwest point-of-view, without all that religion and gun stuff. Intellectually unintellectual. Elitist for the pizza and beer crowd. Grab a bean bag and lounge in the basment for a while, won't you?

9 comments

  1. From the outside, this kind of thing rarely makes sense. From the inside, there is nothing big enough to describe the pain. I’ve been both places and both places suck.

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    1. If someone has cancer, MS, diabetes, there seems to be treatments that work. If you can’t afford those treatments people rally for you. Fundraisers, bake sales, donation buckets in local markets. But depression isn’t seen as a sickness. To the ignorant(which is many), it’s seen as something you’ve done to yourself. Buck up. Look on the brighter side. Well, there is no bright side for someone with extreme depression. Depression and mental illness are seen as something that can be fixed up with prayers and “thinking of you” notes. That’s just not the case.

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      1. Exactly! Plus, the treatments that exist have a big stigma associated with them. A colleague of mine is in a dire place (wife with cancer, kid stress, work uncertainty) and he’s passing out from panic attacks. Will he seek help? No, he’s “not crazy”. Plus, let’s say he spends a few days in the hospital for it. He won’t be able to talk about it as easily as his wife will be able to talk about her hospitalization. Obviously, we’re ranting on the same side here, so, thanks! From my personal experience in the darkness (I’m not there now), one of the best possible things would be to have people able to talk about it as a real thing, like you just did.

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  2. Sometime last year Lydia wah going through a nasty downward spiral and we chatted via private message on FB and she managed to get herself through it that time. I have some experience in that department as well, as so many people do. I don’t know if anything I had to say was of any help to her then, but I am kicking myself now for not reaching out to her when I saw that she was struggling again. I promise that the next time I see someone voicing suicidal ideation in any format, I won’t brush it off. I’m sorry, Lydia. I really am.

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    1. You were there for her. You took the time to talk when you saw she needed a friend. I think what you said did make a difference to her. I truly do.

      You were a friend when she needed it. That’s what you should hold on to.

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  3. That’s very sad news indeed. Suicide is something that has touched my life far too much, shaped part of it even. I feel so sorry for her loved ones.

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    1. Sadly suicide reaches and affects far more people than you could ever imagine.

      As a kid, I had two cousins take their lives and they were brother and sister. Knowing Lydia has four young kids, I can’t even begin to fathom how they’re coping, let alone understanding what happened to their mom, or what mom did to herself and why.

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