Life’s Lesson: Aim To Live

Digital StillCamera

It has been a long time since I posted on my blog, far too long actually.  It’s been a rough time but after listening to a video about Zach Sobiech, I’m here to let you know I’m improving – a promise I make to myself, my late husband, and my family of friends.


I’ve told you about my late husband suffering from depression, which nobody knew about.  And how he took his life May 4, 2010.  I found him, tried resuscitating him, however, it was too late.


It’s not too late for others though.  And while I’ve written about much information on suicide prevention, symptoms of depression and other information surrounding this growing epidemic, I’m now going to tell you something a bit more positive.


In grieving loss by suicide, you never have closure.  So many questions remain without answers and, of course, one becomes angry during the process of healing.  Anger for me was partly in the promise when we Martin and I married, until death do us part.  We promised to “always love each other.”


How does one do that really?  Don’t we all assume that ‘death’ is a very long time into the future?  I know that I certainly felt that way.  However, for me it was less than a year.  I felt angry and cheated.  Until today that is.  This young man, Zach, lived his life.  He didn’t take it sitting down.  He even spoke of dreaming and talking of plans with his girlfriend about how many kids they should have.  All this while knowing he had but a few months left to live.  That’s when it hit me.


Martin did make good on his promise.  He loved me until “death do us part.”  And most of all, he loved me the best he could.  I couldn’t ask for more.  It would be unfair.


Like Martin, those pondering suicide feel there is no way out of their black hole, the pit of life they often refer to.  He couldn’t handle it any longer and I, like most people, didn’t understand the signs and what he was going through.  He never spoke of such things – ever.  His family never even knew.


So my purpose of this writing?  To recognize that life is about living, not waiting to die.  And love is about doing just that – love the person the “best you can” while you can.  Martin loved me for three years, although we were married less than a year.  He brightened my world with happiness, laughter, and joy during those three years, up until the end.


In a way, he lived like he was dying – doing the best he could with the most love and interest and honor he could muster.  I loved him then and I love him now.


Please don’t wait until the right moment(s) … don’t use life as a springboard for the proverbial, “when life is more positive or we’re better off …” routines.  Live your life – truly live it.  Never hesitate to tell that certain someone, or family and friends, whomever … that you love them.  And don’t hesitate to engage in an activity you really enjoy or want to try.  Never let your last words or thoughts be, “I wish I had …”


In essence, live positively no matter what is occurring in your life.  This young man did.  He was a teenager and he died today, May 20 from Osteosarcoma.  And he was the most positive influence in the lives of his family, friends, and now those strangers who learn about his life through his songs, the video his family made, as well as the Fund created in his name.


For anyone out there who is dealing with depression, please seek all available help.  Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  If you know someone, or suspect someone has difficulties in this area, talk gently with them and help them to seek help from medical professionals, therapists, psychologists, doctors, nurses.  There is help out there, and sometimes all we need is an ear, or a hand.   Never judge or dictate what that person should do.  But gently tell them you’re there for them and you will be through whatever methods they choose to get help.


And I hope everyone out there reading this remembers to LIVE life, don’t sit back and let anything pass you by!  And don’t forget to LOVE and let those you love know about it!

Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin”

Grace Hansen





2 comments on “Life’s Lesson: Aim To Live

  1. Really great article, Joan. And as usual, you offer such sound advice. It’s an interesting concept – letting those you love know you love them. There are some people who I love and I don’t even know I love them. col. Food for thought.

    Beautiful pic of you and Martin! It must have been really hard since you weren’t even married one year. It must be very tough on you going through this anniversary of his death.

    My dad now in his twilight years is going through some depression. I’m very happy that he and I reconnected after years of being estranged. I can’t even begin to tell you the dynamics of that one :). But so happy that God brought us back together. We’re making the days really count, and I think that’s part of your message to us in this blog post.

    Thanks once again for your wisdom, your beauty, and your creative thoughtfulness.

    • Thank you so much, Donna, for your insightful comments and lovely compliments. It’s true about those we may not even know we love! I’ve always been a person who enjoys making others laugh, even during tough times. Perhaps I should say especially during those tough challenges we all feel at times.

      You’re absolutely right about those difficult special days which begins in August and runs through several months thereafter: his birthday, our wedding anniversary, when we first became a real couple, November – Thanksgiving in the U.K. (hah I forgot they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving!) and when he also brought me to Paris for our most romantic of times, then in December my birthday and Christmas, culminating with the anniversary of his death. But each of us – survivors of our loved one’s suicides – have different challenges with those 1st moments. I’ve learned, however, that they continue for the 2nd, 3rd, and ensuing years also. The extremeness of it subsides little by little. But you never get over it; you do learn to live through it.

      Sounds like if we get together either in CT or here in FL, we have a lot of talking over drinks and dinner we can both do! I’m so glad you and your dad have reconnected. It’s so hard – I have a similar situation with my own sibling. But once you ‘forgive’ whatever it was, not for them but for YOU in order have peace for yourself, then you can begin to learn about each other again. And those days, even moments, are the ones you will remember I promise you.

      My best out to you as well. If you have a moment, or moments, when you’re down and feeling sad or rather emotional, and your challenge feels overwhelming, place a Cheshire like smile on your face and look into a mirror as you remember those good times. When I do this, I used to have an explosion of tears always. Now I still do, but I actual, as you’d say COL, through some tears. It does get better, really. ♥

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