We have reason.

By Chris Youngblood

This blog was originally an email sent to the TWLOHA staff. This past week was difficult. It seemed that we couldn’t open our email without the news of another suicide, and we were all beginning to feel the weight of the reality of these tragedies. As a team, hearing these stories never gets easier. Like anyone, we can find ourselves feeling drained and wondering about our purpose as an organization. This blog comes from that difficult place, when I remembered why we exist.

While our inboxes continue to accumulate links to articles about people around the country dying by suicide, I try to remember why we fight.

In the battle against suicide there are lives lost, and sometimes they aren’t recognized until the war is over. When the battle feels never-ending, we ask ourselves why we started fighting in the first place. We get in a pattern, and all we see are the number of brothers and sisters by our side growing fewer and fewer. We can lose hope and wonder, what’s the point in going forward? Where is our encouragement? Are we actually doing anything to make this world a more hopeful place? What good are we doing? Why should I even bother getting out of my bed when I’ll get to the office and I’ll open my inbox to see another seven articles about lives lost the day before.

But I am reminded of this truth: We have reason.

“You saved my brother from taking his life.”

“My daughter wouldn’t still be here if it weren’t for you guys.”

“My dad is gone, but I’m hopeful in being a part of something that doesn’t leave another family in the place I was in. I’m glad you’re here.”

These are our letters from home. These are our reminders. This is our motivation to go on another day. This is the reason we started this fight in the first place. We are reminded that our words have purpose, and they can bring hope in a moment where all feels lost and broken. And we believe this for your words, too.

We do this for those who can’t bring themselves to talk to a friend because they think they’re the only one dealing with the weight in their chest and the things in their head. We are here to let them know they’re not. And when we lose someone close to us, or only know a name and see a picture, we mourn them. We remember them and we celebrate their lives, but we don’t stop our fight for them. For them, their family, their friends… We fight. We have to. We have no other option. This message of hope stirs something in people that points to something true, something bigger than us. This is why we continue to get out of our bed in the morning when we’re faced with this much loss.

In something that is so much bigger than us, we have each other. I wouldn’t want to be in this alone, and we should all fight with people by our side.

We’re thankful we get to spend these days with you. You are loved.

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