Monday, January 11, 2010

Life's Ripple Effect

Update: It seems that the death has been ruled an accident this morning. We don't know any details, but regardless, my thoughts are still the same on the matter.

This weekend Dan and I came upon one of those moments when it feels like your life has just completely stopped.

We have been following our dear friends' struggle as their tiny daughter fights for her life at Duke hospital. ( For two months it's been completely touch and go. We're never sure what the next day will bring for her or them. She's just two months old and has already overcome amazing odds. It's inspiring to see how badly she wants to live and to see all the people who love their family coming together to pray and fast for her.

On Saturday night our other dear friends' son decided his life was not worth living for and shot himself.

These two precious children, both so dear and so loved by so many. One fighting for this life and one giving it up completely. It makes you stop and think.... have I told the ones I love just how much I love them? Have I lived my life to the fullest and in the best way I know how? Have I made sure that my children know that this life is full of hardships but that all along the way there are beauties and evidences that we have a loving Father in heaven who is mindful of us and knows us each individually? and that each of us has a lasting impact on all of those we come into contact with? That our very existence changes those around us for good or ill?

I think the most ironic part of all of this is that even though we hadn't seen Chase in two years and he probably doesn't remember us very well, we both wept for him last night, and for his family. We felt the loss and grief and pain that comes when this kind of loss - any child who feels alone enough in the world to take their own life and has no idea of the many many people who remember them, and know and loved him. There are so many people fasting and praying and coming together for his family now, I wish he could have seen that when he was alive.

Fight on little Ella, and rest in peace sweet Chase. The rest of us, let's not take any moment of this life for granted. And never forget that the choices you make, both small and large, spread like a ripple through the people around you, touching the lives of those you may not even realize. Make them good choices. Spread love and hope. And please keep these families in your prayers.


Myrna Foster said...

That's so very sad. One of my little brother's best friends committed suicide while William was on his mission, and I cried and lost sleep over his decision. I knew his family and how much they loved him, and I still don't understand how he could have thought life was so hopeless.

Melissa said...

As someone who has been in Chase's shoes...
Let me try to explain to your friends who don't understand.

I'm 32, unmarried, not really any religion but was raised mormon, have 1000000 health problems that won't ever go away...

I've also spent over two weeks in the last 18 months in the psych unit at two hospitals.

Why? because I VERY carefully and very logically planned my death.

The first time I had a place to live, my best girl friend, a good guy i was dating but i could NOT continue on with life. I was tired of fighting. I was just tired. There is no other word.

The 2nd time was MUCH worse then the first. I was very below the poverty line (still am), had no friends near by...and i was spending 24 hours a day inside. why? because no one knew to come make me leave the apartment. I would shower but that's it. Didn't eat. didn't talk to anyone. Nothing.

I have NEVER felt more alone in my life. there was not one person I could call. I no longer had a good guy i was dating, my best friend was now not my friend at all.

I KNEW if i disappeared I wouldn't be missed for a long time. I even had room mates and i knew they wouldn't miss me.

sounds pathetic right?
but when all you can think is EVERYONE who knows you is better off without your pathetic life, they'd be happier and life is too hard to live? it's an easy solution. especially when your problems will NEVER go away.

so for those of you that read this. if you have a friend who doesn't have much (or any) family, or only a few friends... try to make it a habit to check on them every couple days. don't make it a service project. do it because you actually CARE that they haven't fallen and hurt themself.

Gwen- I'm so sorry for your friends family. But if he was that sad and tired of fighting... I'm glad that he got what he wanted. I'm sorry for those who loved him and who are still on earth. Only Chase and the Lord knows what was in his heart and mind. I'll pray for his friends and family that they will come to peace with this very violent painful ending to his life.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, Jen, this broke my heart. Thank you for sharing. I looked at People and experiences like that are simply so inspiring.