This I Believe

Christopher - freeport, Illinois
Entered on October 17, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love

I believe that love can save a life. I know that a truly selfless love, the love you are willing to die for can help people through the worst of times. I have a very close friend; she is 19 now, she has had to deal with: a kidney failure, drug abuse from the age of ten, abusive boyfriends (one of which nearly killed her twice), the death of her best friend in a car accident, two months later the death of her brother from a drug overdose, bouts with depression, also with seizers, recently her father died of cancer, all of this on top of trying to find her way through college paying for it herself. That is the short, short version of the whole story of her life.

It is needless to say that through the course of some of the rougher patches of these experiences she attempted suicide.

It is an understatement to say that seeing a loved one go through this is very difficult. Every night for more then six months I talked to her on the phone, trying to calm her, to comfort her. Even if I was successful at doing so for one night’s conversation it would not last until the morning. And I can say that such a situation fosters nothing but a feeling of helplessness and vulnerability. Just being there was always an emotionally taxing job. Each morning I woke up and wondered did she do anything rash before bed or would she still be there when I called in the evening.

Finding the will to call and see if she had made it through the night was never easy. But after spending the better part of my junior year dealing with this situation I was changed forever. Eventually I told her parents about this and they started looking out for her. She started seeing a therapist and then things started to turn around.

We were talking on the phone one night as we routinely did. And the conversation turned to her wishes for suicide. “I would die for you, if it meant that you would never have to feel pain or suffer any more, I would give my life for that, without hesitation”. This was then as well as now absolutely true. It alone did not save her life, but it impacted us both none the less.

It has always been difficult for me to write on this topic, I always lose focus towards the end. The real point is that in all the world it’s people that matter. Nothing else should be as important. I think too often everyone gets caught up in living for themselves. But there is a lot to be had from a selfless life. Religion doesn’t need to play a part, just be there for people. I believe that if more people could do that it might make life a little less complicated.