Last year, on the day after my birthday, I was writing about how it wasn’t exactly the birthday I would have planned, spending the day flying home after my Mom’s funeral but it wasn’t all bad. .
My wife and I will both be dealing with our losses for awhile, and there will be times where it hits harder than others. During those times though, I plan on also remembering that we aren’t alone. We are part of the tribe that we have built up over time, and various locations, and that our tribe is with us. When I feel like depression might be trying to come back into my life, and when I’m struggling with feeling anxious, or negative, I will know that I am not alone. I will know that I can ask for help, I will know that there are people who will support me in that. The same people who have sat with us in the pain of our losses, will sit with us through that too, and they will sit with us when we are celebrating good things too.
At the time, my wife and I talked about how this year would be different, we were going to make up for everything we dealt with last year, by doing something awesome with the Summer of 2020.
Obviously, this year did not fit the plan either.
But, much like last year, I was reminded once again, that even though we are distanced from our tribe, they are still there, when asked, they will step up, big time. I wasn’t mourning the loss of a parent, but in many ways, we are all mourning. I mourn for the people we’ve lost to this pandemic, the ones I knew personally, and the ones who were mourned by other people I know personally. The people I know who are not working, struggling to find what is next for them, the ones with overwhelming anxiety and depression, dealing with racism, sexism, and every other thing we are trying to be better about. Heck I am mourning for the amazing birthday my wife wanted to give me this year that isn’t happening.
So yeah, it’s not the same mourning, but it’s mourning nonetheless, and it’s much more widespread.
And yet, even in the midst of that, when it came time to ask people to help me raise money for suicide prevention, people stepped up even more this year than in the past couple of years that I’ve been doing these fundraisers, and there are still a few days left. My wife did everything she could to make this day as special as she could, even if it was just us at home all day. Our friends and family reached out across social media, text messages, and other methods to connect, to check in with me on my birthday.
So to all of those members of our tribe, thank you. Even though things are rough right now, and we are all struggling, I’m grateful for you. I am grateful to know that when asked, you will do what you can, and that you do care.
I can’t wait to see you all again when we can safely do that, sit, talk, share a drink, and enjoy the company of caring souls. Until then, feel free to reach out if I can help you, or you need to talk, and most of all, Keep Your Head Up.