Today I'm taking a break from quilting to dedicate this entry to the memory of a friend. A year ago today, my friend Mark commit suicide. I didn't find out until the morning of April 1, and I thought it was an April Fools joke (albeit a joke in extremely poor taste, but every year someone thinks it's funny to make people think they died). I'm sad to say that it was all too real. The last week has been emotionally difficult for all of his friends; his birthday was a few days ago, and now it's the one year mark of his death.
So today I have decided that I refuse to be sad. It's only quarter after 9 and it's proving more difficult than I thought it would be. On Facebook, since his birthday, I keep seeing all of these just awfully sad posts about him. I don't want to be sad anymore. He wouldn't have wanted any of us to feel that way for any length of time. So I'm doing my best not to.
Instead of diving back into mourning the absence of him from our lives, I thinkit's better to celebrate him instead. What all of his friends knew, and what many of the students at WOU knew, is that Mark was a phenomenal artist. I mean, really...this guy was immensely talented. His work was simply amazing. his work is still posted all over his Myspace and Facebook and because of that, I'm posting a few of them here.
He is no longer with us, but his art lives on.
Yes. His work is phenomenal. Second from last is my absolute favorite.
Anyway. I just wish he fully understood how many lives he touched and how many people he affected before deciding live wasn't worth living. He left a tremendous void in the lives of his family and friends - I know I will never meet another person like him in my life...he truly was a unique and rare person in so many ways. I will never forget the moment we had sitting on Chadwick's couch in the middle of his party, talking about the meaning of life and the essence of people; his words continue to resonate with me, and when people talk about the "little things" that make the biggest impact, that was one of those moments for me. I feel blessed to have known him. Rest in Peace, Mark.
Please, if you are struggling, it is completely okay to reach out and ask for help; the people that love you (there are more than you know) will help pick you up and dust you off. If you think a friend is having a hard time, make sure they know without a shadow of a doubt that you are there for them regardless. Even if they show no signs of pain, just ask if everything is all right. Listen to them, love them and comfort them; they may not want to talk, but even the simple gesture of asking them what's wrong and letting them know you're there makes a world of difference. There is no weakness in asking for help, and no one will judge you for it.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temorary problem: If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please, please, please reach out and get help.