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Letter about moments in the sun and suicide

on July 11th, 2013 by alive

6hands reaching out

Peter,

A song by Emerson Drive—the lyrics, “I have not always been this way. I’ve had my moments. Days in the sun. Moments I was second to none. Moments when I knew I did what I thought I could not do…looking at me now you might not know it but I’ve had my moments…”

I’ve had my moments. I remember what the sun feels like and the glory of being good and conquering insurmountable goals. Like surviving basic and medic training in the army. Sorting through maggot invested human flesh trying to identify a persons piece so the families would have something to put in a coffin—even if it was just a finger or tooth. Waking from a dead sleep and rushing to my step-daughter’s room when she cried (nothing more powerful than being a parent and hearing your child cry.) Flying in my RX8 with the sun on my face. Those were my moments.

“…I stood there trying to find my nerve, wondering if a single soul on earth would care at all. Miss me when I’m gone.” The song is about a homeless man talking a young person from jumping off a bridge. “he recognized the look in my eyes and I felt ashamed.” The homeless man was leading such a hard life and yet he told the young man about his moments in the sun. So, the young man started to reflect on his own personal moments in the sun.

Peter, you’re my metaphorical homeless man. Sometimes when I’m really ill I can’t remember my good days. That’s when I hear you say, “All the strength you will ever need already lives within you at this very moment.” It’s hard to remember you saying those words and sometimes it’s even harder to believe them. But, you are the talented professional psychiatrist—I trust that you are right. You got to be right. You just have to be right—for me.

Thanks for sharing parts of your life with me—your days in the sun were and still are very important to me. I remember things like how proud you were when your first son was born—you beamed when you showed me his picture. You shared part of your sadness when Dr. Stang died. Oh, and getting married to your beautiful wife. And, one time you even said, “everybody has thoughts like that, even me.” You are more than just a psychiatrist—you’re a human being. Just to be clear, you never shared too much that you went over the dr/pt boundary—but, you did share enough for me to see you as a person with your own moments in the sun. Thank you.

The young man in the song did not jump off the bridge.

Take care,

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