Anthony Bourdain. Kate Spade. Chester Bennington. Robin Williams.
People who impacted our lives, now victims of their own mental health issues. There’s something about celebrity suicides that seems to suddenly turn everyone into mental health advocates. Tweets telling people to “check up on your strong friend” or to “reach out for professional help.” I don’t know. Something about it feels disingenuous and robotic.
I apologize if I come off as sarcastic and condescending. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment. Rather, I wonder why it always has to resort to a famous person dying to bring out the humanitarian in us. Is it because of the realization that our idols are flawed conflicts with how we typically see them portrayed? Or how money, fame, and success doesn’t actually remove the depravity that defines humanity and that in some way it actually amplifies the struggle?
When tragedies strike my timeline, I tend to withdraw. I feel as if my voice is too insignificant to contribute anything useful. My sympathy, though natural, becomes frustration and annoyance as the cycle continues. How many times must I see the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline plastered at the end of some emotional correspondence? How many think pieces will be written by outsiders who can only speculate on why it happened and how it could have probably been avoided? Again, I’m in no way demonizing people who choose to process their grief publicly. One can make an argument that it helps facilitate discussion about the topic. All I’m saying is that it needs to move past public discourse and carried out more into our private lives.
I am enough, you are enough
In the song “Rain” by Kings Kaleidoscope, the chorus sings:
I am enough, always enough
You are enough, precious and loved
Morning will come, sure as the Son
I am enough, you are enough
While I believe that these lines were written from the perspective of God comforting His people, I’m going to reapply these lyrics to those of you struggling.
You are enough. You, with more than enough medicine that will take away the pain. You, who lost a close loved one and want to leave this world behind to join them. You, who has been single for years and feels like no one will truly love them. You, who hasn’t found a job and still struggling to get out of bed in the morning.
You are a special portrait that will never be painted again. You are the missing piece that will make someone whole. You are the voice that speaks hope. You are the love that they thought didn’t exist. You are the comfort that the world often neglects.
If you heard this a million times, I hope you hear it again with fresh ears this time. May it resonate in your head like a favorite song on your playlist. If you’ve seen this a billion times, I pray my words are a lighthouse to the storm you’re going through. Unfortunately, death will always be a part of the human experience that we will never fully reconcile. But as long as you are still living, these two phrases remain true.
I am enough.
You are enough.