This painting, “Stay For The Music,” was created for the Out of the Darkness walk in Nashville, Tennessee on September 21, 2019. 100% of proceeds go to benefit suicide prevention. I created it and donated it in memory of Matt.
The last time I spoke to Matt we talked about art, going to the beach, and whether or not I should buy a horse for my daughter. He cared for my daughter and I so much, I didn’t know he was struggling as badly as he was. If I’d known, I would have gone to the beach with him. I would have asked him more questions. I think I would have done so many things differently.
But honestly, I didn’t know much about mental health at that time. Probably I would have been hysterical. I would have screamed and shouted about how much I love him and need for him to stay here on earth with me. Maybe it would have have helped him, or maybe not. It seems everyone who loses a person to suicide thinks of what they might have done differently and grieves to reach the conclusion that they everything they knew to do. It’s awful.
Even if the people close to you don’t understand you, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with dark thoughts. You are more than your thoughts. Please decide that suicide is not an option for you. Even if right now you feel very different, disconnected, hurt, lost, failed, guilty, hopeless, or at odds with anyone including yourself— it’s ok. It’s possible to overcome these thoughts and circumstances. Even if the people close to you don’t understand you, they still love you, want you, and need you.
1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Prevention hotline. You can start here.
PS. Since the time that I first wrote and shared (on my personal facebook page) this post, Matt’s brother responded. He let me know that he had gone to beach with Matt— and he reminded me that treatment requires the “buy in” of the person who is struggling. Buying into the idea that you can and will find a way to overcome your challenges is the first and most critical step.