Sunday, October 16, 2005
By Hamster - T Halloran
Good Morning America. This was a column I never wanted to write, but if what I write today can save one person sometime in the future it's well worth it. I never wanted to write this column because it deals with suicide. A topic people try to avoid until the next time a person they know takes their own life and sadly, there will be a next time. This past Saturday we filled the church to an overflowing capacity to bid farewell to wonderful young lady named Amy. As I looked around the church that day, a strange and disturbing thought occurred to me, this was not the first time one of my friends had taken their own lives nor would it be the last. God how I wish it was.
We should pride ourselves on being rational, caring and compassionate human beings. Not boastful or arrogant just happy with who we are and our place in the world. My friend Amy, seemed to exemplify those characteristics. She was beautiful with a wonderful smile and a contagious laugh. Like almost every woman I've ever respected, she also had a temper and was not the least bit afraid to express her opinion. Does this sound like anyone you know ? Because it could be anybody.
Then last night I get the call. That call we all dread and you can tell from the tone of the other person on the line that bad news is coming. In this case the call came from my Brother Crash out in Arizona. He was straight to the point; Brother I got bad news, Amy took her life today. The shock and dismay of his words went through me like a hot knife through butter. The thought that overwhelmed me at the time was WHY ? Why, would such a beautiful and seemingly happy 41 year old girl do such a thing ? It still does. That's an answer I'll never learn.
The last words she spoke to me was right after I returned from Savannah Jimmy's funeral. I ran into her at the Harvest Home Parade just as she was getting ready to go home. The Harvest Home Parade is a West Side tradition in Cincinnati, it has always marked the end of the summer season. Her words are still fresh in my mind because it was only 10 days ago. She had ask me how things went with Jimmy's funeral and I told her, it was about the hardest thing I'd ever done. Then ,she put her arms around me gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek and said " Thanks for being such a good friend and I love you". For those words, I'll be eternally grateful.
To me, suicide is a very permanent solution to what normally is a very temporary problem. Everybody is different. I'm no psychiatrists or an expert, I'm just a fat ol' graybeard Biker who has just lost a dear friend and I'm sad and angry at losing this person. She was damned independent, a proud Biker babe in every sense of the word. Amy lived and unfortunately died by her own rules and under her terms. Amy was very intelligent and rich in things in life that really mattered, like friends. She was also a very gifted artist. All you had to do was look around the church that day as the crowd grew to an overflowing capacity. God, she touched alot of people. How many of you know a person like this?
We have all been depressed or saddened at one time or another. Experts do say that about 90% of people have thought about it at some time in their lives. That means that 90 % of the people reading this right now have thought about suicide. Chances are that those who say "I would never", are full of shit. Most people who have thought about it did so before they reached the age of 40. I'm very lucky because thankfully only about 6 people out of the thousands of people I've known the last 49 years have taken their own lives. Still, everyone of those 6 people have had a profound effect on me. Does it have the same effect on you?
Brothers and Sisters if you ever get to that point.... PLEASE call and talk to someone, anyone . Never be afraid to ask someone to listen to you or feel like you're going to be a burden. To a true friend, you never will be a burden. Call any member of the CMA (the Christian Motorcycle Association) they will be there for you. I have a great deal of respect for all my Brothers and Sisters from the CMA and the good work that they do. They pray from me everyday and God bless them for it because God knows , I need it.
You don't have to be an expert to know that we live in a very screwed up world, hell, watch the evening news to learn just how far we've fallen. I laugh when I think of people from another planet coming to earth looking for intelligent life. I watch the news, laugh and think "good luck". No one is perfect and we need to all become better listeners because when someone ask for help, we don't always hear them. Do we?
I've seen alot of my friends over the years, rolling hard down that road to ruin and do my best to talk to them, especially the younger ones. If nothing else, I can always serve as a bad example because I've been there before and maybe they can learn from my countless mistakes. If they blow me off and tell me to mind my own business, well at least I tried and will try again. I never saw Amy rolling down that road, I don't think any of us did and that is what makes this so hard.
My heart goes out to her Husband Mark ( MO) and their kids, her mom and dad and her sisters and to all of her friends who are feeling what I am today. Please, if you need help or need to just talk call someone or pray because God always listens. In closing this month I want to leave you with a passage I read by Jimmy Buffett in his new book " A salty piece of land" I came upon it just as I was preparing to attend Amy's memorial service. It could not have come at a better time . It said; "grief is like the wake behind a boat. It starts out as a huge wave that follows close behind you and is big enough to swamp and drown you if you suddenly stop moving forward.
But if you do keep moving, the big wake will eventually dissipate. And after a long enough time, the waters of your life get calm again, and that is when the memories of those who have left begin to shine as bright and as enduring as the stars above." Peace...........Until next month... Hamster
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