As I sit here writing, I am surrounded by grief pamphlets, newsletters, and books. All of these are meant to be helpful as my family approaches the third anniversary of my oldest son’s death due to suicide. We don’t know why, or what he was struggling with, or how we could have helped. But I have learned a few things.
First, depression and grief are similar and wear many masks. Sometimes it looks like lying in bed crying for days. Sometimes it means looking at old pictures and smiling at a memory. A lot of the time it is acting happy when you feel like dying inside.
Thankfully, I have also learned to press on. Even tiny steps forward feel colossal but are so important. When you rearrange the letters in depression, it spells “I pressed on.” And so we do.
Finally, I learned that loving someone means showing and saying it to people in many different ways.
Did you know over 16 million adults struggle with major depressive disorder? All kinds of people you know, including me.
So take care of your mental health. Stop the stigma. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Visit AFSP.org or text TALK to 741741 if you are in crisis. You are worth it, just like Nicolas.
I’m Wahku Ziel and that is my perspective.
Wahku Ziel is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and Aurora University. Lately, she spends her time hiking with a mask, kayaking at a socially acceptable distance, and failing miserably at remote learning with her children. She also writes on occasion.