Loving One Another

Reaching Out


Loving one another requires reaching out. That seems pretty obvious, but it really hit home with me when my niece jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge at age 19. That was more than two decades ago, but it is a lesson I carry in my heart every day. Suicide is such a sad way to leave this earth. It leaves behind so many unanswered questions. It leaves behind so many broken hearts and guilty consciences. The sadness never leaves those of us who loved the victim. The sadness never stops making us wonder what we might have done. The sadness brings with it a sense of helplessness. We can’t go back and redo what was left undone or say now what was left unsaid then. Sometimes the sadness lessens as we put the suicide behind us and look out toward the fair future. The gloomy skies of glaring grace-gaps can be filled with the sunny skies of serenity only if we allow the retrospective regrets to turn into current compassion. The reasons for my niece’s suicide can be speculated, but never resolved, never fixed in her brief lifetime. All I can do now is use the heartbreak of her despair to drive my compassion to new heights. Who needs my smile today? Who needs a sincere hug or a friendly phone call? How can I help dissipate someone’s loneliness? Reaching out via the internet – blogging, e-mailing, posting photos – can go just so far. But a touch goes so much farther. I’m shutting off this computer for the rest of today. I’m headed out to reach out. How about you?

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Comments on: "Reaching Out" (9)

  1. Thank you for this powerful post, for opening my eyes to move from the grief towards What CAN I do today? This moment? Who can I reach out to? Bless your wise and kind heart for sharing. This is tremendously moving.

    • Interesting, Gina, how when we ask, “What can I do today? Who can I reach out to?” and we open our hearts and our eyes, we SEE who needs us. God puts people in our paths. Is that also your experience?

  2. Things go wrong when you stop believing in yourself and your capabilities. There is no situation that can be the worst ever or which you can’t get past. Things do break us apart, I agree. But it has to be YOU and only YOU who can assemble that smile again. There is never an easy way out – life is like that. You might think that you got one – but it has to be on the cost of others.
    Well written !

    • Thank you for your comments. I am sorry it has taken me so long to respond to you. Your submission was in my spam folder! I have fixed that problem and hope to visit your new postings on “justspokenthoughts.” Smiles and Hugs from JanBeek ;o)

  3. Jan, I’m touched by your beautiful blog on reaching out. I could hardly read it through the tears. I followed your suggestion and called someone who needed a lift. Not only did my call make Her forget her problems, but reaching out helped Me as well. I’m so grateful to you. Thank you so much. Mary

    • It made my day to know that my blog inspired just one other soul to reach out to someone in love. I am so glad that it helped you as well as the one you called. Isn’t that the way it is with love? The more we give away, the more we have to give! God bless you, Mary! Hugs to you from JanBeek ;o)

    • What a wonderful feeling it is to connect at the heart with a new friend through this avenue of blog sharing! Thank you, Mary, for your feedback. You are an inspiration! Hugs to you, JanBeek ;o)

  4. Thank you for this heart-provoking piece, Jan. I’m saddend by your loss and gladdened by how it has helped you to grow. I believe because of that and in many other ways your neice’s short life, and even her death, were not in vain. I don’t know what she was dealing with that made her feel that dying was better than living, and I believe that the world lost a great spirit when she left, but I trust that she is now free forevermore from whatever tortured her.

    • Thank you, Russ. I, too, am reassured by my belief that “she is now free forever more” and we will meet again in the promised kingdom of eternity. It helps to reflect on her life and seek to ensure that her death was not in vain.

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