“My father committed suicide this morning,” are the piercing words I heard last Tuesday afternoon one minute into the conversation when I called to say hello and check in on a dear friend.
NO! You’ve gotta be kidding me!
Suicide! There's no freakin' way!
This is not real. You did not just say suicide?!
What the hell! is all I could say because never in a million years did I ever expect to hear someone on the other end of the phone tell me that my friend was gone. But he was. He was gone. And for reasons only my friend knows, and the rest of us are left to grapple with, the idea of going on another moment was all of a sudden off the table. Like an unrelenting runner on a track, since last Tuesday a million things have raced through my mind. The questions have been making their laps around the circumference of my otherwise steady mind in pursuit of answers. Nothing slows them. The pursuit is as intense as it is bleak when another lap of questions present themselves . . .
Why did he? How could he?
What was so wrong? What hurt so bad?
What did he need? What was he missing?
Why not ask for help? Did he not know that he had a village of people who truly loved him?
How could he be so selfish as to only think of himself? is the place anger took me to.
A day went by and the questions with no answers refused to let up. This time they took another path; a more personal path. The path of guilt and helplessness. It’s the path we take and the questions we ask when we believe we either have no power or have run out of power. Feeling an overwhelming sense of powerlessness, I couldn’t help but ask . . .
He'd been on mind. Why did I take so long to call?
Had I called a day earlier, could I have said something that would have made a difference?
Was there something I missed the last time we communicated?
Could I have been a better friend?
Why wasn’t our friendship a safe enough place for him to find refuge from the thoughts that were tormenting him and the demons that were tearing his mind to shreds?
How did it (whatever it was) come to this?
Needless to say, there was no winner in this race of dreadful questioning. And how could there be when the only person with the answers was no longer with us. Now numbered, according to the World Health Organization, among the one million (1,000,000) people who commit suicide every year, my friend took a great deal of the answers with him. What he didn’t take with him, however, is my ability to hear what this experience came to teach me. What he couldn’t take is the gift of life yet left in his death.
So, seven days later, here I am even more committed to using my life and my gifts as a force for good. Seven days later, I am heeding the clarion call to make myself available to those struggling to hang on to life. Understanding that problems are real, trauma runs deep, Coronavirus is weighing heavily on the hearts of everyone, and the clinical world alone is unable to accommodate the onslaught of mental health demands, I am re-opening my Personal Development Coaching practice. Just as hospitals have called for retired nurses and doctors to return to the frontline to help with the medical implications of Coronavirus, I am rejoining my colleagues in the mental health profession to help combat the psychological implications of Coronavirus and depression and anxiety and fear and uncertainty.
What This Means
After two years of turning away individuals interesting in Personal Development Coaching and only focusing on Book Development Coaching, starting April 1st, I will again be taking appointments to provide 45-minute Personal Development Coaching sessions. When I lived in Baltimore, I was blessed to have a successfully robust Personal Development Coaching practice. I'm honored to roll up my sleeves again. Sessions can be scheduled right away by clicking here.
How Will Sessions Be Conducted
Sessions will be conducted via Zoom or Skype.
Recognizing the economic impact of COVID-19 as well as the need for individuals, especially those without insurance, to partner with a trained professional to work through their trauma/challenging thoughts, I will not be charging my usual fee of $150-200 per session. Instead, the discounted fee is only $60 per session until further notice. For your convenience, payments can be made via Zelle, PayPal or CashApp.
Once your session is scheduled via the scheduling portal, you will receive a call from me to process payment for your session. After your payment has been processed, you will receive an email with paperwork and information to read in preparation for our session.
A FREE Resource
In 2019, I wrote a book titled TOMORROW. TOMORROW is an inspirational suicide prevention resource. My intention was to publish TOMORROW later this year. In memory of my friend’s death, I am doing something I have not done in 16 years of writing and publishing books. I am making an unpublished book available today in PDF format. Click here to access the book. May it end up in the hands of all who need it.
World Health Organization estimates that approximately every 40 seconds a person dies of suicide. My goal is to do my part in increasing the number of people who live every 40 seconds. Please join me by sharing this email with as many people as you deem necessary. Although I will never know if calling my friend a day earlier could have impacted his life, what I do know is answering God's call now allows me to impact other lives . . . today.
With Overflowing Gratitude