A few weeks ago, one of our forum members wrote:
“It’s been 2 years and 7 months and it feels like it happened today. The holidays are making me so sad this year. Everything feels hopeless, over. Like everything that’s ever going to matter has already happened. I’m searching for a reason to continue.”~MT
I understood the feeling of hopelessness this member was describing because I have been in that place, too. In 1995, when my stepson Channing had just ended his life and my marriage was collapsing, I really could see no reason to go on. I believed I was too old, and that the future held nothing of promise. I was 48 at the time.
I even considered all the ways I could end my life.
I did go on, recognizing at the time, how deeply depressed I was. Thankfully, I was clear-headed enough to surround myself with what I called a “circle of support.” I even wrote their names down on paper so I could see them on my desk – my daughters, my counselor, my psychiatrist, and several friends.
I can’t say I had a “reason” to go on – I just did. I literally lived two hours at a time. That was the most I could do.
That was 26 years ago. I couldn’t see then, all the unmet people and events and experiences that were yet to unfold. And I had no inkling that the Alliance of Hope was yet to be born.
As I read this member’s post, I recalled the movie Castaway (2000) with Tom Hanks. Tom played a character named Chuck Noland, who was cast onto the unfriendly landscape of a barren deserted island following a plane crash. He struggled to survive there alone, for four years … with an inanimate volleyball named Wilson, as his only friend. At one point, he reached a place of no hope and created a plan to end his life. When his plan failed, he seemed to shift into a deeper level of acceptance of his situation. And then one day, unexpectedly, the ocean tide brought in debris that allowed him to build a raft and sail off.
In a scene towards the end of the movie, Noland relates his experience and what he has learned to a friend. He tells his friend: “Never give up because you never know what the tide will bring in the next day.”
I write this for you today … and for so many others who are struggling during this holiday season or during any season in which they might be reading this. We can create a narrative about what happened in the past, but we really cannot predict the future. We cannot predict what is to come.
What we can do is hold on.
In the words of Rabbi Baruch Halevi:
“Your grief, as hard as it is to believe when you are in it, will eventually diminish and become bearable. Trust. Believe. Have faith. But for now, it’s enough to hold on – so hold on.”
I send prayers that healing and hope will find their way to your heart in the coming new year.