Cultivating Hope | February 18, 2020🌹
About a year, ago, I sat with our Mother, talking about some touchy topics. While sitting there I noticed she was in a good place and she asked if we could package up some cards & ribbons for a large order I had received.
While sitting there, my Parents and I talked about the act of suicide, and the stigmas attached. I asked both of them:
“Why did our generation and older not talk about Suicide?”
Dad: “We were taught not to talk about it”
Mom: “If we talked about it, we were hushed”
Dad: “Pressure from the church, the old way of thinking”
Mom: “ People who killed themselves, were buried outside the graveyard, We were taught it was a great sin to kill Yourself”
After a few moments:
Mom: “Father Salmon, said it best, That people who die by the act of suicide didn’t want to die, they just want to end their pain”
Me: “So is it a sin?”
Mom: “we never spoke about Suicide, because the person killing themselves also brought shame to the family & community”
Without a pause, I asked: ”Did Quinnton bring shame to our family?”
Not knowing what the response was going to be, and ready to accept what my parents had to say, my Dad walked over to me put his hand on my shoulder and Mom answered while looking at Dad: “Quinnton Did NOT, do you hear us, DID NOT bring shame to our family. Quinnton’s death brought the word Suicide to the forefront of my minds, because of Quinnton Tom, we can talk about it, he has given you the message, now you have to continue to speak for Him and all others who need help”
My Dad’s hand was still on my shoulder and I look at him wearing his Saskatchewan RoughRider’s Hat, with the Yellow Suicide Awareness Ribbon on it.
It was at that moment I realized more so than ever before, it was through my Son’s death the greatest lesson was taught.
When we have a community, whether it is one person or a hundred, working together, for the same goal, we can allow ourselves to arrive safely at that one sacred spot, a spot of Hope and healing. I know that my community, as you all gathered around and let me navigate the dragons den, in the best possible way, that worked for me, you allowed me to feel the dragon’s breath on my chest, you allowed me to feel the burn and held me up when I couldn’t hold myself up, those were the greatest lessons I will carry with me.
I believe when we work together and start recognizing the trauma that brings a person to a place of despair, when we have homegrown solutions and we take pride and ownership in those home grown solutions, the solutions become embedded in to our daily lives. We are still going to hurt, and cry and grieve, we just don’t have to do it alone.
I miss my Son, my heart aches every moment of every day. I know if it wasn’t for my parents whom I am truly blessed with, I would not have survived. I work through grief, and my aim is to get to a good place.
I know we can’t end Suicide, what we can do as a community is, start to help each other, with helping each other we can Start talking about Depression, Addiction, Abuse, Violence, Mental Health and Yes even death.
Our generation will teach the next generation how to heal. We can #CultivateHope.
(The photo below was taken in January 2019)