Monday, April 20, 2009

Let's Take a Moment




Recently, my family suffered the unexpected loss of a very dear soul. A young man who had experienced more pain than some people ever experience took his own life. There are those who have said, “He’s not in pain anymore” and that brings a bit of comfort but it doesn’t end the questions asked by others. “Why didn’t I think more when he did this?” Or “Why didn’t I ask him about that?” Those are all the questions you would never have thought to ask because when you are sunken deep into the comfortable cushions of friend and family relationships, you trust that you know all there is to know. We all take our relationships for granted from time to time; the thing is no matter how attentive we are we can never know everything there is to know going on inside another’s mind.

My emotions, my thoughts are raw right now but I feel compelled to come to this page and share. I feel that in the last week, I have learned invaluable life-long lessons, things I want to share in the hopes that they inspire but, mainly, so that I don’t ever forget.

The greatest thing we do in our lives is help one another, provide encouragement and share our love. No amount of money, no number of possessions can ever take the place of a simple kind word or the extension of love. Honestly and truly, there could never be anything more important.

Do you realize the power of one kind word – just one? Let’s look at it from this angle, one negative comment has the power to make a child rip up a drawing, think they are no good and never pick up a crayon or drawing instrument again. Repeated negativity can cause a person to pack away all the beauty they have inside. They lose the idea of “who they are” and become “what others want them to be” in the hopes that they will be loved.

Granted, there are people who rise above negative talk; it just seems to roll off their shoulders. They become successful but sometimes they seek success as a way to prove they are worthwhile. They work and work and work to validate their existence to the one or ones who never supported them.

People, especially children, shouldn’t have to work for love. We work to prove that we are trustworthy or caring or a good friend but love…we feel it when we meet people. Loving someone doesn’t come from seeing what they can give us or seeing how hard they are willing to work for it. Loving someone is about seeing who they are, their soul, and loving the beauty that radiates from them.

This young man wanted to hear one, kind word from one, important person in his life. He wanted to hear, “I love you” just once but he never did. He could have heard it from a million people but it wouldn’t have mattered because there was one person who meant the world to him that never extended compassion. We need the people who serve as the pillars of our foundation to share kindheartedness and encouragement just as a flower needs nourishment and water to grow.

We all have bad days and we all have moments where we snap at our kids or our loved ones, especially when we are stretched beyond our means. We’re human and it’s ok to have those off days as long as we remember later to extend some warmth and some love.

Over the last few years, this young man had turned to art. Many of the people in his life did not know he had a crafty bone in his body. They were surprised to see that he could create everything from poetry to scrapbooks. He let the difficult things that happened to him and the poor choices he’d made come to life through words and images and serve as a story to help others to believe in their abilities and stay on the right path.

We cannot save everyone. We cannot take away the pain – great and small – that we all experience in this life. But we can share kindness. We can encourage others to believe in themselves by sharing one, thoughtful word. We can say sorry when we are wrong, we can share our own stories, our talents, our crafts with others. We can share our heart and mind even when it’s scary to be vulnerable. There are times when we might feel lost and powerless but in those moments, it is vital to remember that we are incredibly powerful beings. We have the power to use words, images or both to touch someone’s life and make it a little bit better.

Today, I invite you to share a kind word with someone. I invite you to hug your children, your spouses, your loved ones and remind them why they are so special to you and tell them you love them.

I think you are magical and I send you tons of love.

44 comments:

Donnalda Does Art said...

Beautiful thoughts. I have also experienced a suicide by a dear friend, it is such a devastating event. I will always think kindly of this friend and wish him well.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

What a beautiful post! We just experienced a similar situation here, the man was 44 and left 2 children, one who will be graduating next month without his father.

We never know the pain others suffer deep inside but your post reminds us all to be kind. Thank you!

Amanda (Blake) Fall said...

Oh, Natasha, I'm so sorry for your loss. Words are never adequate in this kind of situation. I hope you're getting the support you need in this time. If you need to postpone this week's theme or anything, I know we'd all understand.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you! Please take time to take care of yourself.

Sherry said...

Natasha....I am so sorry for your loss. I know how that feels, deep down in your core. Like there is a huge black hole that will remain empty forever. But, trust me, it will begin to fill up again....when you start feeling joy again. And, it will happen. It may take some time. With all the people you touch here and elsewhere, slowly but surely, the pain will ease and life will look brighter again. In the meantime, know that you have many friends here on Etsy and we will all hold you in our thoughts and prayers.
Sherry

Rowena said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

It's hard to see someone with so much promise just disappear. My cousin died at 25 for sad reasons. Who's to know why or what his purpose here was? Or what special thing would have changed the outcome. I don't think there are ever answers to this kind of thing.

My thoughts are with you.

Marja said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, Natasha, and for reminding us how important it is to share our love, however we know how to express it, with those around us.

I'm so sorry for your loss and am sending the biggest hug possible.

Crafty Ash said...

thank-you, these are such important words.

Anna said...

You're magical too. Thank you for this warming post.

Love shouldn't be conditional. It's tragic that people let their love come across that way.

Frenzy23 said...

I'm so sorry about this loss but do think he is in a peaceful place. It's natural to constantly question, but in the end, I think it's best to just know that now he is at peace.
This topic is very near and dear to me and why I too think it's so important to find little things, utter a few kind words to someone, anyone, and know that this is what helps people.
There is an amazing type of spirit that keeps people fighting when things get them down. But not all souls, beautiful and wonderful in their unique way, have this ability. Naturally, we need love and encouragement to thrive.
I hope you find your writing and art a comfort place during difficult times. Here, you have managed to bring together an amazing, encouraging group of artists with giving souls and always a kind word. I'm sure that this blog has been the kind words someone needed more times than you think.

Michelle (mkc photography) said...

Natasha, I am so very sorry for your loss and grateful for your beautiful words that remind all to go and hold tight to the ones we love.

Felicia Kramer said...

Natasha - I had a gut feeling that your unexpected situation was not good news. I can't add anything to what you have expressed so eloquently about the power we have to affect other people's lives. An attempt by a family member of mine turned out better because that person survived. And since then I treasure every day we have - we never fail to end every conversation with "I love you." I'm sending big hugs to you and your family for this time of raw emotions and hoping that the healing can begin for all of you.

Ceridwen said...

Natasha -
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. My thoughts are with you. Take care,
Ceridwen

Jenjen © GottaLoveMom said...

Natasha,

I'm sending my big ((((hugs))). It is so true that sometimes with the busy schedule, people take for granted one simple gesture. 3 words could have made a difference in this young man's life.

Sometimes people ignore the most important thing in life - to love and be loved.

Our friends and families all need that feeling of being loved - BUT our children - we brought them to this world with a promise that they will never be alone or be sad.

So I agree, let's not forget to give them all the hugs and love.

I'm here if you need anything...

Jenjen

Leslie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's a terrible way to be reminded of how we should treat each other but thank you for writing about it.

Natasha said...

Donnalda Does Art - I am so very sorry for your loss and I sincerely thank you for sharing here. A friend said "the echoes of suicide are intense." I thought that was such an incredible phrase..echoes...because it does feel that way...it just sends these shockwaves through you...this is the second time I've experienced this...the first was about 5 years ago when my cousin did it...I wished to never experience it again ... now watching my family deal, seeing the pain, thinking about it all rips me in half...but I know just as you mentioned here he will be thought of with fondness and always wished well.

Artistic Accents by Darla - my heart goes out to you. I am sending you, your family and that man's children the biggest hugs I can muster. I'm so very sorry...if you ever want to talk or share I'm here...thank you for sharing...

Amanda - thank you so much...I appreciate all your hearfelt words and thoughts....I am more worried about some of my family members right now...I am taking care of me for the first time really but also taking care of them too...no, I want the Sweet Treat to go on this week...it's a bright spot...your theme has been a bright spot for me....the works created are hope and I'm hungry for hope...hope is a gift...love you and many thanks

Sherry - thank you for your words and your sentiment...it is so deeply appreciated...thank you for holding me in your thoughts and prayers...several of my family members need that more than you know right now...thank you for all the love and support.

Rowena - thank you from the bottom of my heart..I am so sorry for your loss....your questions have floated through my brain...I also wonder did they do what they were supposed to? Was there act something that was meant to teach us? I leaves so many questions....and no answers ...however I believe there will be light and peace again...and I wish for it for those around me who are suffering terribly

Marja - thank you so much for your words, thoughts and that hug...hugs are the best present...and I like the way you put it..."share our love, however we know how to express it, with those around us."

Crafty Ash - thank you for being here and for sharing...t means the world

Anna - thank you, you actually made me smile...no unconditional love is truly the only way to go...so glad you are here.

Frenzy23 - I agree that he is at peace...he is out of pain because he was in so much pain and feeling empty for a long, long time. It amazes me what just a little encuoragement, one small word can do to turn a day around for someone..and it doesn't take anything except a willingness to share...as I sat here today with tears streaming down my face as I read these responses I am blown away by the beauty and spirit and utter kindness of everyone. I am so deeply moved at the willingness to share...this place is such magic...it is beyond words. I am much more than thankful that you are here and sincerely hope that people find kind words and love here...thank you Frenzy from the center of my soul.

Michelle - thank you so much...your words and now even your avatar bring such comfort..thank you for being here

Felicia - thank you so much for your words, thoughts, warmth and sharing. I cannot tell you what a blessing it is that your family member survived...the world was made brighter by that as you have added the beauty of those words, "I love you" to your conversations..and the feeling carried with those words extends out into the world and beyond you in all that you both do, I'm very sure. Thank you for your story of hope and of love...it has brightened my day.

Ceridwen - thank you so much for your words, thoughts and love...I'm so grateful you are here

Jenjen - you are filled with such love..thank you for sharing it here...it's true love is this concept that can be taken for granted and word that can be overused ...it can lose its meaning and yet it THE most important gift we give to ourselves and others. Thank you for the hugs and all I need is to see you round here and on your own blog as you make me smile

Leslie - thank you for your words and for being here...it means more than you will ever know

I read all of these responses and I cried...I am in awe of each of you. Thank you for sharing your words, thoughts, hearts, stories...you have no idea what a blessing that simple act is nor how much better it makes my life and the life of my family as I will be sharing with all of them. Thank you for your incredible kindness. Please know just as you are there...I am here for you.

Mackin-Art said...

Natasha, my heart goes out to you and my thoughts are with you. Remember what you told me a couple weeks ago, and take care of yourself and yours.

lifeartdesigns said...

Nastasha, I am so very, very sorry for you and your family's loss. As Amanda said, words seem so inadeqate right now. I lost a nephew to sucide and the questions are so haunting for so long...I'm sending hugs and prayers for healing and love...
Janie

Natasha said...

Mackin-Art - thank you from the bottom of my heart...you have no idea what that means to me...and I will re-read it ...thank you again....so glad you are here

lifeartdesigns - thank you so much for your words and for sharing Janie....I am so deeply sorry about your nephew..it's not easy...it doesn't make sense.. the questions will last a lifetime I fear ... thank you for your hugs and prayers...I will pass those along to my family

I am astounded at how many people's lives here have been touched by suicide...thank you for sharing, for being so open ... I wish I could express what that means to mean and what it will mean to my family...thank you

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

I am so saddened to hear this. *hugs* I tried to commit suicide almost a year ago and praise God that my friend called me at that time, came over, comforted me and I admitted myself to the hospital for treatment.

please everyone, praise and encourage everyone even though you think they are fine, they aren't. I surprised a lot of people when they heard this...

Funky Monkey Girl,
Jolene

mapelba said...

We can't take someone's pain away if that someone isn't ready to let it go--but we can always offer kindness.

Have you seen that documentary about the suicides at the Golden Gate bridge? The maker of that film talked about a young man who jumped, and his note back in his apartment said that he wouldn't jump if one person on his way there smiled at him.

There is no way to know if no one smiled or someone smiled but he didn't see it. But that has stuck with me for a long time now. I try my best to smile, to acknowledge another person in some way.

Natasha said...

Jolene - as I write this tears stream down my face and the ONLY thing I want to do is HUG you. How do I begin to thank you for sharing this? How do I start to give thanks that you are here right now in this moment. How do I thank your friend for being there?
Admitting yourself to the hospital took such strength and such courage, I'm so very, very proud of you for saving you. If you are ever low or ever find yourself on a lonely road again, I want you to remember that there is someone out here...me ...Natasha...who is thankful for your very existence and the fact that you were able to reach in and touch my life and change it for the better today and every time you write. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the power of your words, for your stength, for sharing, for inspiring me to live a little louder and share more love...thank you, thank you, thank you. HUGS

Natasha said...

mapelba - I have never seen that documentary but in time I may watch..I am fascinated with the idea you just shared...I realized the power of smile and the words, "Thank you" on a city bus one time when I watched a line of people leave the bus without so much as a nod, a see ya later, nothing...someone drives us all around every day the least we can do is acknowledge them...and so I said Thanks and smiled and you had to see this man's face...he lit up...have a good night, he said...but that genuine smile, just that moment of recognition did something for him and for me....it doesn't take much...it really doesn't .....

aquamaureen said...

Oh, my dear sweet Natasha . . . truly, as others have said, words are just not big enough right now to express the depth of my compassion for your sorrow. I feel for that precious young man who thought he had no other way out. I feel for that one important person in his life who withheld love from him. I feel for all of you in the family who are most intimately touched by this death.
"the echoes of suicide"--that is such a true phrase--the echoes and ripples and reverberations and aftershocks. I also feel for everyone here on the site who has gone through a similiar situation with a loved one. Jolene (FunkyMonkeyGirls)--thank you for sharing with us that you struggled with suicide a year ago. I'm SO glad you are here. I too have some first-hand experience, both with myself and a dear family member.----Natasha, I do not think it is just a "happy coincidence" that you have started this TST site--behind all the lovely works of art each week, are the lovely artists who do the creating. Every week we support each other and cheer each other. I wish your family member had been able to join us here and been able to share his art with us . . . I gotta go now and cry some more and pray a lot more, but please, Natasha, FEEL my love for you and your dear family.

Natasha said...

aquamaureen - I thank you for these words and for all the feeling you have sent this way...trust me when I tell you that I can feel it. Your compassion for him, for the one who couldn't ever tell him a kind thing, for me, for my family and for all the people here humbles and inspires me.
You mention that you have first hand experience and I need to tell you as I told Jolene that I am so thankful you are here...the two of you, for very different reasons, have changed the way I see the world for the better, you've invited me to trust more than I once thought possible, you've inspired me to be me in a way I haven't been. Maureen, the colors of your work set my soul ablaze every single time you submit....I look forward to your words, your work, sharing and learning with you. Please take that and keep that with you...you are SO very important to the world, to your family, to the TST, to more people than you are aware. I am deeply sorry that you have experienced it with another family member as well...
Today, you have all changed me...you have made me see the importance of this place ...I've been aware of it but I see it in a new light....I will do everything in my power to keep this place going, and keep it's magic while we build...it's needed...each of us is so needed and there is a world all around us...so close I can touch it that needs what we have to give...feeling, art, kindness, warmth, love, encouragement....encouragement...thank you brave, warm, loving souls for being here, for being you...for doing something I can't put into words today....thank you

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Natasha & Aquamauren, thank you so much for your wonderful words and sweetness. I am sitting here at work typing this with tears running down my face. Every day I praise jesus for having my friend, who is a pagan, call me at that moment. This was also a call for me to quit drinking so I have been sober since then as well.

Just a word, a smile and a gesture to show that person you care. It may not work in every situation but it sure did in mine and if that just touches one person not to kill themselves then it is so worth it.

Thank you Lord for such wonderful people as yourselves and consider what a blessing that each and everyone of you are. You all are such wonderful artists and I am so inspired when I see your art, thank you for sharing.

Funky Monkey Girl,
Jolene

Natasha said...

Jolene - this is so wonderful..congrats on your sobriety...that's another tremendous hurdle ..you have inspired me to no end...what a gift this conversation has been today

jodi said...

natasha,

my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. i hope that you can feel the hugs and love that we are all sending your way right now.

jodi

aquamaureen said...

Yes, Natasha, this conversation today HAS been a gift . . .you said that the color in my art each week sets your soul ablaze each week. Well, I'm looking around my room and seeing most of the things I've submitted, hanging on my walls, and they exist because YOU had the idea of TST and carried it through, week after week. You took that first step, and second and how ever many more it takes each week to provide this incredibly rich and loving forum for us all.

Jolene--I'm humbled to hear that you left drinking behind as well--what incredible courage to face life without that sort of buffer. You obviously have God in your life and that's gotta be a life-preserver for you. Are you an artist? (I know you are a work of art!!--God made you that way!)Have you participated in the TST play times? If you haven't yet, maybe you'd consider starting this week . . .
And a fresh wave of more hugs to you, Natasha, for your irrepressible love and kindness . .

sharon said...

Natasha,
I am so very sorry for your loss and the trauma you and your family are journeying through. There is a Bible verse that refers to "comforting others with the same comfort we have been comforted with." I see that happening today on this site. Thank you for creating a safe site that enables others to share the depths of their pain and the heights of their joy. You will be in my prayers.

Steph said...

Natasha, I'm sorry for your loss. I'm just 26 and I've been through this too many times (4), twice involving close friends of mine.

sending Love, Hugs and Prayers
~Steph~

lisianblue said...

Dear Sweet Natasha,

I am so sorry. It is so hard to have a loved one die of "natural" causes, but even harder when someone commits suicide. I can only agree with everything you wrote 200%. Years ago, I read a "Dear Abbey" where a woman and her husband had fought one am - he was in an accident and died before they were able to speak again - I never forgot that and always made it a point to tell my kids and spouse (when I had one) that I loved them before they walked out the door, before bed, and in between. I tried hard to encourage my kids on whatever endeavor they undertook, and now with my grandson - even snagging people from here! And I love it that you and others came to my blog and left comments to encourage this young man. He will be with me on Tues and we will read them together, and comment back! Thank you so much Natasha!!!
Sometimes it's hard to know when someone is really in that deep pain - many times they won't "burden" others with their pain, and so it's hard to know.
With all of our "modern convienences" to "save us time" we often just do more instead of slowing down and connecting with our friends, family in ways that really bring out open communication.
Computers are an interesting thing - they have brought us together, they can also seperate people living under the same roof.

If I could stretch my arms through the lines, I'd give you a long hug.

Hugs to all of us - after reading some of these responses, I think we could all use a hug. I know I could!
I'll say it again - we are all gems, even when we don't feel so shiney!

We just need to remember it,

Love ya Natasha.
Kris

lisianblue said...

I just had to come back and say someone nominated one of my ornaments to Blockhead Radio's challenge!!!! Thank you very very much whoever you are!
http://blockheadradiolive.com/holiday

that is some super nice encouragement!
:)))))BIG HUGE GRIN

I'm putting this here - because I have a sneaky suspicion it was someone from TST group!

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

aquamauren,

I am an artist, I create jewelery with my mom. I need to get my jewelery in here. I praise the Lord everyday and only by him have I my soberity and my sanity. He gave me my strength, my doctors, my medications and filled me full of his power to quit drinking and face all that crap. I look back and see the glory that is the Lord in my life!

Natasha, I will be praying for you and your family and his friends during this time of need and hurt.

Funky Monkey Girl,
Jolene

Han said...

I'm so sorry..*hugs for you*
Thank you for the inspired thoughts..
You are magical too..

Sending love and prayers,
Han

Jenjen © GottaLoveMom said...

It's 2:28am and I was just thinking of you and everyone here.

There's so much pain but there's so much love, too.

Big hugs to everyone...

alwaysadorable said...

Oh Natasha, my heart aches with you to hear of such devastation. I am so sorry for your loss. Your words have inspired me to share my kindness, and try extra hard to give the love I have without restraint or condition. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family!

We will all understand if you need/want to postpone this week's theme.

Natasha said...

Jodi - thank you for being here, for your thoughts, words, hugs and love...I can feel it and it is transforming everything...

Aquamaureen...I wish you knew how much your words meant...thank you...I like imagining what your place looks like with all that colors dancing around...it makes me happy....and thank you for the fresh hugs...I'd like everyone to visit aquamaureen's blog because she wrote an incredible piece and reached out in an incredible way that made me cry...love to you

Sharon - thank you so much for being here, for sharing and sharing that quote...thank you for being a part of this place...it means the world ..and thank you for the prayers for my family

Steph - I am wrapping you up in the biggest hugs!! I am so very sorry for the tremendous losses you have suffered....so sorry...your strength shines brightly here where you have shared ...thank you...if you ever need anything I am here ...sending you hugs and many thanks from me and my family

Kris - thank you so much for all of this...I so agree with telling those we love that we love them as often as we can for reasons like the one you stated from Dear Abby...we simply never know ... I love the love and encouragement you are sharing with your grandson..it beautiful and lasting - tell him we all celebrate him at the TST! This sentence is so true - "Computers are an interesting thing - they have brought us together, they can also seperate people living under the same roof." We NEED to be sure that we connect both on and off line...I'm sending you a massive hug and saying...you are a gem, for sure! And congrats on that nomination...your work, my like you, is amazing :)

Jolene - you really are a beautiful soul...thank you again from the bottom of my heart and I will be praying to say thanks that you are here...and you totally need to get your jewerly here :) HUGS!

Han - thank you, thank you for being here and for your kindness...the hug is perfect and needed...thank you so very much

Jenjen - I'm sending you a hug...I am agree with you...I was blown away by all the sharing, the pain and the love left here yesterday...I am in awe...I lay awake last night thinking about it...this is life...this is the painful, beautiful, hurt, loving, messy side of life - we are standing right in the middle of it all...and we're together.

Alwaysadorable - you have so much to give...I always feel that and I feel the love here now...thank you for your words and comfort...I want to do the TST this week...it brings joy and just the process of it, the creations, the sharing, the joy it brings fills me with hope which is something so needed rght now.....so I say on with the show...but thank you for thinking of me :)

Natasha said...

I just want all of you to know that family members read this piece and all the comments yesterday...they were moved and said, "The post helps one to realize that we are not the only ones who have suffered something like this. Their words definitely help." That was just one comment but it illustrates the point...you reached us...you reached my family and brought them some comfort...I will never be able to thank you enough...nor will I be able to expres what your words, your candor, your sharing did for me...you changed something for the better ...inside I feel like I swallowed a bright, warm light and I feel very hopeful. Love you

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...

Greetings!

Wow. So much to say, and I find that at the moment I have no words to adequately express any of it. So I shall simply extend my deepest condolences to you and to your family. Brightest Blessings to you all. :-)

Brightest Blessings also to all those who have shared, both here and on the Treat as a whole. You are honored & appreciated. :-)

Bright Blessings & Good Fortune! :-)
-Bird

PS - Captcha of 'buind'. Calls to me as to remind us of the good ties that bind us all together. :-) -B! :Bird

twinklescrapbooks said...

Natasha, so sorry to hear of your loss. He sounds like he was a great and courageous young man. You are in my thoughts. :)
tina

meherio68 said...

Natasha,
I too am sorry for your loss. I know only too well about the shockwaves and feelings of inadequacy...
But ultimately, what matters is what you have reminded us of: the power we have to do good and to build- not just to hurt- with a mere word or smile. We have all had one of those days when a kind gesture made a world of difference, haven't we? We should pass that on. So thank you for the reminder.
Warm Gallic hugs cross the ocean towards you, right now!

giraffelabel said...

wow...there are some beautiful words here on this page. natasha, i am so sorry for your loss. (i just typed 4 different sentences, and none of them were right. i have no words.)

but, i would like to say that i am so happy that i found this place...tst! it has added something to my life that i didn't even know was missing. i find it amazing that we can all come here to be inspired, encouraged, loved, and suppoprted...by people that we have not met! i'm so thankful to be a part of this, and natasha, you are the driving force. thank you so much!

Natasha said...

Phoenyx Ravenswing - thank you so much for your words and your comfort...it means the world to me and to my family....and I agree everyone here is honored and appreciated....just as you are...thank you :)

twinklescrapbooks - thank you so much for being here....thank you for your words, thoughts and love...that means the world...

meherio68 - thank you you have no idea how much your sharing and your words mean to me...your hugs were deeply felt and sooo appreciated.

giraffelabel - thank YOU for your words...you have no idea how they touched me...nor do you have any idea what it means that YOU are a part of the TST..you inspire me all the time...it's amazing I echo your sentiment that its so good to be supported, encouraged and loved by people we've not met in person...what magic...and you are a major part of that magic...

Patti said...

Please allow me to add my condolences and prayers for you. Your courageous spirit has shown through this all!