March 21, 2020

Wait—a bunch of you are sticking around.

With every polite fiber of my being, I’m asking you to find something else to read. Yes, I get it…and you’re right. Today, in the heart of COVID-19, you're depressed--everyone's depressed. There’s a wealth of information and comfort available to you. Just not this. Please, let me have a moment here with people who…who aren’t you.
I need to chat with those who walked in depression’s shoes when Corona was still confined within a beer bottle. While I’m genuinely heartbroken for all of us, those with pre-pandemic depression top my heartbreak list. I lost my husband to suicide; I watched pain boil to the point of no return. A private heart-to-heart would be well timed.

Okay. Now that it's just ‘us’, I want you to know that YOUR heartache matters. It’s real. It sucks. It’s harder—WAY harder—today than it was a month or two ago. I honor the depth of your pain. While I can’t alleviate your angst (OMG I wish I could!), suicide-widow-me humbly offers three things.

First, an apology.

Most of the planet (me included!) yo-yo’s between hysteria and calm. Our frantic, often theatric fear dance adds to your pain. Then we go all do-gooder-feel-better with whatever trendy viral thing bring us comfort. And yes, lucky us—those things DO soothe us. But I fear they don’t comfort you. Worse yet, do you feel like they should?

We all do it, but…should-ing-ourselves is dangerous and can add to feelings of isolation. Emotional isolation is NOT your friend—not anyone’s friend. The yo-yo-er’s (me included) don't intend to make the unbearable harder. I fear we do…and I am profoundly sorry.

Please accept my apology and ignore us.

Second, a compliment.

You’re WAY ahead of most of us. Seriously. Depression is a reasonable, rational response to sorrow. And hey, sorrow is REAL. I'm betting you're more sensitive, empathetic, and intuitive than most. Your emotional IQ (EQ) is likely off the charts. These are precious assets—the world is kinder, less competitive, and more cooperative because of YOU. Thank you!!!

Third, an ask.

The last couple months of my husband’s life he often asked, “Why won’t people do the right thing? Why?” Depression’s sensitivity comes with a cost. My husband (like you) saw the world’s misguided, tribal, self-serving ambition. It broke his heart--literally. And it breaks yours.

So…here’s the big ask.

Change your focus. Tune us out--me and my fellow yo-yo-er’s--ignore us.

Focus on YOU. Nurture YOU.

Focus on honoring your perceptive gifts.

Focus on healing your understandably aching heart.

Focus on healing. If you have a trusted mental health provider—lean in. Remotely, but lean in!

Huge ask(s) I know. Let’s go simpler.

You and me, let’s share a quiet moment.



Focus on this moment.

You are safe.

And this moment.

You are still safe.

Focus on breathing in slowly.

Now exhale even slower.





Again, this time with a smile—or a fake grin…whatever you can do.

Slow inhale.

Slower yet exhale.


Stop the next time you’re overwhelmed wondering, “Why don’t people do the right thing?” Stop. Go quiet. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale.

If you can, go quiet in nature. Or next to a house plant. Breathe in nature’s promise of rejuvenation, growth, interconnected nurturing.

Stop. Breathe. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.


In conclusion: A confession & my hope.

Selfish confession: in some odd, socially unacceptable way, I think my husband would want me to reach out to you. COVID-19 fear overwhelms everyone; most especially you—you who navigated pre-pandemic depression.

Please hear this: suicide-widow-me knows firsthand how much the world needs Y-O-U!

Healed and whole, you become a visionary—a teacher. Your innate, empathetic, and intuitive wisdom will seed hope. Together we can ‘do the right thing’ if you help heal our blind spots.

You have power. Start with yourself. Share your sensitive, loving kindness internally. Yes, internally. Hard to do, but self-nurture. Heal yourself.

Breathe. Heal. Share.

Yes, when you’re healed and ready, please share. Teach others to stop. Breathe. Heal. Share.



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