I drove to Charleston today to be with my friend, Heather Solos, as she laid her younger sister to rest. Death is never easy. As a friend, I wanted to cradle Heather and take her pain away. As a parent, I was so torn emotionally I had a hard time keeping it together. Parents don’t expect to bury their children, it’s just not how it’s supposed to happen. And it left me more heartbroken than I already was for this beautiful family.
This is the tweet Heather posted when I knew something had went horribly wrong:
Save this number in your phone. Use it when you or somebody needs it. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255. (800-273-TALK)
— Heather Solos (@HeatherSolos) August 23, 2013
Upon seeing that, my brain went numb. I just knew my friend had something horrible happen in her life and there was nothing I could do but wait patiently and pray. There have been many of us waiting and praying. It’s been powerful to see so many in the blogging community come together with this one common goal of sending love, light, strength, prayers, whatever you want to call it. We sent it. We’re all connected via a common theme and Heather is one of us.
Heather and I met via social media, then socially a few times, and now, we’re “real life’ friends. Social media amplifies and connects us outside our day in, day out life. It brings us in contact with so many more people and those people become part of your life. Whether they are “real life” friends, or “online” friends, we still call them friend. It also amplifies feelings of helplessness, knowing you could be thousands of miles away.
Even now, I’m not sure what all I want to say, but I have a few things I want to ask of you. Pick up the phone and make those phone calls. Rethink the grudges, and let bygones be bygones. Love fully. Love deeply. You never know when your last minute is going to be with someone and I want to know you loved as hard and as deeply as possible. If you can’t do it for me, do it for Heather and Laura.