My dad committed suicide last night.
I just need to tell someone,
I have only one thing I want you to know. I want you to know that I love you. I truly mean it. I love you.
Read that last sentence again. Read it often.
You don’t know how much I love you. You will never know how much. But it doesn’t matter whether you do or don’t know because it wouldn’t change how much I care about you.
And I am only one person. I am one of thousands who love you. Millions. Septillions. Octillions. Nonillions. Decillions. We all love you.
That’s a lot of love with your name on it.
I bring all this up because the first thing you’re going to feel after losing a loved one to suicide is that you live in a loveless world. This is how I felt when my family endured the suicide of my father. I was about your age. I felt, for some reason, that nobody in the world cared about me.
I have spoken with thousands of people throughout the years who have undergone the same trauma. They all say pretty much the same thing. They feel like the love has been sucked out of their whole existence. They feel as though they themselves are unloved.
So in the following weeks, you might start to mistakenly think this world is totally against you. You might start to think life is full of people who are self-centered, self-righteous, self-congratulatory, self-important, self-seeking, self-interested, self-whatever.
You might feel that nobody is really paying much attention to you. You might feel unloved. Unseen. Misunderstood.
And, to be fair, you aren’t totally wrong. People are selfish in this world. They are uncaring. They are indifferent. They are cold. Not everyone is paying attention to you. Some are too concerned with themselves right now.
Believe me, over the next months, you’re going to have a front-row view of adults and children behaving in self-absorbed ways. Funerals bring out the most human sides of people.
That doesn’t mean you aren’t loved. You are. Especially by certain people who belong to a secret society of suffering humans. These people love you. And these people know things. They know what you’re going through.
These people aren’t in-your-face about all they’ve suffered in their lives. They don’t flaunt it. They fly under the radar. But they’re out there, right now, as we speak, looking for you.
These heaven-sent people will find you, I promise. Because they found me. And they changed me. They brought me through the worst experience of my life, carrying me on their shoulders when I couldn’t walk. They fed me when I couldn’t eat. They helped me breathe when I couldn’t.
They will come to you by way of miracles. You will not expect them, but they will suddenly show up in your world. They will rescue you from yourself. They will save you from the bitterness and cynicism that will try to wreck your heart.
And they will prove to you—beyond doubt—that you are loved.
And I don’t mean that you are merely loved by a few humans here on earth. No.
You are loved by the whole universe, my friend. You are loved by time and space. You are loved by the planets and the stars. By the sun and the moon. You are loved by every animal on this planet. By every rock, tree and blade of grass. You are loved by the one who made all these things.
You are so loved that it would overwhelm you to know how truly loved you are. It would probably cause your heart to stop beating. It would make your circulatory system quit working. Because we are talking about a nuclear explosion of love here.
We are talking about a force so incredible that one day, many years from now, when you don’t hurt so bad, some kid from East Florida will write you a note like the one you wrote me, and it will break you.
You will read this note on your laptop monitor, and you will weep until you can’t. Until your head hurts. Then you will wipe your face on your sleeve and write this child a very long letter using hundreds of feeble words, when you could have just used three.