An Open Letter – You Are Not Alone

by Patrick Dykie

     I wrote a post about a year ago after learning of a young woman who had taken her own life. I would like to share it with you today. I believe that all of us are special. We all have are weaknesses, but we all have our gifts and talents which make us unique. We all have a place in this world. All of us bring meaning and purpose to not only our own lives, but those around us. Every life is precious. The loss of one of us is a loss for all of us. I think that if some people knew that they were not alone and how much they were needed, that maybe, just maybe some of these precious lives would still be with us.

       You Are Not Alone

     A few weeks ago I read a story of a young woman who was twenty-two years old, and had taken her own life. She had seemed to have everything going for her. She had a loving and supportive family, friends who cared about her, and a promising career as a teacher. I write many stories in which the central theme revolves around hope, the beauty and wonder of this world, and how precious life is. This young woman’s story and tragic death deeply saddened me. I decided to reach out to anyone who may be contemplating the path this young woman took, with an open letter. I hope it makes a difference in their lives.

     

     I don’t know your name, but I wish I did. I believe that if you look someone in the eye, and speak their name, you are acknowledging their existence. You are telling them that they are someone, that they are important, and that their life has meaning and purpose. You are letting them know that if they were gone, this world would be a little sadder, a little bit colder, and a lot emptier. My name is Patrick, and I’m pleased to meet you. I don’t know your story. I don’t even know what circumstances have brought you to this point. I do know this, and I know it from the bottom of my heart, and from the deepest part of my soul. You are not alone.

     Sometimes things happen in our lives. We lose jobs, friends, our homes, and sometimes we lose those we love the most. You may be sitting alone somewhere, possibly in a small apartment, or you may be in a room full of people, and yet you feel so empty and alone. You may think to yourself that if you were to die, that nobody would even miss you. That isn’t true. What makes mankind unique is our belief that every life is special and precious, that we are all interconnected together, and that the loss of one of us is a loss for all of us. Right now you may feel that no one needs you. This isn’t true.

     The other day I saw a homeless woman pushing a shopping cart down a city sidewalk. Her clothes were worn and dirty. Everything she owned was in that cart. She appeared to be tired, and broken, and alone. I saw a man walk up to her, look her in the eye, smile, hand her some money and a sandwich. For just a moment her eyes lit up as she realized that she was not alone. None of us are alone if we reach out to those around us, as the man did with the homeless woman. You may feel alone and unwanted, but someone in this world needs you. They need your strength, your intelligence, your goodness, your sense of humor, your compassion. They may even need a sandwich, or a look in the eye which says,

“I see you, and you are not alone.”

     The other day I was on my deck, which overlooks my backyard. There had just been a passing shower. There was a magnificent rainbow arching its way across the sky. The whole world looked fresh and revitalized. I saw a robin with a worm in its mouth. It was most likely heading back to its nest to feed it’s young. I saw a young rabbit that comes around every day to eat the lettuce in my garden. At times like this its hard to feel alone. Even in the winter when the ground is covered with snow, and the wind is blowing, I know that underneath it all is the promise of life, and I don’t feel so alone.

     I’m not an overly religious person, but I do believe in God. On Sunday’s I’ll go to church and look around at all the people. Some are young and some are old, but they all have one thing in common. They all believe in someone or something greater than themselves. They all believe that we are not alone. That all we have to do is look at the person next to us, smile, say hello, maybe shake hands, and some of the pain and hurt will go away. It will lessen, because we can share it with others.

     I know that things may seem bad, and at times you feel like the emptiness just won’t go away. Life will get better. It always does. This Sunday, go to Church. It really doesn’t matter which one. Maybe we’ll meet, and I’ll shake your hand and say hello, and you’ll tell me your name. Please take a minute, and walk to the window and look outside. See the beauty. Sometimes you have to look pretty hard, but it’s there. Make a couple of sandwiches. I like roast beef and swiss with a little mayo. Take a walk and look at the faces of those around you. Look at all the pain, and hurt and fear and need. Also look at all the love and joy and hope and want. You’ll be surprised at how much love and goodness is out there. Give of yourself. There are people out there just like you, with the same hurt and loneliness. Look for them. Look into the eyes around you, and realize that life will get better. It will get better because you are not alone, but more importantly; you are needed. Take care.

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