People we lose to suicide

My dearest Gumby,

It’s been a number of years since you graduated from a friend to a guardian angel. I cherish my conversations with the clouds and appreciate when you reveal your presence. You have always been able to understand my feelings when I couldn’t find the words. You also knew how important it was to simply show up to life. As a matter of fact, you showed me unconditional love through some pretty intense seasons. All of the beautiful seasons of life… 

So thank you for loving me.

During junior high, homeroom was always filled with laughter because of our play-by-play notes. One of the benefits of being a slight closet hoarder is holding onto those notes for nearly 2 decades. During visits home, I often re-read your notes just to feel your presence. Thank you for always seeing the magic within and creating moments for us to share a giggle…

During high school, you always used to crack jokes about me being friends with everyone. Grandma, the looney tunes parking lot guy, teachers all the way to just about every student (even the underclassmen). I enjoy making others feel seen! You knew this better than most. To know what it felt like to be on the inside and still feel like an outsider. Never once did you misinterpret my kindness. You never judged my antics. You always created space for me to be, me. Whether the season called for giggles, quiet pauses, tears, or bone crushing hugs; you always showed up. 

During college, you made efforts to visit me at school. Not a lot of people did that. The double birthday celebration was super special (I miss you more than ever this time of year…). This was when we became legal adults! Adulting is so overrated! My goal in life is to do just about anything to avoid being conventional… I’m dedicating my life to re-writing the rule book.

After college, our g-chat conversations always brightened my day. During the years when you were in Europe, it was nice to wake up to messages from you. When you were in the USA, it was nice to catch you during my lunch. Just seeing your name pop up brought me great joy. You were always a treasured friend that understood what it meant to be an actual friend. No strings, just love. Thank you for always treating me like a person!

I still have moments of questioning if I was a good friend to you. I question if you died feeling alone. My heart hurt for years thinking that you felt alone. My heart would break if this was a truth. Somehow, I know that you are at peace and prefer a life of floating in the clouds making people giggle. Even tonight, the lights started flickering… pretty sure that was you (or Grandpa Corvo) trying to catch my attention.

I’ll have you know that I finally found my way back to the USA. Had I given you a timeline to work with, I kind of feel that you’d still be here. I take comfort knowing that you knew of my open invite to visit Asia. I wanted you to see me in my element. Galavanting around the globe, breaking hearts and taking names. True Jess Style… the fearless Jess that you knew anyway. Never settling for anything less than absolute magic! I should have kidnapped you! Coming home has been difficult. I fully understand the reverse culture shock you went through. The constant feeling like a fish out of water. The simple fact that my passport is on my person MOST of the time… Being a foreigner has been more magical than being home. Sometimes I feel like I forgot how to adult. On top of the reverse culture shock, I decided to open wounds to heal. In hindsight, I have no freaking idea what possessed me to do this whilst living under the same roof as my mommabear. Part of me had to rip off the band-aid and see what team people were on. Part of me needed to jump in the deep end to see what I was made of. This was a huge undertaking in the personal development space. Lots of casualties during this season. Lots of growth. It’s taken me 14+ months to find my light. Another 2+ months to hit my stride. So many people tried to piss on my parade, dim my light or put me in harm’s way (most of these knuckleheads called themselves friends growing up). Thanks for never being one of those people. You always knew that the brightest smile came from the darkest past. Each time I allowed you into my space, you reminded me that it’s OK to trust others. You took off your shoes, conscious about everything, and embraced me with great care. 

Because of that, when it feels like my walls are caving in, you are still on my list of well-wishers. Between the words never spoken and the promises never broken, your love has pulled me through so many seasons. 

I dunno what to say other than THANK YOU. My life has been profoundly filled with more love because of your presence. You wiggled into my heart and I’ve made sure to always keep space for you. Thinking of you allows the good days to be brighter and the difficult days to be more bearable… I miss you, my dear friend. Even more so this time of year. Thank you for continuing to look after me. Thank you for joining the army of guardian angels that keep me safe. I still have a lot to accomplish… I take great comfort knowing that you and the team will see to it that I accomplish everything that my heart desires.

With unconditional love (and gratitude)

Your Pokey

#Gratitude #LettersOfGratitude #GratitudeChangesAttitude #Soulship #Friendship #Love #Gumby #Pokey #SuicidePrevention #SuicideAwareness #Suicide

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