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  • “I know it is a hard time for you,” I wrote to a friend a few months ago, “But please don’t kill yourself.”

    More recently, I wrote an email to someone I have just met, because I was concerned: “Please don’t kill yourself.”

    Presumptuous, but I said it.

    And then, just a few days ago, to yet another friend: “Please don’t kill yourself,” and I was absolutely serious. I was in tears.

    The words came before I had too much time to think about it. A life-saving reflex response.

    It seemed important to reach out, to be fully present, and say the words:”Please don’t kill yourself.”

    In each case, I wanted to go on record with some love, concern and compassion, for whatever good it might do.

    Because how can we know if just those few words might in fact make a difference?

    How can we ever know?

    Recently reported: suicides among active-duty soldiers hit another record high in 2011. 164 troops took their own lives.

    In San Francisco, suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge are also on the rise – a pace approaching records – at least 24 since January.

    It seems to be a record year wherever you look these days, suicide-wise.

    For many people right now, times have never been worse, and checking out can seem like the only option left.

    We can get a sense of what may be going on with a friend, and say: “Don’t do it.”

    If any of you reading this have been having life-ending thoughts, take a time out right now, breathe, make a list of everything
    in your life you are grateful for, call someone who needs cheering up more than you do, and if you are feeling at the absolute end, get help.

    You have a purpose. You are here for a reason. You have work to do. There is a God, and God loves you.

    It seems that Suicide Prevention Lines everywhere are being shut down for lack of funding, so we are on our own now.

    Please don't kill yourself.
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