(Dedicated to Sunny, Zoe, and Eden)
I’ve read the statistics. I’ve seen the countless Facebook posts that raise awareness. I’ve spoken with friends who have grappled with thoughts of suicide. But once you lose someone to it, the finality of it all is so severe. Over this past month, I learned of three souls who left this world after taking their own lives. I don’t share this news to heap even more overwhelm onto a time period that is already rife with so much sadness and uncertainty on a global level. I simply want to honor the lives of my friends and their families. Their premature and unexpected departures leave all of us here on earth in pain and their families picking up the pieces and questioning what could have been done differently.
My cousin Nick would always sign off his emails with “All the good songs” instead of “Love” or “Sincerely”. I never really understood why nor can I say that I do now, but I always loved that signature. Music has a way of healing and being there for us throughout the ups and downs of life. This October 10th marks the annual World Mental Health Day. I invite people to keep learning about issues that plague millions of people, many of whom are only teenagers. Let us continue to destigmatize mental illness and help people get the help they need but may be unwilling or unable to seek it out for themselves. Not One More Vet, not one more person. No matter who we are or where we are from, we are in this together.
This Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement on which, among many things, we pray to be sealed into the Book of Life, I thought of ways in which I can better help others recognize their inner godliness and beauty as they go through life. “Ki Hinei Kachomer” is a liturgical poem traditionally sung on the holiday, but I often hum its beautiful melody to myself throughout the year as a reminder of the most sobering day and how precious life is. May we continue to celebrate life and move through it to the songs that make us us.
All the good songs,