As I was riding on our boat with my husband, enjoying the beautiful lake, sunshine and gorgeous day, I heard the song “Why” by Rascal Flatts. How had I not known this song was about a suicide? After a long, long sobbing session, I wiped my eyes and looked up the lyrics. It seemed like a great idea at the time, only to find it jumped out of the page and into my heart.
“You must’ve a been in a place so dark, couldn’t feel the light. Reachin’ for you through that stormy cloud. Now here we are gathered in our little home town. This can’t be the way you meant to draw a crowd. Oh why, that’s what I keep askin’? Was there anything I could have said or done? Oh I, had no clue you were masking a troubled soul, God only knows. What went wrong, and why you’d leave the stage in the middle of a song?
“Now in my mind I keep you frozen as a seventeen (33) year old. Roundin’ third to score that winning run. You always played with passion no matter what the game. When you took the stage you shined just like the sun. Oh why, that’s what I keep askin’? Was there anything I should have said or done? Oh I, had no clue you were masking a troubled soul, God only knows. What went wrong, and why you’d leave the stage in the middle of a song…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now the oak trees are swayin’ in the early autumn breeze. The golden sun is shining on my face. The tangled thoughts I hear a mockingbird sing. This old world really ain’t that bad a place. Oh why there’s no comprehending? And who am I to try to judge or explain? Oh, but I just have one burning question. Who told you life wasn’t worth the fight? They were wrong. They lied. And now you’re gone. And we cried. ‘Cause It’s not like you, to walk away in the middle of a song. Your beautiful song. Your absolutely beautiful song.”
-Songwriters: Robert Mathes / Allen Shamblin
No, it was never like Danielle to walk away from anything. She loved a good debate, challenge or anything that would have stimulated her brain enough to share her viewpoint and fight for what she believed.
She was a powerhouse. A life changer. A woman with a dream. A woman who took better care of her people, neglected herself, and ultimately lost her fight. “Dani, what did I miss…and was there anything I could have said or done, what went wrong, to make you leave in the middle of your song?”
I’ll never have an answer on this side of heaven from my loved one, but I want YOU to never have to ask that question to yours.
Finally, this can’t be said enough: please, please check on your loved ones every chance you get. That “feeling” you may have in your gut that something isn’t right, just may be the push you need to ask these questions instead:
“Are you ok? I’ve noticed you’ve been withdrawing lately. What is going on?”
“Your depression and anxiety seems worse right now. What can I do to help?”
“How can I help you navigate your upcoming *interview, without causing you unnecessary stress or anxiety?”
Those are just a few ways to “spark the conversation,” but alway keep these numbers in your phone, and use or share as often as needed:
The Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or text HELP to 741 741.
I just listened to that song…and thought how many, many times I have asked myself “was there anything I could have said or done?” since losing my beautiful daughter, Cara, to suicide nearly 7 years ago. I agree with Donna… I never want you to have to ask yourself that question.