This Christmas is hard. What was once my favorite holiday, now is becoming a tough daily fight to stay focused and not spend every waking moment in tears. All I want to do these days is lay in bed and cry.
Last week I noticed that the ring Thad gave me that I now wear on my left ring finger was slipping off said finger awfully easily. Uncomfortably uneasily. Scared it was going to slip off and be lost forever, I ventured to the mall to see what could be done.
Thad made sure I knew how special I was to him by giving me every Christmas and every birthday, a little something, in a little blue box from Tiffany's. Nothing extravagant, but just a little something. A charm, small earrings, my ring etc. I loved it. He was such a romantic. I feared because the cost of the ring, and the engraving, that sizing it would be impossible. But I walked in there hoping something could be done so I could continue to wear it on my ring finger.
I walked into the store and was immediately overcome by a wave of tears. Seriously, I have only been inside a Tiffany's 2 times. Including this trip. I tried to gather myself together and pushed further in. I was approached by 2 sales people at the same time. A young man and a young woman. There was something in the young man that pulled on my heart, so I followed him to his counter. I began to explain, in tears, the significance of the ring, that my husband had passed away a few months ago and my fear of losing it but wanting it to stay on my ring finger. He was so sweet. He took the ring from me and we began to discuss ideas what we could do.
During the conversation, he asked me how my husband had died. God, I hate that question. It will stop the conversation immediately and become really awkward, really fast. I looked at him and started to cry again and said. "He suffered from Depression and Anxiety for a very long time and committed suicide on July 1st.". His face went white and his eyes welled up in tears and for the first time I saw the raw pain behind his eyes. He told me he had been suffering badly with depression for a couple of years now and that he often thought of that himself. He looked at me with eyes that just plead. "Help me."
I stared at him for a moment and then got a chill that ran from the base of my spine, all the way up my neck. What on earth could I do? What on earth could I say? Why would God put this man in my path when I was such a mess. How could I help him?
Then I simply said. "Are you thinking that your family and loved ones would be better off without you?" He nodded slowly. I took his hand and pulled him to the corner of the counter away from other customers and asked him softly. "Do I look better off to you? That is what my sweet Thad thought. Thought I would be better off without him because he was so sick and he wanted to unburden me. Do I look better off without him?" I began to really cry. Right there in the middle of Tiffany's. "I'm not.. Not by a long shot. I doubt myself every day, want him back every day, I have so many unanswered question and I am devastated by his loss EVERY DAY! Do you know you are loved? Please look at me and realize what your choice will do to those that love you."
He asked if he could hug me and I wrapped my arms around him and whispered... " Be kind to yourself. Reach out to those who love you and tell them what you are going through. Let them help you. Let them carry you. I promise it will get better.". He let me just hug him and said. "OK, I will".
I just looked at him and said. "Your life is worth living."
He asked me to return and let him help me with anything else I might need and then looked into my eyes and thanked me. Thanked me over and over. Suddenly, my ring didn't matter anymore. What mattered to me was that this guy understood what I was telling him. We stood there for a moment each took a deep breath. Then parted. I waved to him as I left and sat down on a bench outside of the store.
What just happened? Oh my God, what just happened? Did I just reach out to someone in the middle of Tiffany's and possibly save his life? Save his family and friends from this horrible pain? Did God just really use me like that? WHAT JUST HAPPENED?? Did I imagine that? Did I just have that conversation over a counter in Tiffany's?
Since then I have been to that mall twice and each time I want to walk into Tiffany's and see if he is there and OK. But I'm scared. What if what I said made things worse, or didn't help.. Or, what if it did? What if he is getting the help he needed and is doing better?
All I can do is pray and be thankful for that moment. Be thankful that I left my heart and eyes open enough to see his pain. I just wish someone had been there to let Thad know, that I would never be better off without him. That I would be so devastated by his loss, that for months I would cease to be able to function normally. That I would miss him so much, it causes physical pain.
That a huge part of me is missing and I feel so alone. Especially at Christmastime.