“brón”

This word, bro’n, is the Irish word for sorrow and it seems to me that there is much sorrow suffered by so many this time of year. I do not suffer this time of year and in a way, because so many do, I am hesitant to go overboard with my holiday joyfulness because sometimes it makes it feel like I am gloating…I am deeply grateful that my life has been, in more ways than not, idyllic, but deeply sad for those whose lives have had far more anguish and ache than mine.

My work schedule and lifestyle has never had television be an integral part of my days, however, on days over the years if I was home and sick, or in the winter when my work was very slow, or over the years home with a sick grandchild who was missing school, I would take that opportunity to turn on NBC at 3 o’clock and watch the Ellen show. I loved her show and her wit and her kindness and it was always a great show to me regardless of who her guest was, however some guests I loved more than others. She also liked to start her show with a bit of a dance down the aisle and her DJ Twitch was on the stage and played some music and interacted with her and the audience and often danced and performed as well. His manner was upbeat and he was fun to watch and it added an element of jubilation to an afternoon talk show. Yesterday when I got home from work I was looking at Instagram on my phone and the first thing that showed up was a picture of Twitch that read that he was dead at age 40 by suicide. This is the same man who, with the element of jubilation he shared with his wife, danced and posted videos every few days during the pandemic when all of us were craving interaction, or our fitness classes, or just some fun outside of our homes, and those videos that they called The Boss Family Work Out, were one of the best things on Instagram during the pandemic. I felt so sad so fast when I read that he was dead and then I went to google to read the news associated with the information and just felt, oddly, as I did not know him at all, like I had been kicked in the gut. How could a person who seemingly had everything; gorgeous house, pretty wife, beautiful & healthy kids, and money, LOTS and lots of money, suffer enough despair to want to die and then have the bravery to do the deed of killing himself??!! I slept poorly last night and could not stop thinking about him, his family, and what it means to be stable and content, because it is abundantly clear that what we think would make us all happier, is not what actually makes a human happier…

Kate Spade, Robin Williams, Chris Cornell, Anthony Bourdain, Naomi Judd just to name the first few that came to the top of my head…LOTS and lots of success and LOTS and lots of people who think they were fantastic and yet none of the money or fans could save them from their own despair and sorrow. I do not understand it, at all, and my heart breaks for those who literally have lost all hope. I have gone through very sad and very bad times in my life, but I always had confidence that it would neither last nor linger and that brighter days would be ahead…always optimistic that sunny times were going to soon brighten up my darkness and I hoped that it (whatever it was at the time) would change sooner rather than later, but always had hope. It hurts me to think that there are people who have the feeling of hopelessness despite their lives, on the surface, all that WE SEE, appearing to be truly enviable in every measurable way.

I had been itching to write for days about how much I love to decorate for the holiday season, and how excited I am to get on my computer next week in the wee morning hours to watch the Solstice at Stonehenge on the live stream video, and how much I love my new purple holiday lights and so much glitter is here right now, sparkly and shimmery objects on every single surface and gosh does it delight me!!! …but what I felt I had to write this morning is that it is all well and good to share the suicide hot line number and to tell people who are suffering to please ask for help but it seems to me that the people who have the nerve to “do the deed” are just simply beyond any suicide prevention protocol, no psychiatrist or therapist or hypnosis can help them. Here is a person with three children, a wife, lots of money and lots of talent and I suspect that no amount of pleading with him in that hotel room, “think of your kids, think of how sad this will make their Christmases for the rest of their lives” “think of how many tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people you made smile during a lock-down and global pandemic with your choreography and moves and play lists” would have made a difference if the voices in his head and the words between his ears did not care about any of the practical realities of life and thought everything would be better if he were dead. I literally thought, during the pandemic, almost every time I watched one of the videos with Twitch and his wife, “that’s the kind of joy I would want in a marriage” or I’d think “how great to have such a thing in common, loving to dance, how fun that would be” and here it turns out it does not matter, and did not matter, at all…’love everyone and don’t be a jerk’ is what one of my yoga teachers tells us at the end of every class and I guess that’s really all we can do, because for some the bro’n is too great to bear…

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