“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
This episode is about those secret sorrows, it’s an inside look at the world of depression and suicide. Depression that affect 20 million Americans a year. And depression is like a war, you either win or die trying…
Let’s take a look at one war, which was the catalyst for this episode, it’s an Instagram posts that reads…
“Today my neighbors dogs were wandering around my yard. One i had not seen before, but i went out there and called to them and they came with me to go over to their home. I knocked on the door. This had happened before and on one occasion one of the dogs killed a few of my chickens. The owner was very apologetic and said he would find new chickens and i told him that wouldn’t be necessary, but he made sure I took his number and talked to him later.
Later that week he called me and asked if he could come over. He did and brought me a handmade and stained cutting board that he had made along with money to buy new chickens. I told him the gift would be enough. It was beautiful, but he insisted. He would come over with his daughter and wife, so his daughter could play and practice riding her bike in our driveway. He even approached me about starting a neighborhood gardening program and wanted help in the future getting a garden set up so he could reach the soil more comfortably due to a back injury. That was a couple weeks ago.
Anyway, he didn’t answer the door. A woman i had never met did. She was apologetic. I told her no worries it had happened before and I knew Brandon. She said, “Brandon died.” We walked and talked while getting the other dog from my yard. She told me how many times he had toured Iraq (3). She told me a story of a time he stayed with a civilian child that no one would help because they thought he had IED. He stayed with them and held him. She told me of how he would wake up in the night searching for body parts…with tears in her eyes… He was such a great guy and so compassionate. He taught our city proper flag etiquette and he loved his daughter so much… I don’t really have anything to close this post. We all have heard the problems…the VA, the war, stigma against mental illness…it never quite hits you so hard at how bad it is for some of are friends and heroes that gave all they could to fight for our country, except when it is someone you knew and right across the street.
RIP Brandon. Thank you for your patriotism and selfless service and love of community.
If you are struggling with emotional issues or depression…please reach out to me. I have been there. I have reached the point of my only hope being pure luck that i have woken up the next day. Life is nothing short of beautiful. In a moment it can seem as though there is nothing but pain, but coming up from the bottom is the most beautiful ride.”
I reached out, and here’s that discussion…
Notes from the conversation with Chris Gilbert