Gatekeeping (12th Edition)

by Kathy on May 31, 2015 · 3 comments

in Communication, Coping, Family, Friends, Gatekeeping, Suicide Prevention

How are you feeling?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

Welcome to the twelfth edition of my “Gatekeeping” blog series. I shared the back story of these simple and yet powerful questions in this post.

It’s been almost two years since we last did some Gatekeeping here.

Wow.

I can hardly believe that…

I was about to head up to bed tonight, and was closing open internet windows on my laptop, when I realized that I had not shared a single blog post here in the month of May. I didn’t feel super compelled to write, but also wasn’t ready for another month to come and go without me writing and posting something here, in this space, that means so much to me.

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Over the past four years, I have lost loved ones to suicide. I realize that there is likely nothing I could have done to change the outcome of their lives, but it is something that I struggle with as I continue to work through my grief and try to make peace with these women taking their own lives.

I know that many of us suffer in silence when we are going through difficult and uncertain times in our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I am not asking you to tell me your secrets or your problems, unless you want to of course. But I invite you to check in here periodically (you can also email me or send a Facebook message) and let me know how you are feeling and what plans you may have for tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt from the post I referenced above called Gatekeepers:

My favorite line in Meg (Hutchinson’s) song (called Gatekeepers) is, “maybe every day, in ordinary ways, we hold each other on, we keep each other here.”

I think that is so profound and it certainly rings true for me.

There have been countless people throughout my life that have been “Gatekeepers” to me. Though I have never seriously considered taking my own life and strongly believe that I will never do so, I have survived some very rough patches where my self-esteem and self-worth were severely challenged. 

I love the idea that in “ordinary ways” we can make extraordinary differences in the journeys of loved ones and even strangers that we meet throughout the course of our day-to-day lives. 

Kevin “the Gatekeeper” Briggs has done so by asking those two simple questions of strangers he has met contemplating jumping (off the Golden Gate Bridge), Meg Hutchinson has done so through her music and song, Bob Edwards has done so with the stories he shares on his radio show and you all have done so for me over the years through your comments here, your caring ways, your love and your support as my readers, fellow bloggers, friends and family members. 

Thank you so very much.

I post “Gatekeeping” blog entries now and then and hope that they present the opportunity for anyone who reads them who is having a hard time coping with challenges they are facing in life to share. That said, you are certainly welcome to comment about the things you are feeling good about too. I believe that being able to recognize and name the things we are grateful for is essential to help us find peace and joy in our lives. That is part of why I loved participating in Lori’s Perfect Moment Mondays.

Sometimes it’s the little things than can help keep us a float when we feel like we are drowning. Just knowing that others care and want to know how we are feeling, as well as being able to think about what we might do tomorrow has the power to help us get through tough times.

Thank you for reading. I hope that however you are doing today that you know there are people in your life (I am one of them) who care about how you are feeling and want to know what your plans, hopes and dreams are for tomorrow and the days to come.

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I will start us off by answering the questions myself:

I am feeling… 

Tired — It’s been a wonderful weekend, filled with lots of family time and activities. I am ready for a good night’s sleep, to get me ready to take on this next week/the month of June.

Accomplished — I have certain monthly goals related to my business as a health & fitness coach. I am pleased to share that I reached them for May.

Determined — I continue to LOVE what I do as a Beachbody coach — from working with my clients to help motivate/support them and hold them accountable for their health and fitness goals to training/mentoring the coaches on my team. I am psyched for another great month of helping people to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

Proud — Sean performed this weekend with the Chicago Children’s Choir and served for the first time as an alter server at a mass, alongside the priest that married Bob and me (15 years ago in September). Eleven has been a difficult age for our son, at times, and this weekend he really shined/seemed to be doing things that he loves. That was awesome to see!

Happy — Abby is at such a fun age, five years old (she will be six in September), and it is so awesome to engage with her in conversations, to try to answer her questions about anything and everything, as well as to be silly with our daughter.

Grateful — Bob and I are both very busy with our jobs. For the most part, we are both fine with that. I am grateful that Bob and I have both found vocations (in addition to parenting) that challenge us (in good ways) and that we are thriving in.

I am also grateful for the overall health and wellness of our extended family and fiends. Though there are some who have aches and pains (both physically and emotionally),  most of our loved ones seem to be in a good place in their lives now.

My plans for tomorrow/the days to come… 

It is going to be another fun and busy end-of-the school year related week for our family! 🙂 Abby will graduate from Junior Kindergarten and perform in a dance recital. Sean will cross-over from being a Cub Scout to a Boy Scout. We will participate in the Running for Hope 5K run/walk with Team Caring Connection (in honor and memory of our Molly and Babies Benson) for the third year.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 April May 31, 2015 at 11:45 pm

Kathy, thank you so much for gatekeeping. I am feeling worried and apprehensive because of our plans for tomorrow. We’ve been dealing with far too much since the beginning of March. Hopefully it will end on a positive note tomorrow.
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2 Justine June 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Hi, Kathy … thanks for posting this. My friend just lost her sister to suicide last night. My immediate plans involve going to bring her family some dinner tonight, and to try to be there as much as I can for them over these next few days, which will likely not feel like enough.

As for me: proud of my two kids, N. who ran/walked her first 5k this weekend (with a little help from me at mile 1.5) 🙂 and I. who raised $210 for homelessness prevention by participating in Box City. (Funny: I couldn’t bring myself to write “website” in here today because I feel like I’ve been so lax in my own posting …)

Congratulations on so many accomplished goals this month, for you and your family! And much love for June and the promise of summer.

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3 loribeth June 3, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Great to hear from you, Kathy. I am feeling pretty good tonight, although there have been some uncertain & stressful moments lately, for various reasons.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to going into the city to pick up some new clip-on sunglasses that match my glasses (I broke my old pair last week…!) & then doing some shopping. 🙂 I don’t miss working, but I do miss being downtown sometimes — especially the stores! 😉
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