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Wednesday 27 January 2016


This is a guest blog I wrote for Everything But The Cat, which went online today.  I'm sharing it here, as well.  Please click here for the original link.

To My Fellow Traveler:

First, I want to offer a sincere apology.  I am sorry you haven’t  received what you need to stay in this world.  I wish someone was there to hold you now.  I wish someone would tell you everything will be alright.  I wish that was a promise someone could keep.  I want you to know you are not alone.  

It is for this reason that I’m writing this letter.  You have every right to choose to end your life.  I will not think any less of you if you do.  But, if you can find a way to stay alive, I ask that you try, because I need you.  I need you because there are so few people in this world who ever see the darkness that you see right now – and darkness is where beauty lives.  

So few people are willing to look at what you are facing right now: that raw, scary side of ourselves.  That side that is dark and hurts.  That side that we are always told to hide away, that people don’t want to talk about.  The ugly, raw stuff that is at the core of our being.  It scares people because it is not polite.  It is not nice.  It is not sunny.  But, I have to say, those people are full of shit.  The fear of their own darkness keeps them from looking at it in another.  That’s bullshit.  And it kills.  It kills our soul.

Only in darkness, can you experience the true splendor of light.  Much like our atmosphere during the day, the expectations of society create a false roof on our world.  You need to wait until the black of night to know the stars exist.  Don’t allow this cage to kill you.  It is not real.  There is so much more beyond what you can see right now.  You have set sail on the sea of night.  That is where the stars live; where infinite possibility lies.  

Right now, you feel like you are the only ship on an endless black ocean, but I assure you the shore is near.  There are people who know the darkness well and keep lighthouses burning for lost ships, like you, through the night.  They remember too clearly the loneliness of the sea.  I urge you to sail long enough to reach a lighthouse.  

You may long for death; I beg, don’t do it.  Do anything else.  Explode your life.  Run away.  Grab whatever you can and head out down the road into the unknown.  Leave everything and everyone behind.  RUN!  Start over – anywhere.  Do anything.  Just stay alive for a little bit longer.  Look for someone else who has seen the darkness you now see.  Find a way out.   Death never stops being an option, life is finite.  What do you have to lose?  If the alternative is always death, why not try anything else?  Just stay alive for one more day.  I need you.

I need you to join my legion.  A legion of people who have danced with death and lived to tell about it; walked the darkest depths of the underworld and come out the other side.  People who have known the extent of human suffering and survived.  It is through suffering that we gain the capacity for compassion.  How can we truly understand another’s pain, if we refuse to know our own?  This world is lacking true empathy.  Too few people can face themselves and live.  You stand at the precipice.  Just keep sailing.  Those people running the lighthouses have found a way through the night and are looking for you.  On this black ocean, we need as many sailors to reach shore as we can get – there are too few lighthouses, and fewer who know how to tend them.

I know what I ask isn’t easy, but neither is your other choice.  I don’t know what takes more courage, life or death.  Maybe they are different sides of the same coin.  Either way, you are brave.

Thank you for taking the time to read my plea.  I hope, one day, to meet you and talk about the darkness.  Hopefully, we can lessen the weight of it for each other.  But mostly, I hope that you find peace in your soul.

So, though we may not have met, may never meet, I want you to know that I carry love for you.  I love your darkness because it is the only way to see your light.  If you do choose to depart this earth, know that I mourn your passing and pray that you will find what you seek in the journey beyond.  May you wake to a kinder life.  

Much love and respect,
AJ Laflamme

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