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Why Not! Save a Life

- submitted by Fred Buccolini

A High School friend of mine married a woman in her late teens. They were deeply in love. He was her white knight. Six weeks after their wedding, the young woman was washing dishes when she received a phone-call; she was told her husband had died an hour earlier while working at a construction site. Some sort of freak accident.

The woman phoned me a few minutes later and told me the news. I was living out of state.

"I'm going to kill myself," she told me.

Worried about her, I told her this was a foolish idea. We talked for a while and I told her that life was a learning process.

Then she told me she would never date another man again.

I told her, "Why not change your thinking. Feel the pain and move on with your life. Why not forgive yourself, and learn to love some more."

She said that it was impossible; that without her husband, her life was over.

I said: "Why not think of the wonderful times you had together; and take that passion and apply it to another area--maybe a career, hobby, or new relationship."

She said she would try.

That was forty years ago.

I visited her this past summer. She is now a nurse. She loves her work, but she lives alone. At 60, she spends her free time watching television, and gardening--but rarely goes out. I sensed a loneliness, a sadness.

I gave her a hug and told her it was nice to see her. I asked her why she never remarried. She smiled, and her eyes became moist.

"It wasn't for a lack of trying. I tried. I took your advice. I went out, dated. But I couldn't recapture that magic. The elements never fell into place again. So I have accepted my life. In many ways its been a full life. I've enjoy helping people at the hospital; to watch them heal. Unfortunately, I could never fully heal myself. I guess I am too much of a romantic. But, heck-I'm still here. I did not kill myself. I'll always thank you for that." Then she looked at me again and said, "Why not give me another hug."

I smiled and did so.



Editor's note: Unfortunately, we sometimes must face tragedies in life. Often, it's not about what happens to us, but how we handle what happens to us. If you are trying to deal with an overwhelming situation and don't have a good friend like Fred, get help from people who care.

Here's a list of organizations that can help:

Help on-line:

Editor's note: Unfortunately, we sometimes must face tragedies in life. Often, it's not about what happens to us, but how we handle what happens to us. If you are trying to deal with an overwhelming situation and don't have a good friend like Fred, get help from people who care.

Here's a list of organizations that can help:

Help on-line: Suicide and Suicide Prevention

Help on the phone:

Check the front pages of your phone directory for a local organization or try:

  • SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Help Line 1-800-789-2647
  • 24 Hour Crisis Prevention Hotline 714-NEW-HOPE

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