So it’s been an interesting month. Great, but interesting. Actually way better than great.
This isn’t about the great though…
It’s been two years since we lost our friend Jason to his own hands. I don’t know what it is about this year because it hurts worse… or it’s just harder. I can’t really put my finger on it and not sure how to put it into words. Other than, it sucks. Suicide sucks.
I will never forget that day
Jason and I met in Celebrate Recovery, as many of my close friends and I have. He was in a hard season, in his own way, and ultimately relapsed. This didn’t just sneak up on him or us. He was struggling in his relationship, making bad decisions, and unfortunately pulling away and isolating. Isolating from the men he called brothers and they him.
Man, we did life together. CR, men’s Bible study, couples small group, and met as friends and accountability brothers outside of all that. He had community! So many people in his corner. Willing to love on him, pray with him, listen, and at the same time speak truth in love to him.
Jason would occasionally drop a quick outburst once in a while on FB during this time. So on that Sunday morning when I saw the “Goodbye!” I just thought to myself “ah man, this guy. I don’t have time for this right now, I will call him later” only a few minutes later our friend Gary called me to tell me that Jason had taken his own life.
The rest of the day was somewhat of a blur. I drove as fast as I could right to church. Part of me was in disbelief and I kept saying no to myself. I remember getting into the moniker at church, meeting my sister Lisa and we just hugged and cried. There was just a lot of crying, talking, praying, and just grief. It was overwhelming….. Feelings of loss, sadness, anger, and guilt. Which I guess Lisa saw on my face because she looked at me and told me not to go there.
My intention here wasn’t to relive that day but I don’t think I have ever shared all this outside of a CR group or among close friends. Like most of what I write on this thing is for me and my way of dealing. A kind of self therapy if you will.
This isn’t all of what I remember of my buddy.
He was a Christ follower, a husband, a dad, a son, a brother, a friend, and a Marine.
I used to give him such a hard time about things like not smiling for photos. He had a great smile too and a great laugh. He genuinely cared for others and loved his family, a lot. I teased him about his gym selfies. lol Two things you knew for sure if you went to them gym with Jason. You were going to hurt at the end and have to take a selfie. Part of the reason I think I rarely went. The guy was a beast though.
Something he said in his testimony and that he told me a lot, and I am sure other men, through some rough times of my own. “I got your six bro.” Something he learned as a Marine but carried with him with his new band of brothers at church. We all had his six and I would give anything to have a chance to remind him of that on that morning…
Whenever we would help people move he’d always say “No lite stuff” and he would remind me that they can get the lite stuff on their own. We are here to help with the heavy. Maybe it’s coincidental that there are so many people we have helped move this month. Because he has been on my mind a lot and always during a move these last two years.
I don’t think that I have shared this with more than a one or two people because I don’t really talk about it. But helping people move is how I remember him and honor his memory. Every move we end with a group selfie, share it on FB, and I always add the hashtag #GotYourSix.
He impacted more lives than he ever knew.
Semper Fi Marine and rest easy. We all love and miss you greatly bro…
If you happen to find this and you are struggling in ANY way. Please don’t struggle by yourself. Reach out, don’t isolate, and don’t do life alone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours everyday
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.