Recently, a Bay Area mom of a child with autism took her life. She was known to her family and friends as a generous, caring person, one who was actively involved with her family and in the community. She had many talents to contribute to society. She will be missed by all who knew her.
While we are saddened and baffled by this event, it forces us to reflect on our own lives. Are we truly okay? Do we have people we can talk to, people who will take time to listen? Are we reaching out to someone when the journey becomes too difficult, when we feel despair?
Thinking about what a wonderful giving person she was makes one wonder how it could happen to someone like her. There may be no warning signs. Someone could be going through a lot of pain deep inside, but may smile for the world, afraid to burden others. This places a responsibility on all of us. We must support those around us, periodically check in with them, and ask if we can help with anything.
Even the fewest words of encouragement, even the smallest acts of kindness may help someone get through their day, and help them know that they will make it.
Parents to children with autism and other special needs, please remember: You are not alone. Please reach out to a friend, a neighbor, or a family member when you feel you are losing hope. It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be okay.