Make call you’ve been putting off

Published 6:32 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Last Sunday, sometime between enjoying church service via Facebook and attending vespers service that afternoon, I was tickled several times by the thought/idea/urge to call my dear friend “ZXGSJLV” (not my friend’s real name).

Y’all know how that is. We have all had that happen. Then suddenly the phone rings and it is the person you were thinking about. Wow, what a coincidence.

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Well, due to a list of reasons, including “I’ll call tomorrow/later/after …,” I did not make the call that Sunday or Monday or Tuesday, not even Wednesday, the day a mutual friend, J.C. (his real name), called from Georgia to say, tearfully, that he had gotten word that “something terrible has happened to ‘ZXGSJLV,’ would you check it out and see if it is true.”

I assured him that I would do so and immediately started to make phone calls. It only took one call to verify the horror. “ZXGSJLV” had committed suicide on Tuesday afternoon.

We had talked several times on the phone during COVID, but not since February or March. There had been no mention of depression or other than typical issues many of us experienced as COVID and life went on and Future became Present. then Past. Things seemed fine.

Would things have been different had I called “ZXGSJLV” that Sunday, Monday or Tuesday? I didn’t call “ZXGSJLV.” Would “ZXGSJLV” have confided in me, told me of the inner terrors? I will never know. I didn’t call “ZXGSJLV.”

J.C. had intended to call last Sunday also, but had been deeply involved with his sisters and seven nieces and nephews all day. “ZXGSJLV” had not related problems to him either during past calls.

Why am I telling your readers about this? For at least two reasons. First of all, please make the call that you have been putting off. Do not use a text message if you care about the person. Text messages are unfeeling. Secondly, when your friend calls you, talk about your thoughts and emotions, how you are feeling, take the chance. Your friend needs you to do that. Please, please ask for help.

I wish that “ZXGSJLV” had done so, but didn’t. I wish I had called “ZXGSJLV,” but I didn’t.

God, please bless and help “ZXGSJLV”’s family, and all of us.

Dorien de Lusignan