Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the fragility of life. 2016 has taken away several beloved celebrities that were icons of our youth or just people that we admired.
I remember when I was thirteen years old and my uncle lost his own battle with his personal demons. I didn't even know he was suffering because all the letters he wrote me were full of encouragement and hope.
It just proved to me that life is too short to doubt one's self or even hesitate. It's important to live in the "now".
There's so much I want to accomplish before I die. So many things I need to say, write, and feel. I hope I get a chance to experience them all.
It also proved to me that the stigma surrounding mental health is (for lack of a better word) stupid. Depressed people just can't or won't "get over something". Not because they don't want to, but because they're stuck in a moment. So maybe of telling someone to move on or to let go we could reassure them that it will be okay or to hold on or simply offer a listening ear. Sometimes people don't want or need advice—just someone to talk to.
I wish I had known how my uncle was feeling, but I didn't. So I treasure my life and I don't take a moment for granted, and I also try to remember to be kind. There's an importance in using the right words because we can either build someone up or tear them down. I would rather be an encouragement to someone than the reason they feel like giving up on everything. Life is a precious thing. We must remember to hold on to it, and encourage those who don't feel as if they belong.
Linda M. Crate's works have shown up in many magazines both online and in print. She is the author of the fantasy Magic series. She also has several chabpooks of poetry out, the latest of which is "If Tomorrow Never Comes" (Scars Publications, August 2016).