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Hard to believe it's been four years since I lost my friend and mentor. It took a few years after his death to put my feelings into an editorial cartoon and I desperately hope this message will help others out there!

Listen and be involved in their lives - be there for them!

R.I.P., my friend!

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Comment by Art "Chief Reason" Goodrich on January 8, 2012 at 12:30pm

Paul:

When I saw this one on Facebook, at first I thought, "yeah; not wearing your seatbelt IS suicide".

But then, I read the comments.

Losing a friend and mentor is hard enough, but the taking of one's own life adds several more layers of despair and anguish to those left to make sense of it. We start thinking back, trying to find that point/that warning sign where we, as their friend, could offer our shoulder. Then, we start thinking that we could have done more as a friend. But when we come to realize that our friend is in need of help, we must also realize that OUR help comes in the form of support, because the help that they need goes well beyond what we can give. It has to come from a trained professional. We can listen to them and we can give them moral support, but the emotional support that is needed comes from getting to the root of the problem and resolving it. Again; that takes someone trained extensively in psychiatry.

We all have bad days, but through many means, we can process it and get ourselves back to a "good place" emotionally. And that may include the support of the people around us.

Your drawing has the powerful, visual message that, in my mind, says that we can't be so busy to take care of others that we forget to take care of ourselves. We are so consumed by taking care of our communities that we allow that service to consume us in ways that only we can feel. We have to recognize that a single event or the cumulative effect of years of "bad stuff" doesn't go away on its own.

Stunning work, once again, Paul.

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