The first time I heard the expression comedically tossed around, it sent chills down my spine.
Maybe it was because I heard it only a short while after staring at my own daddy’s body on a morgue table–a self-inflicted gunshot wound punctured through his chest.
Or maybe it was because I possessed a shred of human decency that cringed at the thought of speaking such hate over someone–whether joking or not. Radical, right? That we live in a world where even shreds of decency are still requested of people. Blasphemy! That we would be required, still, to be conscious of our words and expressions. But what about the comedy? The culture? The hashtags?
To anyone who has ever sung, spoken, written, typed, or even thought about expressing this phrase, this letter is for you.
Every piece of me would like to write an educated, biting, stern, sharp-tongued, and inarguable note to you. But I am going to make a conscious, thoughtful, and diligent effort to cling to that shred of decency that exists in me–that I pray one day you find in yourself–to simply share with you what I hope for your life.
I hope you stop allowing your desire to be funny to hijack your ability to be respected.
I hope you stop forfeiting authenticity for relevance.
I hope you stop sacrificing decency for popularity.
I hope you realize your trending hashtag will never be as valuable as your character.
I hope your immature ignorance quickly matures into thoughtfulness.
I hope you realize people look up to you, and I hope that power stops going to your head.
I pray you never have to wonder why your father didn’t come home from work.
I pray you never have to call his cell phone over and over and over, wondering why he won’t pick up.
I pray you never have to fall asleep on his side of the bed, breathing in his scent and praying he comes home.
I pray you’re never awoken to the sounds of your screaming mother.
I pray you never have to read a suicide letter from a person who has given up hope.
I pray you never have to search for that person, unsure of whether they are dead or alive.
I pray the police never walk through the door.
I pray you never have to see your sister shatter and fall to the floor.
I pray you never have to hear your mother wail and cry.
I pray you never have to stare at your hero’s stiffened body in a casket.
I pray you never have to wrestle with a hardened, resentful heart.
I pray you never have to question why your love wasn’t enough.
I PRAY YOU NEVER HAVE TO QUESTION WHY YOUR LOVE WASN’T ENOUGH.
I hope you never have to wonder why the person you loved couldn’t love themselves.
I hope you never have to wonder who tore them down and spoke hate to their hearts.
I hope you never have to realize that person was YOU.
I hope you never have to regret the things you said or lies you told.
I hope you’re dreams are never crowded by shameful memories.
I hope you never lose your best friend, your sister, or your brother.
I hope you never lose your classmate, your co-worker, or your neighbor.
I hope you never lose your son, your daughter, or your mother.
But most of all, I hope you never lose the person you spoke “Kill yourself.” to.
Because you can rationalize, sympathize, dismiss or ignore the truth.
But you will live with a suicidal scar deeper than you can handle for all the days of your life.
And I would NEVER, EVER, EVER wish that upon you.