For me it started several years ago with a phone call. My childhood best friend was killed in a car accident due to her own alcohol and drugs issues. I had spoken to her several months earlier for the first time in many years and didn’t realize she had such a bad addiction. Her twin boys had just been born and her son [4] was healthy and happy. It seemed her relationship with her husband was strained, however, I didn’t realize just how much.

At the time I was facilitating a support group for adoptee's and was able to read between the lines and listen for buzz words indicating pain and conflict. After all, I am adopted and very familiar with the cellular wounds of rejection and abandonment.

When I was talking with my friend…she seemed happy. There didn’t seem to be heightened issues. We laughed, talked about old times, caught up on all the gossip of the world and then went our separate ways. A couple days before Thanksgiving, I received a call from her mother telling me she had died and how. I was incredibly devastated. How could this happen? How could I have not seen the signs? After all, I had my own bout with demons and knew where those ugly guys came from and why - how could I have been so blind? Why didn’t I listen better? Why didn’t I follow up? If she had only confided in me, I could have helped her! I knew better!

It’s been over 10 years since Melody passed and I still can’t help to think…if she had only...

Two years ago, another friend took his life. I lived right around the corner and would drive by his house at least twice a day, thinking “I should give Joel a call.” His mom and I use to work together and I watched him grow up. Everybody in town loved this happy, outgoing, rebel with a smile kid. His mom died two years before and they were very close. Because of family money attached, the extended family added pressure to a kid who was not taught how to deal with bills, lawyers, and angry, greedy relatives. He couldn’t handle the pressure any longer and ended his own life. A close friend called and told me, knowing I would drive by his house on the way home and see all the commotion. Again I struggled with the feelings of, “I lived around the corner…why didn’t I check in…why didn’t I call when I knew the situation and I knew deep inside something was going on? I failed his mother…I should have…I could have…why didn’t I?”

The straw that broke the camels back was Peter. Peter was such a gentle soul. He was intelligent, kind, giving, loving, funny…such a wonderful person. With all his sensitive attributes came the inner conflict of rejection and low self worth. He would constantly doubt his abilities and his way of being. We would often talk of ending everything; confiding in each other about our own suicidal attempts, with my hope to bring him some acknowledgement that we are not alone in this process. We made a pact that if he felt in trouble, to call me and we would talk it out. He could trust me; I had worked through a lot of my own inner life stealing issues.

Peter died in September of 2006. He took his life because he felt rejected and abandoned. During the summer prior, I got a new job that was high stress and long hours. I missed Peter’s birthday in July and didn’t return calls because of my work schedule and the lame excuse of being tired. To say once again I was devastated is putting it mildly. I adored Peter; he was a dear and loving friend. And I miss him very much. Because of my own selfish disregard once again…I felt guilty and defeated as a friend.

It was at this time I decided to make some major life changes. I left my high profile, high stress, pain in the butt, no life job and set off on a self discovery, rediscovery quest. I had always been the one my friends and colleagues came to when they needed support, honesty, sound advice and motivation to move forward. How could I continue to be this sounding board when I felt I had let these people down and now they are dead?

From the moment I was born, my life has been about loss. Whether the person was alive or had died, many people have left my life. How does one turn a life time of loss and cellular pain into love and compassionate understanding? How do you step away from the moment of loss and appreciate the moments of life and embrace the reason and purpose of being here?

You love yourself.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

We aren’t here to save each other, in turn, we are here to inspire, motivate, encourage, listen, love, appreciate, and give faith to those who have fallen. To be the example of such.

My listening skills have improved and have changed. I want to help those who feel alone, abandoned, reckless and restless in life. Before the low worth of the inner being takes over and that is all they can hear.

God has his hand on things. With the passing of my friends, I was able to step into my own light and understand my own sense of worth. And with constant self inquiry, I find my truth in life. To step back and let life take its course; to surrender the outcome and live in the moment.

Life is short, period. People and moments are precious. Savor the time together; remember with love instead of regret and guilt.

Rock on!

Author's Bio: 

Trish Lay is the Founder and Creator of Souls at Play Productions. She has been coaching and motivating people to make changes in their life for over 20 years and has written several articles on harmony through conflict and finding your authentic self. She created Souls at Play Productions as a multi-faceted company with continued growth in mind. Souls at Play is now a full service outlet promoting individuals in the areas of: Acting, Coaching, Writing, Public Speaking, and Teaching. She utilizes her coaching style to manage those who choose to follow their passion and seek fulfillment through their work.