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Monday, February 22, 2010


I've had a rash of different emotions lately. This tends to happen when I have a lot going on, and right now I do. It's the little things (every day life with 4 kids, running from one thing to the next, what seems to be a constant round of illness with one that passes to the next, and so on), and the potential of some big things going on in my life.

I'm not immune from stress, or even an occasional day of depression. I've been thinking a lot the last few days about two important people in my life that have moved on. First, my brother and second, my brother-in-law (and dear friend). Both committed suicide. Today I happened to hear a song that I have associated with my brother-in-law from the time he passed away, almost six years ago. It seemed that I heard this song everywhere when he died and it's always, for whatever reason, made me feel like he was near. You can listen to it here. (click on play)

And I thought it was a funny coincidence that he'd been on my mind lately.

But then I got a phone call from one of my brothers, telling me to get on FB to look at something. And on his profile, I saw the video that our other brother (I have three) put together of my little brother, Jacob, who passed away seven years ago in June.

Every time I watch this video I laugh and I cry, because this is who Jacob was. And I'm so grateful I have this to remember him. To remember who he was and the beauty he saw in life.

I don't begrudge my brothers for their choices. I can't even pretend to understand where they were emotionally to do this. I know some people call suicide selfish, but in my mind it's so much more complicated than that. But this post is not about that hot-button issue. My hope that what you take from this post is this:

It's too easy to be immune to the things happening in our lives.
It's too easy to give up because something is challenging or hard.
It's too easy to close off.
But don't.
Don't be immune to life.
Feel it with all of you.
Realize that you are important. You are incredible. What you feel matters.
And feel it with all of your heart.


Katie said...

Beautifully said. Thank you. :)

Aubrey H said...

wow, I cried with that post. I have 3 younger brothers, and I can't even imagine. What a great video, and what a great message...thank you for sharing. :)

Kelli Bramble said...

Beautiful, dear. *hugs*

Danielle said...

Great message Joanna.

And on a side note, if you're not familiar with the AFSP, you should check them out. My friends and I walk in honor of a dear friend who took his life a few years back. It's a great way to support suicide prevention and research.

Jeremi said...

Joanna what a beautiful tribute! Thanks again for all your book suggestions, etc, it's been exactly 11 months since we have gone through that here. I was always hesitant to judge but I have definitely come out with a lot more compassion for those who take their lives. We just simply cannot know their anguish. While I still go through all the cycles of grief in the end I can't help but LOVE! The saddest part is not being able to enjoy that person's company anymore! :(
HUGS girl!

Tyler & Ashley said...

He was such a cool guy, I loved Jacob so much!!! I am glad that I got to know him as well as I did! I love this video and have seen it several times... He was so talented and such a beautiful boy! Thanks for sharing this special video with me once again!

Cindy said...

I can't even imagine what that is like, but I can feel the love in your words.

Joanna Taylor said...

Thanks for your sweet words, my friends.

Lindsay said...

Thank you for that.

heatheranne said...

Joanna dear... I LOVE you!!!