SUICIDE Mental Health Awareness

 

Kendall. I know you do not realize but you must know that part of your mission here is to help set me free. Thank you for giving me a voice again.- Heather Workes, May 11, 2014

SUICIDE PRESENTED BY KENDALL F. PERSON

When the abuse stops

When I read Heather’s comment, made in the forum section on a very public and well traveled platform. I froze for a moment, then immediately skyped her then husband Kirby. We were in the middle of a two-part series titled When the Abuse Stops. It was the first collaborative work, that would appear in The Neighborhood, where the writers were not simply telling their story, but living it out loud. It would prove to be very powerful, and inspire others who left words of gratitude, support and sorrow.

In every article, in all shows, on every stage, I take great care to know that I am doing the right thing, but Heather’s words, were way over my head. I am who I am – an imaginative writer, a creative producer and a man who understands his contribution and is doing the best he can, but still just a writer.  When I presented my quandary to Kirby, he took a moment to think, then turned and looked directly into the camera and said,”Over the past 10 years, we have been to 15 different doctors. And this is the first time I’ve seen her smile. Let’s go forward.”

Each collaboration is different, but all special. But in working on When the Abuse Stops, I would develop a very close relationship with them both. Two years later, and the bond I share with Kirby Workes is nearly indescribable. The 3 of us would finish  our work together and I remember Heather being so excited and sharing it to everyone.So happy to “have a voice again”  and ultimately knowing, the abuse would soon stop.

On May 23, 2014 Heather Workes  would commit suicide, found in a desolate area by her loving and supportive husband, who somehow knew what she had done.

I call them all artists, but some of the people who take The Neighborhood stage are ordinary people, who have a story to share. But whether they stop through or stay awhile, they always have a home here. Heather Workes was no different and we would memorialize her passing as death by suicide – would fill The Neighborhood with sorrow.

The unspeakable abuse she endured, had happened when she was a child. But the ghosts would re-appear, and Heather Workes – wife and mother of three – would be unable to regain her mental health.

The following  was our way to say goodbye, and to let Kirby know, we would always be by his side.


 


In Mourning: The Neighborhood Remembers One of Its Own

heather Workes

I’m sorry the Workes have to be on this journey.
Its one no one should ever have to endure. Prayers and hugs. – Aurora*

On a rollercoaster, in which we occasionally ride, there are ups and there are downs. The ups are filled with a mix of anticipation, dread, questions and a building excitement, toward what we will face on the other side. The downs, for some are exhilarating. A chance to throw caution to the wind, to scream at the top of our lungs, to be young and carefree again. It is a thrilling adventure, the rollercoaster ride. In a matter of seconds, our minds race with a complex set of emotions. But on the downside, even for those who regret ever taking the ride, stomach in nuts, cries induced by fears, it is but a moment in time, and no matter how afraid we are, we know the ride will come to an end.

But what if you are on the downhill side and you cannot see the end. Try as you might to get off or slow down or simply take a breath, the operator refuses to allow, even the peace of mind to know, that this too shall pass. What if every thing you try – yell, pray, pound your chest, click your heels together and recite in triplet secession, “there’s no place like home”  – fails to make a difference. And what if you had people in your corner, who you knew loved you, and you loved them too, but all of the love that exists around you, and threw you, and is a part of you, has been swept up in the downhill too. Everywhere you look, you see wreckage from your ride, and even though you never wanted to get on, and all around there is love and sincerity to help you get off,  in your mind, there is but one way to make the downhill stop.

No story can be as devastating as that one told in the voice of a child who is abused: 
Heather and Kirby…. you have it {love} from all of us. – JE Buckingham*

I have collaborated with over 100 artists of all genres, from all walks of life and from around the globe. Each experience has been unique and special, but time spent with the Workes’, not only touched my heart, but served as an inspiration as to the bravery of others.  When I began putting the story together, I had to pause upon fully comprehending, that When the Abuse Stops was not simply their reality, but the ongoing story of their lives. We became friends during that brief period of time, I was and will always be grateful for their trust and for seeing them smile.

On May 23, 2014, Heather Workes passed away, stopping the downhill herself.

Heather, The time you spent in The Neighborhood, courageously telling your story and sharing your struggle, touched many lives. We will continue to search for answers, as to how to make it stop; and know that your memory here, will not soon be forgotten.  Rest in peace. The pleasure was ours.

Kirby, Please know, our hearts are with you, and the strength you have given others, we now return to you.heatherworkes

 

And if there is someone hurting or in pain, understand help is out there. We know, that sometimes sorrow is overwhelming, but if you can remember one thing, it is that you are not alone. – Kendall F. Person



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9 comments

  1. My son’s best friend is a retired Marine at age 29 due to horrific injuries sustained; his war buddy – also under 30! Just suicided about three days ago. 😦

  2. I missed the invite for this, my son has ADHD and it is a daily struggle. If there is still room for a poem let me know, otherwise I leave you with this Haiku:
    *****
    It all came in
    After the filter broke.
    Overload.
    *****

    #haiku #ADHD #myson ❤

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