September 7, 2019



Suicide prevention month isn’t until October, but I’m thinking of it – and my brother – today.

We had a wonderful childhood, growing up at the beach in Southeast Texas. I’ve written about that before. More than once.

Steve and me as children in the sand.
Steve and me as children in the sand. What was that look?? Maybe “I don’t want to be covered in sand!!!”

The beach has come back into my life in a big way recently, with memories of Steve crashing in – like the waves we used to body surf on.

He’s gone.

But he’s not.

The memories loom large.

Like the waves of long ago.

Oh, how we’d shriek as they tossed us around, pulled us under and propelled us toward the shore.

Oh, how my soul shrieked when I learned of his death.

The shock of his choice brought a tsunami of sorrow, threatening to pull us all under, but somehow, in time, we landed on the shore.

Bruised but not broken.

Forever sad.

But forever glad, too. Those memories are strong.

And today, they wove themselves into a haiku, prompted by the new beach in my life in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

how fleeting we are • everything but memories • erased by the tides

I took the photo last weekend, and today, it spoke to me of Steve. A footprint, a feather and a leaf, about to be swept away.

Here’s a plea for anyone who is hurting to reach out before making a final choice: My Brother’s Suicide: Out of the Darkness and Into the Light. If you want to learn about suicide prevention, please check out the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Or the suicide prevention organization in your home country.

If you are thinking of suicide, please please please call the National Suicide Hotline. Please.

In memory of Steven Thomas Harvell, 1966 – 2013. Forever in our hearts.

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