During the month of November we celebrate Thanksgiving which is one of the great American holidays. It is a day when families gather to watch football and have a meal of turkey and all of the trimmings. A lot of work goes into preparation for the day. All of the shopping that is done is for the food to make the day a real love feast. People try to outdo each other as they prepare the meal. In many instances, Thanksgiving stretches into the whole weekend. Families are able to enjoy each other and each other’s presence.
Thanksgiving is also a time to take stock of some decisions that we have made in our lives. In my estimation, there are two types of decisions that we make in our lives. One type of decision is such that does not transform our lives. Our lives remain basically the same. Such a decision makes an accidental change in life but it is not transformative. An example of such a change would be to make a job change such as going from a sales job to a marketing type of job. One might remain within the same company or go to a different company. Basically, one’s life remains the same.
The other type of change is more dramatic and is referred to as a transformational type of change. This type of a decision changes the dynamic of the person’s life. An example of this type of change is the decision to have a child. Such a decision is life-altering in that nothing is the same as before. Another example is the decision to get married. Once that decision is made one alters the life that they had before the marriage. That life that was lived before the marriage is over and a completely different type of life is now going to be experienced. Sometimes these transformational decisions are made by the person or persons and such people live out the results of the decision. They willingly entered into the transformational decision that was made and they willingly live with the consequences of such a decision.
There are other types of transformational decisions that are made that impact the lives of people who had no part in the decision making process. If a spouse makes the decision that life has become too painful to continue and they end their life, this decision will impact the surviving spouse as well as any children that make up the family structure. If a child makes the decision to end their life this decision will impact the parents as well as the siblings that are a part of the family system.
Suicide is by no means a simple decision, and the result of a great deal of struggling. We don’t know how long a person has struggled with this decision, and one might conclude that this was the only way out of their pain. When a person makes the decision to end their life that decision has far reaching ramifications that impact the lives of the survivors. Survivors are challenged with this transformational decision. Life is never going to be the same.