I Give Because... Jeff Pike
I Give Because….
I remember it well. I was a young boy just barely out of elementary school when I heard that the older brother of a good friend who lived just down the street had taken his own life. He was only 16 years old, but he seemed much older than that to me. Having gotten caught smoking at school and sent home, he had decided that instead of bearing the angry wrath of his father, which was sure to come, he chose to leave so he would never have to face it again. His actions left a strange, frightening, and alien feeling within me. I sensed quite uncomfortably that innocence had now passed even though I could not explain it. I felt confused, empty, angry, and sad, all feelings I would come to know very well as my life moved on.
Back in 1979, when I was 17 years old and a senior in high school, suicide rocked my world and high school to the bone, when my favorite teacher, an outstanding musician, and personal champion, mentor, and friend to me, unexpectedly took his life. He was loved and adored by all the students and looked up to by every faculty member. It has been 42 years, and when I sit alone now and think about it, I still ask myself why? After all this time, I still have unresolved questions, feelings, and no peace around his death. My guitar teacher also passed that year to natural causes. Both men believed in me greatly and had a massive influence on my life. After high school, I was quite afraid of what lay in store for me, but these two men believed in my talent, and they firmly said they would always be here to help me. I took great comfort in that. Then by the end of January 1979, both were gone. I graduated high school feeling fragile, heartbroken, afraid, lost, and very much alone. As I sit here now, I am not sure if I have ever even told anyone that before, but I often wonder how different my life may have turned out if both had lived.
I could write paragraph after paragraph about family members, close friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and personal heroes who all took their lives. Each death carved a little more out of me and those I loved, taking into the void precious parts of our souls that could never be replaced.
I have struggled deeply with depression, sadness, and fear all of my life for many reasons, and there have been times throughout the years when I gave serious thought to joining my friends who have gone before me, but I didn't - and neither should anyone else.
I knew Eric Mullen well and loved him very much, and I will not belabor the passionate, intelligent, and kind man he was here. That is a story I feel that Kathy should tell, and she does so eloquently and honestly.
I give my time, talent, devotion, and money to Mullen's Miracles because I have seen firsthand the difference, we can make in someone on the edge of suicide. Witnessing and making a positive change in just one person's decision not to leave this world of their accord is life changing. I know that Mullen's Miracles can make a vast and unique difference in saving lives, and those who work with Kathy Mullen and see the drive she has behind Mullen's Miracles will agree with me.
If you are in need, please reach out immediately. Or, if any of this resonates with you in any way, I urge you to learn more about Mullen's Miracles and donate to our cause. Better yet, if you want to make a more personal difference, contact Kathy and inquire about joining our team. Life is a struggle, and we are all walking on a wire in some way, and it can break at a moment's notice.
No one needs to die alone before their time.
December 14, 2021