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Suicide Awareness: Part Three | Maple Grove Hot Springs

On our shores, water runs through our veins. We have learned that many souls are water-bound, just like us. We all know them. This year, one such soul, which is one too many, was lost to suicide and the rapids within his own brilliant mind.

His story, as told by one left in his wake, is a powerful one.

“I’m normally well. Ups and downs have been a staple in my life—a brother lost in drugs, a mother who took her own life.

I’ve lived those experiences, mourned and grieved, and generally stayed well.

I’ve never had chronic anxiety or depression like many deal with on a daily basis.

Until I did.

A few months ago, on a familiar drive, it arrived. I had extreme shortness of breath, my left arm went numb, and my heart was pounding. I was positive I was having a heart attack. It took a visit to the E.R. to find out I had an anxiety attack.

Seven months earlier, my best friend took his own life. Seth Howell. Friend, brother—these names fall short.

Seth was different. Sure, anyone who loses a loved one says that, and it’s probably true in their own way, but Seth, to everyone around, clearly flowed in his own river.

Strangers became his best friends in minutes. And friends became his family even quicker. The guy who’d drop everything on a whim to cast a line in a river. He answered when called. He said yes. He never wavered.

And yet, no amount of campfire conversations, world travels, and outside adventures revealed his inside pain.

If only. If only. If only he and anyone out there struggling knew how many are waiting to hold their hand. To listen without judgment. To return the love that was so freely given. If only.

He was my best friend. He will always be my best friend.

I deal with my anxieties and depression these days by thinking of Seth, and the good he represents to me. Talking with my wife and my friends. Being open and honest about my struggles

And it helps.

I love you, Seth. “—Sean McCormick


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