For those who are lost, offer hope and a path to recovery

Mostly, I write about family business governance, succession, growth strategies and ownership transition. I believe in families and the power they have in our lives and society.

Mostly, I write about family business governance, succession, growth strategies and ownership transition. I believe in families and the power they have in our lives and society.

But, as we know, families are full of tragedies, and surviving them is not an easy formula. We can learn from these tragedies and the life lessons they bring. Here’s a big one.

My brother, his wife and my nephew have operated a family business for nearly 30 years. They recently celebrated “gotcha day.” Anyone with an adopted child knows what that means – it’s the day my brother and his wife picked up their adopted child Sam, and he was theirs.

They celebrated Sam’s 24th “gotcha day,” but Sam wasn’t there to celebrate. He took his life at 23 because he couldn’t imagine living with the hell going on inside him.

We were stunned. He was a second-year law student on a full scholarship, tons of friends and a loving family. But depression takes no prisoners.

I wrote a blog in August that included something written five years ago in the online publication Reddit. It was written by “GSnow” in response to a post that read: “My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”

Not sure who “GSnow” is, but his or her response was as good as it gets:

“I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far), and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

“I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to ‘not matter.’ I don’t want it to be something that just passes.

“My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. …

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