Soul Train was a staple on my TV growing up, I remember forcing myself to stay up and wait for it to air. We didn’t have cable back then and I had no other means of seeing my favorite artists live. And the Soul Train line? It was everything! So it comes as no surprise that I was deeply saddened by the news of Don Cornelius’s death, this morning. Particularly because he has allegedly taken his own life, it has especially hard to wrap my head around such a tragedy.
I cannot pretend to understand what it is like to feel like things are so bad today that you can’t fathom giving tomorrow a try. I have never been to that place but I can empathize. I haven’t lived a charmed life nor anything remotely close to one. I know what hopelessness feels like. Quite frankly it sucks. But I make it a point to have faith in tomorrow when today is bad. There have been times where I’ve been distraught and gone to bed early (even 6pm early) in the hopes of ushering in “tomorrow” sooner. But thoughts of no tomorrow? I cannot relate.
Maybe I’ve never known that kind of pain. Maybe I am simplifying something that is too complex for anyone who hasn’t been there to truly understand. I do know one thing. While suicide is a means to an end for those in pain, it is the onset of hurt and strife for those that love them. In the moment, I imagine helplessness is overwhelmingly burdensome. And it may very well be too difficult to get through today. But we have been promised that joy comes in the morning, Psalm 30:5. I just wish that Don, and those who are in similar mental spaces, had enough faith to believe that.
There is no greater shock than to learn you have lost a loved one to their own hand. In May of 2011, my dearest uncle passed away; he, too, took his own life. It was a loss that none of us were ready for. A loss we (as a family) still do not understand, and frankly may never be able to.
Today the family of Don Cornelius and those who love him worldwide feel that same shock. I pray that wherever his soul is this morning it has truly found the love and peace he wished for us all those years.
How do you keep the faith when you are feeling helpless? Do you believe that joy always comes in the morning? Have you ever lost a loved one to their own hand?