Veronika Decides to Die is a novel by Paulo Coelho. It tells the story of 24-year-old Slovenian Veronika, who appears to have everything in life going for her, but who decides to kill herself.

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Yesterday, I walked along this desolate coast with my partner and was saddened to know that yet another young person took his own life a short while ago on the railway line.  His parents had asked for donation to the mental health charity, MIND, instead of flower tributes.

In our culture, we pride ourselves in being independent and to need no one. We are strong, we are tough, we can conquer our problems. To need someone else is a sign of weakness, which equates to failure in life.

I remember a cold, bitter woman scorning me, “You still run home to your parents’ house? I never went to mine for anything ever since I qualified.”

Isn’t it awful, to believe that to need someone is weakness? It is a tragedy to be afraid to trust another person, to give ourselves completely, and to love with no fear.

Life after all is about interconnectivity.  Families exist to form a security blanket and safety net for us in our moments of need (and let’s face it, we stumble occasionally in life). And there is no shame in allowing others to care for us when we are too weak to ourselves. That imaginary badge that say “I don’t need anyone” is so unimportant when compared with the fullness of life, when you love and allow yourself to be loved.

Reach out, love with all your heart, connect. It’s the best experience of being alive ❤screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-15-30-28

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye