I know what superpower I want.

Moe’s only plays songs by dead people. Most people don’t know that. It’s morbid and funny and unique and I love it.
There’s a song we play really rarely; I hear it maybe once every two weeks. Every time it comes on I stop and ask the customer in front of me what it’s called and/or who’s singing because I like it and I can never leave my register for long enough to catch a lyric to Google later. No one ever knows but they always say it’s catchy. But today it came on at a slow minute, and I yelled THE SONG IS PLAYING and ran out to stand under a speaker and listen. Everyone was very confused but I was too excited to care.

It turns out it’s Ugly Heart by GRL. I’d never heard of them before and wondered how on earth anyone in this band is dead, because they’re all really young. But as soon as I asked myself that, I knew.
I looked it up anyways, because I apparently enjoy torturing myself, and confirmed that yes, the band had broken up because one of their members committed suicide.

I read the story and I cried and cried, and even though I’d never heard of these people or heard more than one of their songs, I just wanted this girl to still be alive because she was a person who had a life and who people loved and now they have to talk about her in the past tense. And I thought about how I understand her and I wish I could have known her and found her and talked to her and sat in the deep dark hole with her until she was ready to crawl out, so she could have known that letting it swallow her wasn’t the only option.
And then I thought how I wish I could save everybody who feels that way, that there was a way to swoop in and be there anytime someone wants to die so I could tell them JESUS LOVES YOU STOP IT WAIT. JUST FOR FIVE MINUTES. Among other things…but that would be my opener.

Because that’s all it takes. You don’t have to know anything else to say, you don’t have to know why they feel how they feel, you don’t have to have a long-term plan to keep them from feeling that way again, you just have to BE THERE. It isn’t easy, but it is simple.

To cheer myself up I thought of what I’d answer the next time someone asks if I could have a superpower what I would want it to be. Probably with most people, I really shouldn’t say “I want a magical sense for when people are suicidal, and a way to teleport to them and help them stop it.” But it’s what I’ll want to say, because I just want it to STOP. I want to tell them that Jesus really, really, really loves them, and even if every other thing in life is horrible, that thing is good, and it’s just as real as the horrible things. I wish we’d work just as hard to cure suicide as we do to cure so many physical diseases, and I wish more people would talk about it. I know it’s sad and miserably scary, but that’s why it’s important.

Seriously. I’m unbelievably upset about this poor girl, because I know how she felt. And her poor band mates, because I know how they feel too. I hope they can talk to each other like my cross country team can, because this is a thing that never becomes totally okay. Easier, but never okay. And sometimes you need to be able to say “Hey, I know it’s been a year and eight months, but today I’m just sad about it again,” and then be sad with someone instead of being sad alone.

I just wanted to hear the dumb song again. I didn’t want to open Pandora’s box.


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