A Soft Landing Place For Pain
Pratyusha Bannerjee’s untimely death at her own hands has been splashed across my Facebook feed for a week.
Admittedly, I am not a big TV watcher, so I had no idea who she was when the news first hit that she committed suicide, but gleaning what I could from the headlines, I saw another pretty, talented life gone. Although there has been much speculation on the reasons behind her death, most news sources seem to partially blame trouble with Rahul Raj, her boyfriend.
Pratyusha was excited about the relationship and was telling people she wanted to settle down in 2016, presumably indicating that she and Rahul had plans to make a commitment to each other.
Then, Rahul was apparently engaged to another woman, and Pratyusha took her own life.
Although nobody really knows what happened. I think most glaring to me in this story, is a young woman who feels like she has NO OTHER OPTION than to take her own life.
When things go wrong in life, people can and do decide to end it all. Sometimes we can feel that there is nowhere to go and no option left for us – and I think many of us have felt that way.
But what is it about problems in love – and breaking up especially, that make us feel like we have no options left than to just …go?
As a counselor on a platform that talks to young people about love and sex every day, I hear many stories from young people wanting to kill themselves when love isn’t returned, or when it ends. We think we will never love again. We think we can’t live without the other.
And that is just not true. We can make it past the point of pain, if we lean to feel and just move through it. The best way to get over something is to go through it.
Pratyusha may have needed someone to talk to – someone that doesn’t judge her, or make her feel small for her sadness.
Here is where I feel we can ALL really be a part of changing things for the better. We can all be vessels to hold others’ pain and transform it into love – the one thing they thought they no longer had.
We can do this by listening, REALLY listening without judgment, without being quick to give advice – just listening to those around us who are in pain. By displaying empathy vs. being so quick to call someone “becchara/i” and put them beneath us.
Acclaimed author and researched Brenee Brown says “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
Isn’t that what we all want? Connection? When Pratyusha felt her ultimate connection to Rahul was lost, she took drastic measures. If she had a safe place to land where she could feel her pain, and not be made wrong for what she went through, then she might still be with us today.
In the memory of young, talented Pratyusha, and everyone else that has felt alone without an option, let us all vow to listen with love and an empathetic ear, and be a soft landing place for anyone in pain. It is only that way, that we can all truly, be connected.