Six people I know suicided in the first three months of 2015. They were all middle-aged men, except for one guy in his 30s. I had never been to a suicide funeral before that. Suddenly I was going to two.
We live in a fantastic country, in a time of relative peace. Our part of Auckland is a wonderful community. Yet it is easy to be lonely in a crowd.
What is it with men? Young guys always have a heap of mates who they hang out with. As they get into the family stage of life, they are often too busy to maintain many close friendships. This is the start of becoming more isolated.
As the storms of life – relational, health, employment and financial issues strike, men seldom have true, genuine male friends to walk with them.
I have developed some deep friendships. These have been a result of intentionally spending time together. We often meet weekly to catch up and process the events of the week together. This investment of time results in really knowing each other and caring about how each of us is doing. There are so many situations we face in life, but it is a tragedy if we have to face them alone.
There is reassurance in having friends that I could call at 2.00am if I needed to. I know that I can rely on them and they have my back. Isn’t that the way it should be?
Friends, family and community are what we make them. May you enjoy the blessing of true friendships.