This week I’ve been involved in two human lives with very different outcomes. Unfortunately, I came into the picture too late with one of the women, she was already dead. She took her own life. She had tried to reach out and received no response.

I’m not saying this to induce any guilt. My objective is to raise awareness. We are living in times that are extremely stressful. Thousands of people are grieving loved ones. Covid is a reality that affects us all unless we go into denial or choose to live in a bubble. Jobs are being lost, people’s finances are being shattered. I hear stories from people living in their cars, with friends or family. Not enough money to feed their families. Or just living under the threat of not making ends meet.

Yes, this is happening and it is happening very rapidly. If you are a person that cannot relate to this then you are privileged. This is where it’s time to put on the listening ears. To make sure that you respond when or if someone is reaching out to you.

This is not the time to isolate ourselves. We need each other to make it through.

The woman who tragically committed suicide had lost both parents to Covid. She was devastated. She did not have much of a network. Hence, people did not know this since she tended to stick to herself. Her manager at work who told me the story noticed that something was not right. Unfortunately, he did not act on that inner nudge.

One day she contacted him online and tried to initiate a conversation, but he had a busy day and did not respond. The manager told me the story and how he in hindsight realizes that she was reaching out to him in different ways. Then it got quiet and an uneasy feeling developed. Three days later the woman was found by her neighbors overdosed on sleeping pills. Her dog was barking and the neighbors reacted.

Afterwards the manager is full of irrational guilt and having to work on not feeling responsible. At the same time, he said to me: “Write about this Ulf – We need to put on our listening ears now more than ever!”

When we are dealing with crisis we are vulnerable. It becomes very difficult to reach out to others and ask for help. No person is an island and it is when life feels dark and hopeless that we need each other. It’s a big step to reach out when we are in places of need. That’s why it’s so important that we use our listening skills.

This is not the time to live life as if nothing is happening. This is the time to be swift to respond to our intuitions and making extra sure that people are feeling cared for.

On Monday I will tell you another story with a happier outcome. We need each other!

Have a brilliant day!

Ulf Lidman

When people are reaching out: RESPOND!