Finding Courage when in Crisis


There are some things that happen in life that we may never fully make sense of and that may cause a wound so deep it never truly heals. I do believe we can find meaning in tragedies and time can lessen pain, I do believe in recovery after trauma, thank god for that. However there are some things in life which leave a mark on our hearts and an ache in our souls that we may just need to learn to live with.

I think this is important to say and to address head on, because learning to cope and live through pain is hard and also necessary.

I’ve experienced a number of losses in my life and each one has effected me in a different way. With some, like the sudden death of my grandmother I just needed to get through some waves of emotion in order to feel peace. Other’s such as realizing I was not given the right supports to heal from mental illness early in life and the loss of years to illness and horrible side effects of medications is a trauma I may never fully recover from. My husband’s loss of his first child and the loss of her mother by suicide is another example of a trauma that does not seem to fully fade or become resolved. These are personal examples of pain we learn to live with.

I am an idealist and a romantic so this concept of pain that we have to live with has been very difficult for me to embrace. I am always looking for the fairy tale endings. Maybe that has helped me to cope sometimes as well. Its good strive for positive outcomes. But I can attest its made me resist reality many times. Sometimes it just seems too harsh and ugly.

Maybe you are facing a similar challenge? Maybe you are contemplating or have contemplated ending your life because life just seems too harsh? The problems are too over whelming? The pain is too intense? Things just aren’t how they are supposed to be…

I think more people than we realize get to that point at one time or another and then the question arises,.. how am I ever going to get through this?

And that’s where in the midsts of all the pain we face we may also encounter friends, family, even professionals trying to help us who say things like “time heals all wounds” or “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or they launch into giving us advice to solve the problem at hand. Good intentions, not always helpful though.

I think sometimes we need a different kind of medicine when we face the really tough losses in life. Not a pep talk, not unsolicited advice, sometimes we need an ocean of acceptance. A big wide enormous container of life that has existed for eons that has seen tragedies upon tragedies come and go, and yet keeps flowing. We are made up of water too, over 70% and sometimes we just need to flow.

I have a friend who used to say to me often “nothing needs to happen.” What a crazy statement. When we are in pain especially, it usually feels like something sure does need to happen to stop the pain and fast. What a difficult statement to accept at such times, “nothing needs to happen…” And yet something about it feels right even though it is so damn uncomfortable.

That same friend introduced me a lecture from a man named Martin Prechtel called Grief and Praise and in that lecture there was another statement which was meaningful to me which was in essence “There’s no solution to grief, you just have to let it roll.”

That is hard to accept. Pain is hard to accept. But god does it feel better to accept it than to constantly be trying to hide from it or fight it.

I believe we do need to hope, to dream, to strive for happiness and to work towards recovery after loss and trauma. Action is necessary but not at the expense of acceptance and taking time to just feel and experience our emotions and circumstances. And its important to know that feeling the pain of a loss and a trauma is not a one time occurrence. Its normal to face pain from devastating events many times in life, and in many difference ways. And its okay. In fact its more than okay. Its to be expected. Life includes pain.

So again that question may be coming to mind, but how, how do we go on? And the answer, sometimes, is you just do. You adapt. You pray, you cry, you scream, you write, you sing, you talk, you do what ever feels natural as you face your tragedy and most likely, you also grow stronger in the process. It may not feel good. That’s okay too.

Perhaps one of the most useful analogies I can think of about facing great pain, loss and trauma is that of a man who suddenly goes blind and has to start to rely on all his other senses. He will always miss having sight, it may never change that he cannot see. His life had been irrevocably changed. He may always feel sad about it, but he will also learn to enjoy life in new ways. He will become a stronger person, perhaps even an inspirational person,… His loss of sight would not determine whether he is happy or not for the rest of his life or his ability to be successful, however it will have changes the course of his life forever. And he will need to accept what has happened and find courage to adapt to the changes. It will not be easy, but life will go on, one moment, one breathe, one day at a time. And each moment like each wave of the ocean brings forward new life.

I wanted to write about this topic today because accepting pain is something I have struggled with often and I know there are many others out there in the same boat. I have found that its harder to fight or repress pain. I hope if you are facing some big issues and pain in your life you will find some consolation in this post and perhaps a healthy dose of ‘un sugar coated’ reality that offers a sense of relief. You don’t need to fight or even resolve your grief. Sometimes you just have to let it flow.

Meaghan Beattie







This post got lost when my web hoster went down so I am re-posting here:
The other day my fiance and I were talking, and in the conversation the term normal came up. The online dictionary defines it as this: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. (Pretty interesting.) The Urban dictionary says this : A word made up by this corrupt society so they could single out and attack those who are different (Even more interesting when you think about the difference in definitions.) Ok, so what then is normal, and why have we de-normalized so many things?
Normal for one is not the same normal for another.
Ie. For one who lives in poverty, and grows up with knowing it, and then in turn lives with in it, that becomes their “normal”.
Likewise for one that grows up in wealth, and lives with a golden spoon in their mouth, and never has to worry about anything, that becomes their “normal”.
Now, lets talk about a few other kinds of “normal” not usually discussed:
How about Death? How about Periods? How about Birth? How about faith? How about Sex? How about anger? How about depression? How about anxieties? How about Schizophrenia?
Each of those is normal for the persons walking through those things, but may be taboo for others .. Why?
Why can’t we talk about periods as if they are the most common thing on earth?
Why can’t we talk about death and birth and how they are tied?
Why can’t we talk about sex, which is normal and beautiful in a loving relationship?
Why can’t we talk about mental health in whatever form it shows up with respect and an appreciation that not everyone functions the same way and that is not necessarily a bad thing?
Why can’t we talk about Faith of ANY sort openly with open minds and open hearts, rather than assuming it will only lead to conflicts and hatred?
As if in hiding these things changes the fact that they exist.
None of the topics I have just discussed are new. In fact most of them have been around since creation.
And what about suicide? Surely its something we can discuss…
Its also not normal. How someone died, why they died, the truth behind the stigmas and hiding, none of these topics are commonly discussed publicly. It is time to realize that we need a HUGE change in our thinking. Suicide doesn’t “just happen”. People don’t just wake up in the morning and go, “Today I am going to kill myself”. Studies have shown very clearly that suicide happens when a person believes all other resources have been exhausted. Studies also show that someone dies around the world every 40 seconds. Now that is something that is definitely abnormal.. Or is it? I don’t really know. See what is really abnormal to me is how many people miss the cues, or the warning signs that something is going on. Humans have this natural instinct for self preservation, but somehow when a suicide occurs that doesn’t matter.
So what if we redefined normal. What if normal became simply being honest, simply being real, simply being human.
What if we could just talk to each other about what we thought and felt, without facing the fear of making others
And what if we could make talking about suicide normal?
What if talking about the lost lives became normal?
What if, instead of hiding the truth behind lies, smoke and mirrors, and stigmas, we made it normal to openly discuss such things?
Would that not become a much better “normal”? Would it not help to save more lives?
Tell me, What’s really “normal” anyways?



I recently attended a funeral of my wife’s Grandmother, and we were talking about how most funerals are serious affairs. I was talking about how when I die, I don’t want my funeral to be so serious.. I may appear to be a pretty serious guy most times, but those who know me learn when I am kidding and when I am not. I would also like to be able to say that my life was WORTH celebrating, NOT mourning. Yes people will mourn the loss, but I don’t want it to be something that is dragged out and have people sad that I am not here. I would hope that there would also be a peace knowing I am going to a better place. SO you ask, what has this all got to do with suicide? Well, for one thing, death and suicide are synonymous, you can’t have one without the other as they both end up the same. In my thoughts I also realize how finite life really is and how much of it we take for granted. When one is contemplating ending their life, they are not able to consider the effect on others in quite the same way.

I have a friend, lets call her Rose,  she recently lost a guy she cared for, his friend and his sister all within a 2-3 month period. Now, in the midst of running into her we were talking about things like where is God in all of this, and why does he allow these things to happen? I was trying to explain that their deaths were not a part of God’s plan, but that free will makes it so they happen. the same is true of any suicide. She was saying that they were praying for the sister with a whole bunch of people and she still died. How is that possible? I know I don’t have the answer, only God does, but I sometimes wonder in our humanity, why we buy into the lie that says, “See, even God couldn’t do anything. You prayed and they are still gone.”  I know that we can’t change many things and as I get older I am starting to see more and more that I control less and less. We want so bad to be the ones in control, and yet we have none if any at all really. I suggested that instead of praying just for the person, you also pray that God would bring someone along to intervene, or to at least be in that place where that person is so that when they think of ending it all, there is someone to at least try and help them to realize what it really is that they are doing. In the end the truth of it is this. God HAS a plan, and HE KNOWS what he is doing even if we don’t. No one will ever truly understand what brings a person to such a drastic point that Death is the only option, but God knows, and He sees, and He Cares. He walks with us EVERY step of the way, and knows the heartache and loss that we are going through. HE LOVES US

Live Bravely!

Michael Lardie

Older Post from my original Webpage’s Word Press: Thoughts Apr 16th. 2013


In the wake of many tragic things in life, seems as we are almost always stuck on this roller coaster of life. You may get to a point where its just too much and you want to get off.. I know I have a few times, but with all of it’s ups and downs, life can also be a ride that can be enjoyed.. It may not always be pleasant, but those rips around corners, those moments of hanging upside down.. They all bring excitement into ones life. The risk of possibly falling, and the sheer speed at which one flies through the ride is crazy. Life can also be very crazy, but who are your posts, who are the bolts, and who are the ones that you can rely on when things do get crazy? Is it your family? Your friends? Your God? Is it  an animal? Perhaps it’s your work.. These things all give us cause to rethink things.. They also give us things to look forward to and also make life worth while. I have many people around me that care about me, and that I can go to when I need to talk. I would not be around without some of those people.. Even more importantly, is my faith. I know that God is for me, and if that’s true then NOTHING can stand against me.. Even when the odds  seem insurmountable, and I can’t see the good things that are there.. God is there, and He knows. He has a plan for my life, and he has a plan for yours. I don’t know all the details yet, but as time goes on I see more and more… I also know that there is more to life than just living and dying..  Having thought about ending my life quite a few times and then attempting to do so when I was 17. It’s not an easy track, but with God as the conductor he keeps my car on the rails, and I shan’t stumble or fall off without him knowing. I am not saying that there are not obstacles, but I am saying that I don’t have to face them alone anymore..

Jermiah 29:11 says “I have a plan for you”, declares the Lord. “A plan to prosper you; not to harm you, but to give you a hope and a future.”

So who’s watching your car? Is it going off the rails? If it is, then talk to the one who can put the car back on the right track, and that can give you a better life than you EVER dreamed… Go to a church, talk to a minister, or even pray.. Right now, where you are.. Doesn’t have to be long, or complicated… Just tell God how you feel, and that you need His help, and that you want to invite Jesus into your mess, and allow Him to do the work to change your life.. Ask for forgiveness for not following His path and for rejecting Him for so long, and then thank Him for the love He showed you by sending His son to die for your mistakes. (This is the easy part.. Living it every day is not always easy, but you can do it.. Find a church, and get the supports you need. Find someone to mentor you, and ask questions.. Learn who God is, and find out for yourself HIS Truth..)

I was 14 when I made that choice, had no clue what I was getting myself into, but I would not change it for anything.. God has shown me many things, and not all of them were pleasant… I am a child of God, adopted into HIS family and just like an earthly family, not all things are nice and pretty. God’s love is unconditional, but ours is not usually. God is building us a mansion, and we don’t need white picket fences. One day we won’t have to suffer, but while we are here on earth, we need to rely on His strength, mercy and grace to make it through.. He LOVES you more than you could ever IMAGINE! And I am sure, that when you understand that, you will find that the crisis you find yourself in, will pale in comparison, and that God is already working out the details that you missed…


Happenings and Future


First and foremost, thanks for dropping by. I know that it’s been ages since I posted anything on this blog. The truth is, I had totally forgotten about this space. I stumbled upon in quite by accident. It was hiding in a bookmarks page I had saved some time ago. My main webpage has gone down again so now I need to work on alternatives so that we won’t get lost and so that there is a presence online still for Live Bravely as a whole. For now I will use this and later will link back to it.

A lot has happened, we are now on to our third year of having the “72 hours for Life” event, and things are progressing as the time gets closer. We are excited by what is going as well as the guests we are hoping to have attend this year. We are  revamping a lot of things and now have 3 words for Live Bravely (Vision – Hope – Future ) and a vision statement based on Jeremiah 29:11 that we didn’t have before. Also, with new partnerships we will have new things happening as well and have BIG dreams for Live Bravely as a whole.  We will keep you updated as things continue to progress..

As always, LIVE BRAVELY!



Live Bravely Updates

Well, it’s been a long time since I posted on here, so for those reading this, I apologise. To those new to this Blog, I welcome you. It’s been an interesting half a year roughly. Live Bravely started working with Living Rock Ministries to create awareness and to start working on keeping on top of some crisis things already in place there. In the process we started making a plan to have an event to provide training and reflection. Two of the more important aspects of what Live Bravely is about. The event was called “72 Hours for Life” and consisted of training in SAFE, and SAFETalk, along with some grief training, on what is “Good Grief” as well as a night of bands and also a component of artistic reflection and memorys through drawing, photography and singing and poetry. We also joined with the Hamilton Suicide Community Council on their walk of rememberance, and had shoes donated to Living Rock through this event. Over all it was an excellent first year for this event, and seems to be a really good way of helping to get information to the people who really need it and to forward the goal of preventing needless deaths. I am hoping that for next year we can get a band called Silverstein involved a little more as it would draw a much bigger population and also get more people involved in awareness.

I would like to remember those that were involved. Both the service providors, and the people that attended. As well as Living Rock for allowing us to use their space and building, and Materials.

If you would like more information on the Training, Living Rock or Friends In Grief, go to any of these links.

For more Info on Live Bravely and updates on what is going on, there is a Facebook Group.. Please Join and Like us..

And as Always,

LIVE BRAVELY and SPEAK OUT Against Suicide!

Plans and movements..

Well as it gets into 2008 there are a few plans in the works..  Live Bravely needs to have a board of directors set up so that it can get it’s charitable number. Once that happens it can get funding.. So as it sits right now we are in the waiting stages. Trying to get this business as a whole off the ground is not easy.. After all there are so many things needed to get a business off the ground. I have so many hopes and dreams for Live Bravely. I just gotta take it one step at a time…

 That’s it for Now..

As always,


Welcome To The Live Bravely Blog!

Welcome to my Weblog about Live Bravely I hope to be able to keep you updated on how things are going and on how I feel about things in life and also to be able to use this forum to express how Live Bravely has impacted my life through others and through the Loss of Lisa, my Ex that Commited suicide.