Can you be vulnerable?

Recently there was a dramatic news story from the Pacific Northwest. Jennifer Huston a 38 year old wife and mother of 2 went missing. It became a national story. People from all over the country were on the lookout for her. Then to everyone’s sadness she was discovered a few miles away from her home, dead. She had committed suicide.
This is an incredibly sad story in so many ways. A husband who lost a dearly loved wife. 2 young children who will never know their mother’s love again. There is no way to fully understand the devastation that this family has experienced and will experience for years to come.
As I heard more about the story I couldn’t help but think about the statements the husband made.
‘Jennifer, if you could see this or hear this, I love you,’
‘You have a ton of support from the community. If you can come home, please do. The boys need you. I need you. I love you.
‘We’ll never stop looking for you.’
He went on to call the disappearance ‘completely out of character for her. She loves me, she loves the boys.’
These statements lead me to believe that this husband was completely unaware of the depth of despair his wife must have been feeling about her life.
Why is that? If there was the love that he seems to think there was, how could he have been so blind to the fact that his wife was contemplating suicide? Why didn’t she let him know? Did someone know?
I think by now everyone knows the big signs that often point to someone contemplating suicide. It seems in this case there may have been no obvious signs, so what is a person to do? If the obvious signs aren’t there the biggest thing you can do is communicate in a vulnerable way.
I am not talking about simply communicating about everyday things. How was work…how was school…did you do anything fun today… These are the questions that people are used to and ask every day. It’s the non-routine questions that are difficult to ask.
Are you happy in your life…can I do anything to make our relationship better…can I do anything to make this family the best in the world.
The answers to these questions can be and usually are difficult to hear, but they open a completely different way to view relationships. They create vulnerability. Vulnerability can create a stronger relationship. Vulnerability allows people who love one another to create a stronger bond and trusting relationship. Being vulnerable can change lives. Who will you be vulnerable with today?

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