I suggest you read this before you watch the video.
I stumbled across a beautiful song called “Cactus” by Gustavo Cerati, a popular singer and poet from Argentina.
The melody was so beautiful that I knew immediately I had to translate the words. The poignant metaphors in his poem conveyed special meaning to me — as if the cosmos wanted me to hear it, to embrace my pain.
Those who know me well understand I’m talking about my late wife, Chrissie, who took her own life in 2016. Her childhood was sad, often leaving her feeling abandoned and alone — something that followed her throughout her life. With her friends she was always cheerful, kind and outwardly happy, but inside she suffered. As the years passed, both her physical ailments and her mental pain increased. I hadn’t realized how deeply this affected her — and me. Our relationship had incredible highs and lows and, like Cerati’s cactus, there were aspects that could both hurt and heal.
So when I discovered Cerati’s song, I decided to make a video to honor Chrissie. It may be pointless to share it because some of the words only carry significance to me. I wept as I put this together, and I have a hard time watching it now. It was something I just needed to do, perhaps a step in coping with what happened and all the associated guilt feelings. Anyone who’s had a close family member commit suicide knows exactly what I mean.
I just want everyone to remember what a precious soul Chrissie was. She brought joy and friendship to many people; she helped total strangers and countless others who never knew she was caught up in a deep, dark place. If you know someone like this — kind and friendly on the outside, but hurting deeply on the inside — I hope and pray you will find a way to love that person unconditionally.