Brooke Lacey, a 22-year-old university student, posted a message of hope on her bumper sticker and it helped save someone else's life.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 22, 2022.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of suicide that some readers may find distressing.
The pandemic has seen many people grapple with depression and mental health issues. When you're depressed, it feels like you're constantly sinking with no hope to rise to the surface. Even as you helplessly watch your life spiral out of control, sometimes a small sign can be enough to keep you afloat and maintain the hope of seeing better days. One particular person who was spiraling desperately sought out a sign from the universe to give them the strength to see out another day and eventually, found hope in a bumper sticker. Brooke Lacey, a 22-year-old university student who had to deal with a lot of mental issues herself, knew all too well what a message of hope could mean to someone down in the dumps, reported The Daily Mail.
Brooke Lacey, from New Zealand, printed out a batch of 600 signs that read: “Please don’t take your life today. The world is so much better with you in it. More than you realize, stay.” Lacey's message came from a personal place and she knew the power of it. She placed the message at different places including on bridges, overpasses, near railroads and waterways in Wellington, New Zealand. She also got it done as a bumper sticker which she stuck to her car. While many may have dismissed it as tacky, it ended up saving a person's life.
One day, she parked her car on the university's lot and when she returned to her car, she found a note under her wiper blade. Initially, she figured it was a snarky note calling out her poor parking technique but she did a double-take on seeing the message scribbled on the note. “I left my house with a plan and asked for a sign, any sign, I was doing the right thing when I saw your car in the parking lot,” read the note. "Thank you.” She was a little lost and confused for a brief moment as she had completely forgotten about the bumper sticker. Then it hit her and she was overcome with emotion. “I had these made so long ago, put one on my car and forgot about them, until now,” she tweeted. “I am so glad whoever you chose to stay today. You never know who needs this reminder.” Lacey has since deactivated her Twitter account.
It just goes to show that those going through hard times are often looking to the universe for the smallest signs to soldier on. It reminds us that even a random act of kindness can help save or transform someone else's day or even life. Joy Hibbins, the CEO of Suicide Crisis, said it was a small act of kindness that saved her life, reported Metro. "Two homeless men approached me first – not to ask for help or money, but to check if I was okay. They were concerned that it wasn’t safe for a woman to be out on the streets alone, and they were worried that I was cold," she recalled. "'At least take this blanket,’ they said. ‘You’ll freeze out here.’"
"A man passed me, then turned and came back. He was concerned and invited me back to his home to have some hot chocolate and toast with him and his wife. He too was worried about how cold I looked. The man phoned his wife and asked her to speak to me on his mobile, to reassure me that he was not inviting me back to an empty house with him. I was very fortunate that all of these individuals had the best possible intentions. As a vulnerable person that night, I could have come across people who intended to harm me," she recalled.
Suicide Crisis Centre reported that clients who approach them often say they feel invisible and feel no personal worth, to the point that they feel their existence or lack of it won't make a difference. As Brooke Lacey perfectly put it, "The world is so much better with you in it. More than you realize, stay.” Sometimes that's what a person needs to hear, to soldier on—hear that they matter. You matter, and the world's a better place with you in it.
If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)