Suicide Prevention (Or How Not To Push Someone Over The Edge)

Suicide is a touchy subject. We all know someone who has taken their own life. If we are really lucky (or blessed), it will never be someone close to us. To lose a loved one to disease, accidents, and old age is one thing. The death is still painful, but you are left with the knowledge that there was nothing you could do. It wasn’t in your hands. We mourn the loss of these loved ones, but eventually we find a certain peace. Eventually, though bittersweet, we can be thankful for the time we had with them.

My mom died when I was ten. It was tough. But I know she fought hard to live. She gave it her all. I was there. I saw her struggle. I know she did everything she could to stay as long as she could. She died anyway. Forty-three years later the ten year old in me is still pissed off. The ten year old thinks mom should have fought harder still. The fifty-three year old thanks her for staying as long as she could. Now had mom taken the suicide route, I might not be so forgiving. When a loved one commits suicide we are filled with feelings of loss, but also with feelings of anger. It’s pretty near impossible to reminisce about the time we had with them, when those memories are haunted by the knowledge that they left you by choice.

A sad fact is that often people will reach out to those around them. Often they will ask for help. Unfortunately, often the very people they turn to are not sympathetic. They are ridiculed for being weak and pathetic. I’ve actually heard people laugh and say what they would do to the body afterwards! (Yeah, because that helps.) I think people do not want to believe that someone they know will go through with it. They think that the person is just trying to get attention. Well here’s a news flash, buddy! If it is only a cry for attention – give them the bloody attention! Give them the love! Show them you care! Ask what you can do to help? Hiding your head under a rock, or ridiculing them is only enforcing their belief that they are truly alone – that no one cares. Then when the person accomplishes what they set out to do, people ask why?

When I was younger I would be filled with anger when I heard someone had committed suicide. I would judge these suicide victims (and they are victims) as weak and pathetic. I would tell people that if someone I cared about committed suicide that I would never forgive them! I said I would spit on their grave! Well, things have changed over the years. Whether you believe in God, the universe, or simply a higher power – someone wants me to learn some hefty lessons. (That’s another blog!) One thing I have learned is that when I judge people so harshly, I am given a lesson I’m not likely to forget.

I have come to the conclusion that when someone commits suicide, we need to hold their memory close. We need to send out all the love we feel in our hearts. We need to understand that just as the disease or accident was not by choice, neither was the suicide. The person who takes their own life has truly come as far as they can in this life. By the time they end their life – by their own hand – they are in no position mentally or emotionally to be responsible for what they are doing. The can think of nothing but ending the struggle. They cannot see passed the next five minutes. They cannot bare the next five minutes. They cannot think that a week, a month, or a year from now things will be better. All they can see is the release in front of them.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is love each other. Be there for each other. Cherish each other. You never know when you will be the one who will make the difference between life and death


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