Incomplete Thoughts on Suicide

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Not selfish

Not thoughtless

Simply belief beyond shadow that no one will mourn you, people will be better off without you

Unimaginable for those who have not lived it

Most who try once don’t try again

So better to keep guns away

——————–

One of my high school classmates killed himself when we were seniors.  He shot himself in the head at home.  He was the vice president of our Students Against Driving Drunk chapter (I was president).  He was a member of the National Honor Society.  He was well-liked, always friendly, generous, smiling, encouraging.  He was a nerd, and so was I, so I thought nothing of it.  I did not know him well, and I never asked him about his life, that I recall.  I have no idea whether he was bullied or what drove him to take his own life.

The morning we found out, our calculus teacher had to sit down in the middle of the lesson. She was overcome.  One of my other classmates got up and hugged her.  She had more presence of mind than I.  I can’t remember if it was that moment or later, or if it was our teacher or someone else altogether, who said something like suicide is ultimately a selfish act.  That it was inconsistent with our classmate’s character to cause so many people so much pain.  That if he had known how much he would hurt people by this act, he never would have done it.  I can’t say I had thought anything about suicide before then, and I have probably not thought enough about it since, but her words stuck with me.  I’m not sure I would have ever come to this conclusion.

The way I understand (think I understand) it today, suicidality is such dark state, a place so far removed from where we connect with our true selves and others, including (especially?) loved ones, that people really do believe that everybody else will be better off without them, that there is nothing worth living for.  I cannot fathom that kind of disconnection and loneliness.  It feels almost too scary to even contemplate.  I feel totally incompetent to address this kind of pain and suffering.

I saw this video recently and it moved me.  A young man jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge and survived; he tells his story of instant regret for the attempt, and gratitude to be alive.

I pray tonight that if anyone in my circle is feeling suicidal, I may say or do something to help them know they are loved, wanted, and connected, and to keep them with us long enough to get help.

 

9 thoughts on “Incomplete Thoughts on Suicide

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Cathy! To you and yours! Powerful message. We all can lift our heads up more from our daily “activities” and iPhones and take more time with those around us to see how someone is doing. It’s tough out there for many. Love your thoughts! Lee

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Cathy, I started to write a long comment in response to your post, having seen plenty of suicides among friends and family, but then I deleted it. It’s such an individual decision, I was afraid of generalizing or trivializing. I’ll only say I hope people can withhold judgment and eliminate the stigma around suicide, and that survivors can resist feeling guilty and recognize that their loved one’s suicide was not about them. Incomplete thoughts, indeed.
    Hope you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    Like

    • Hi Donna,
      Thank you for the shorter version of your comment. I am interested in your other thoughts, if you ever feel like sharing again. You make an excellent point about not making it about us… Although it’s hard to avoid, right? Guilt is so pervasive, and co-habitates with regret, shame, perfectionism. If only we had done this, then xxx would be better, would not have happened… Kinda feels like parenting, in a way–hard to separate what is your child’s individual, independent choice from what is your influence. I suppose it’s an exercise in futility to try–it’s all connected in the big, messy stew of life. And this reminds me of your blog, where you remind us so eloquently that every day we do our best to be kind to one another. Hard to ask more of ourselves than that.
      Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

      Like

  3. Chenger when you get a chance will you repost your video, please? I couldn’t connect to it through your blog. Love you and yours…always. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Like

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