Suicide, as defined by Wikipedia states “ Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Risk factors include mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality … etc, etc, etc.”
But, what it doesn’t state is that it is a heart crushing, soul shattering act by someone who known or unknown, to friends and loved ones, is in such a state of hopelessness that they chose to leave behind a devastating mass of human pain.
None of us knew of her suffering. We are all in a state of shock. I have walked through my days since learning of the suicide of my good friend in a state of disbelief, shaking my head and mumbling that it can’t be true, while my heart bleeds for her and her family. I know it is true, but I just can’t grasp that she would chose this over us.
Yes us. Those of us left behind are asking ourselves and each other why we didn’t know of her state of mind. Why did she not share with us the turmoil and suffering she must have been feeling before making her final decision. Why when we shared so much did she feel she could not share her most devastating feelings and thoughts. NONE of us saw this coming. NONE.
I knew this friend from work. I saw her most days for a few minutes when she made her rounds to make sure all was good on my unit. I saw her probably more often then some of my family. We always talked, bitched, and shared for a few minutes while she checked out the upcoming staffing. She was a confidante, she was a friend, she was a boss of sorts looking over many departments in the after hours of patient care. And, she was sassy, friendly, gregarious, and a no nonsense kind of person who loved her family and friends deeply. And she took no shit when she was challenged. How could this have happened? How could this have been missed by us? How was she able to hide her deepest, darkest pain?
I am shattered. I believed that she was one of the strongest, put together people that I knew. She never revealed that she was struggling or suffering. She always presented with a smile and words of encouragement. Why did she not let us encourage her? Why did she choose to hide the truth from so many who cared for her? Why?
Sadly when someone takes their own life there are many questions that are left unanswered for all eternity. None of us will know what drove her to it. None of us will ever have any answers, only guesses, only thoughts. Sadly it will not be enough. There will always be a hole in my heart when I think of her. Asking her over and over again why she didn’t come to me. I thought we were close. I thought we could talk. Now I see she hid so much. That she wrongly believed that she had to suffer alone.
And this is what suicide does to those left behind. It leaves us shattered. Feeling hopeless, impotent, wounded, and betrayed. We would have helped! We would have surrounded her with love and encouragement. We would have circled the wagons and protected her. Why did she not see that? Again, we are left with another question.
We have all heard that suicide is a selfish act. That the sufferer doesn’t think of those they have left behind, but I think they think too much. They think that those they love will not accept their perceived wrong doing, or that they can not make it through the event that may have led to this horrid action. Or they don’t believe in us.
This puzzle will never be solved. We are left with the ultimate question of why. I will say as far as I know right now she did not leave a note explaining any of this. She had dinner with her husband, he went to check on the animals, and boom she was gone. When he returned he found her dead. Rumor has it he heard a gunshot but was unaware of the situation inside his own home. When he entered he found her disfigured and dead.
I will never be able to truly know his feelings. Her family’s feelings. I can only gauge it by my own suffering, and the pain I am feeling right now. I hope it will be tolerable for them as I am struggling so much with disbelief, sadness, pain, betrayal, and anger. I am sure you can guess the reasoning behind all of those feelings.
What can I say to those of you out there except DON’T DO IT! If you are thinking that you can relate to her you are wrong. You must believe in the love that is around you. Believe in the people in your life. Don’t see your life in flashes of events. See it in flashes of people who care about you. Who love you. I am sure there are many even if you don’t. Find those people. Talk to them and share with them. We are all here to help each other. We want to help our friends. We want to be there for you. Believe it.
I do know that if it had been me struggling my friend would of moved heaven and earth to help me. She was that kind of person. Always helping others, but never asking for help. Don’t become the person who doesn’t ask for help. If you have thoughts of harming yourself go to someone. Go somewhere, call someone, reach out.
They say that sometimes the person who suicides is doing it to ” hurt” someone, is angry and striking out. Well that goal was reached. She left behind a devastating path of emotional destruction that will take years to repair. I don’t believe that was her intent. I believe she was doing it to ” herself, for herself” because whatever pain she was feeling was unbearable. I am so sorry for that. I will miss her till the end of my days.
Here is the number to call if you have no one else or feel you can’t share with your loved ones: 1-800-273-8255 as well as their website: suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Tell someone what is happening in your life. Life is more important than any situation or event occurring right this moment. Walk away. Leave the shit behind if you have too. Make a new life for yourself. No one or nothing should be able to put you in a place where you choose death over surviving. There are many safe havens out there. Find one and go there.
As I walk the halls at work I will always see my friend’s lively step and smiling face coming my way. That is how she entered the room. I hope that in that final moment that is how she left as well.
Peace and love to you today and tomorrow.