Suicide: Those Left Behind

First, I want to make it clear that I do not condone suicide in any way, please seek help (Suicide National Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255)! Now, I don’t view it the same way your average person does. I have thought long and hard on this topic. I have had two people in my life commit suicide and one person close to me who has used that word a few times. I do fear that one day, I will lose him (no, it’s not my hubby).

I do not believe that all people who commit suicide are cowardly or don’t think of their loved ones. On the contrary, I believe that death is the ultimate fear. I believe, that to face death is to face fear. I feel that in order to take your own life, you must have a lot of bravery. When people commit suicide, I imagine they have to build up the courage to do so. I, also, believe they do think of their loved ones. I think that at the end, they have thought about them quite a bit. I think that they have weighed the choices they have faced. Perhaps they have decided that their pain outweighs the pain their loved ones will face and that in the end their loved ones will be alright without them, if not better off (even if they are wrong).

Okay, sure, I can’t argue that it’s selfish. However, my thoughts on selfishness are equally diverse. Being selfish is not as a whole a bad thing. You have to do what is right for you, look out for yourself, and be selfish at times. Now there is a bad side to selfishness. When you have more than enough food to live off, but refuse to share with a starving child just because you like to eat a lot… that’s a bad kind of selfish. If you choose to be an artist, despite that your parents disapprove and want you to be a doctor… that’s an acceptable brand of selfishness. There are more gray areas of selfishness, but just labeling someone as a terrible selfish person because they commit suicide, doesn’t actually mean you are right about that person. A person who lives a generous life and isn’t at all selfish, can commit suicide. Selfless people can be selfish, selfish people can sometimes be generous, and  nice people also do mean things. If a person has decided that their suffering is too much, is it not just as selfish to demand that they continue to suffer because we don’t want to suffer their loss?

Don’t get me wrong, wanting them to stay alive despite their suffering is an acceptable selfishness in my opinion. You are not wrong for feeling the way you do. Feeling sadness, anger, and guilt are all normal. Even feeling relief that their suffering is over, or relief that the strife they may have put you through will end, is also a normal feeling to have. The person I mentioned at the beginning, is a selfish person right now and I do feel that he’d be selfish enough take his own life. I will be devastated and so angry, if he ever commits suicide. I’ve told him how I feel and have asked him to get help. However, it is true that you can not help those who don’t want to be helped. I often feel like he uses that word to get what he wants because he’s manipulative… but I love him (he’s family). Part of me feels like he won’t do it, because he doesn’t actually mean it. Then again, I’ve lost people to suicide, so I also have that in the back of mind… what if he means it? Regardless, I will not succumb to his manipulative ways and I will continue to help him where I feel is right. I refuse to  feel guilty for thinking what I think. If he does the unthinkable, I cannot avoid a certain amount of guilty feelings, but I will never blame myself either. It’ll be difficult and I will live on with him in my heart. Hopefully, he’ll find his Happy Place and I’ll never have to accept what he might do. He knows I love him and I’m always here for him.

The first friend to commit suicide had actually threatened it and no one believed him. He did it and now he’s just a memory from my young childhood. I was very young at the time, and he was a young teenager. The second friend was in my high school days. He was so kind, gentle, and polite. He seemed so happy and had many friends. We had a lot of fun together… but alas he was gone in a flash. I don’t know why and I never knew that he was suffering. Not knowing is hard. In my experiences, I have learned that everyone is different. Some times they tell you and some times they don’t. Some times they mean it and some times they don’t. You can’t blame yourself. I have found that the best thing to do, is forgive yourself for whatever guilt you have (it’s NOT your fault), forgive them because you don’t truly know what they were going through, and remember the good parts of them that you loved. Cherish the people you have in your life. Cherish your own life.

I feel that when a person is at Rock Bottom, when they have nothing left to lose, when they can take no more suffering… some people face the ultimate fear: Death. To you, who may be facing the end, I say… at that moment, you have all the power in the world to end your suffering, so why not take that courage and do something that makes you feel HAPPY. Don’t be confused, death is not happiness. What in this world makes you feel truly happy? Put on a pink dress and a blonde wig, stick your toes in spaghetti sauce, or just let go of the person you don’t want to be. If you are at the tipping point, then take all that built up courage and walk down a new road. Find your Happy Place! If that journey means walking into a hospital, it’s as fine of a place to start as any. You ARE brave, please choose a different path.

Dedicated to Tater Tot, MJ, and Robin Williams



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