The news of a suicide had me tossing and turning during the night. I didn't know the man that chose to end his own life, and I don't know the family that was left behind in the aftermath. But someone near and dear to me knew him.
The truth is, I don't need to know the family personally to envision what they are going through. I can see the long road ahead of them. I know what they are facing because I lost a family member to suicide. I am all too intimately acquainted with the endless barrage of questions. I know all about the misplaced guilt the survivors can carry. The emotional tsunami that follows such a horrific event is cemented in my memory.
This message is for anyone out there who is, has, or will consider committing the act suicide. It's also for those who are like me, walking that rugged path toward healing. If suicide has ever sounded appealing, please listen up and take careful note to what I am going to share. Suicide is NOT an option. If you could get one glimpse into the destructive impact it would have on the people closest to you, it would be enough for you to see it's not the solution. Though it may seem like a quick exit for you, it will produce an ongoing path of pain so far-reaching and widespread, it's unimaginable.
Listen up ~ suicide for those left behind is relentless. It haunts you. It beats you down with guilt the survivor was NEVER meant to bear. It's like blowing out a match of problems in your own life, and creating a bon-fire of injury for those who love and care about you. Take it from someone who lost a loved one to suicide. After almost twenty-eight years, there is still some residual pain...still unanswered questions...still lingering moments of guilt that I know isn't mine to bear. It's the fallout of someone else's choice. Although it's over and done for him, the path toward healing remains a slow one for me.
I urge you, please determine in your mind and your heart to NEVER take this path. Get help. Realize the pain you will create and leave behind. Spare those who love you. Make the right choice. Choose life.
Now, a word for those who have walked in my shoes, who have lost a loved one to suicide. Will you please consider that maybe it's time to make peace with the fact that we may never have all the answers to the questions that linger. It's okay to tell yourself to let go of the pain and the haunting memories. Most importantly ~ I encourage you to embrace the TRUTH that this is NOT your fault, my fault, or someone else's fault. We the survivors are not to blame. Period. We cannot assume responsibility for their actions. And if anyone has told you differently, they are WRONG. Suicide is the ultimate selfish, desperate act. They made the choice; it wasn't ours to make. But we can make a choice...a healthy choice ~ to let it go...and to let them go. If you haven't been able to move forward in your own journey to healing, I encourage you to get some help. Today is the day we can choose to walk into freedom.
"Nothing hurts more than someone you love ending their own life. Nothing compares."
"Rock bottom is good solid ground, and a dead end street is just a place to turn around."