The other day was the anniversary of the suicide of a Facebook friend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her. Like so many, she was the victim of overwhelming depression, something so deeply dark that she could not go on.
Most of us in her circle were shocked. But can anyone stop suicide?
She was bright, beautiful and accomplished. She had a loving husband and a beloved young child.
Her child. I think about her child often.
In the months that followed, her husband vanished from social media, probably to get some privacy, as he and their child went on with their lives and he to a new relationship, eventually.
But I wonder about the child.
See, I can not even imagine a darkness that would allow me to leave a young child behind, a child old enough to understand suicide. The confusion that child must feel about why their mom left. Was it their fault? Did their mom not love them enough to stay?
The effects of those feelings of abandonment. That’s what’s heartbreaking to me.
It’s so heartbreaking that it’s easy for me to forget the toll depression takes on its victims. How bleak life seems. So bleak that leaving a child you love behind is possible. Yes, it’s easy to judge. Not so easy to put ourselves in those shoes.
Someone else I care about suffers excruciating chronic pain. They have a suicide plan and an accomplice. They can pull the trigger any time. I want to be horrified but when I hear the pain in their voice, I understand their need to make it stop. But I don’t want to lose them.
I’ve heard people say that suicide is the easy way out. Well, maybe it is or maybe it isn’t. But it does present a potentially life-long burden for those left behind.
I have seen some desperate pleas on social media, some from those who have young children. If you are considering taking your own life, I hope you will reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800 273 8255
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish. Learn more here.
And if you think someone is considering this, or having a really rough time, do reach out to them in love. And get guidance about how from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You might make a difference.
If you have any words of wisdom I hope you will share in the Comments.