In the wake of Chris Cornell’s suicide I thought I might finally share a little on this particular subject. I do not often go personal because this is FB but I saw a post from one of my FB friends that moved me to do this so here it is for what it is worth.
I see things posted on this subject frequently. I usually ignore them as they seem to me to trivialize the subject. Often the term used is “when suicide touches your life or family” as if touches is the proper term.
It hammers your existence, blows up your life and the family of the person who followed through on their suicide regardless of their reasons.
Another thing that I see often is the meme asking if you would stay up all night to help a friend or family member that was going to commit suicide. I don’t know entirely why that meme bothers me but it does. Maybe because I believe, I know, if the person is really going to commit suicide they will not be asking for help.
You may get a call or a note saying goodbye but no request for help will arrive. If they plan to really do it they are going to do it.
Not to make light of a friend or family member that is saying they want to do it and will stay for help but it acts as if a 12 hour conversation with someone is the answer. Professional help is the answer to the cry for help if such a cry is made.
It is hard, if not impossible to list the reasons this happens but always take it seriously. Mostly though there is little or no indication, no cry for help, just a shattered group of family and friends asking why, asking if anyone saw this coming, asking each other if they saw this happening. I can merely say if it hammers your life, if you lose someone, don’t destroy yourself with those questions. There will never be true answers.
In the wake if the suicide you may learn things you did not expect to learn about the person that committed suicide, you may ask why you didn’t see these things. You did not see them because they didn’t want you to see them. It is an act both tragic and selfish, but it ultimately is unknowable.
I would urge that you take any hint or outright statement seriously but if you miss the signs it is because you were intended too.
One last thing. Among the family and friends left behind it is a strange result that the person that committed suicide, the loved one that is gone, disappears. They seem to disappear from conversation within the group that has lost them. If your friend or family member dies in an accident or illness they are spoken of, often fondly, if they commit suicide they are avoided like the plague.
If this tragic experience occurs do not let this happen. I speak of my brother freely, I do not demonize him nor do I worship him, I speak what I believe is fact. I will not answer questions about him or his suicide to people I feel never cared for him in life. I will speak to anyone that I feel did. I am not certain what I would say to others which is why I have never written something like this before. Good luck and be kind to one another.