I have heard of three suicides this week, all people that I don’t know, two in Canada and one in the US. The reasons ranging from a dream ending to being suspended from a job because of a choice they made, both male and female. Suicides that have left gaping holes in the lives of the families they have left behind, deaths that their loved ones will always question themselves over, pointless deaths, tragic deaths…
I can’t help but think about it since it’s so fresh in my face this week, the sister of one of the deceased said ‘it’s such a permanent solution to such a temporary problem’. She was right, how is it that someone can’t see that there may be another dream for them, a different choice, a new girlfriend/boyfriend, a reinstatement at work, debt payment options, hope, life beyond their current issues. We live in a culture where people want a quick fix, medication for the symptoms because there is no time for the cure. Bankruptcy over debt counseling and budgeting, crushed by the abandonment of a spouse unwilling to believe there could possibly be someone else. We live in an age where waiting for an answer is virtually unheard of, we email, text, chat or phone the person we need the answer from and if we are honest we find ourselves annoyed if the don’t respond immediately to our query.
We can’t even wait until normal business hours to do our errands, we need 24 hour service available for things like the cable or phone company because God forbid we have to go a whole night with no TV or Phone calls. We have a snack attack, no problem the store down the street is a 7/11. Is it possible that we are providing a world that is already full of broken and hurting people with the notion that they should just wake up one day ‘fixed’, that if a solution can’t be found within a few days let alone months or years then it just can’t be found and it’s better to end it here and now?
The other big question of course is, do we talk about it? This has come up in one of the deaths, and Tim and I were discussing it last night. If it were one of our kids would we tell people it was a suicide? My simple answer (keeping in mind I have no idea what it is actually like to lose a child to anything let alone suicide) is that if more people talked about it, shared what it was like to lose a child that way, lose a friend that way, a parent, a spouse, then maybe just maybe the next time they considered it themselves they would remember that there are people who love them who would be affected forever by their choices. Shame can not heal, hiding within the shame will only keep you locked in the darkness suffocating you. I know people think differently on it and maybe in the end I would too if it was my kids but I hope I don’t. I want them to know that choosing an out like that would devastate me, their friends, their brother and Dad and extended family, I want them to understand the hurt they would cause, the selfishness of their actions, I even want them to know that I would struggle with anger with them.
These are of course just my ramblings, I have walked through the issue with a number of people over the years and find that all are happy with the second chance they were given. Are we missing something vital, how do we teach our kids, our friends and family as a whole that there are some things that take time and patience before healing can come? Not every question has an answer, not every problem a quick fix solution. You can’t always just ‘take a pill’ and solve a problem.
(Insert big sigh here)… May God give them (the family and friends of these three young people who left too soon) peace, hope and a future of healing.