I have been wrestling with the idea of this blog post for some time now. I cannot put my thoughts into words, so I just decided it was time to sit down and write and just let everything spew out onto the page and see how I feel about it.
My thoughts about this post started when I was contemplating the people I have known, lost to the world of suicide. There is a healing process for those left behind, Thank God! For some unknown reason, this year was the year I decided to get angry about it.
Suicide has personally touched my life five times. That averages out to one every 12 years. I’m not sure that 12 years is enough time to really heal from the loss of someone in this way. If you do start to heal a little, and someone else takes this step, all the emotion and feeling comes flooding back to you. Of these five suicides, at least four of them involved alcohol to some extent. How to get your head around that?
I imagine, but I do not know for sure, that there is some lead time when a person makes such a choice. Steps leading them to a precipice from which they fall. In some ways, those friends and loved ones left behind start the healing process at a similar precipice which they must carefully back away from. Walking backwards isn’t easy. You think of the person you knew and wonder what happened. You wonder what you could have done. You wonder if you should have seen signs. You wonder why – and you will always wonder no matter how capable you are of backing away from that edge he/she could not escape.
Social media has become a tool for us to celebrate and remember and reach out in all the occasions of our lives. I wanted to remember with love what preceded that decision, but this year was my anger year. Twice, I sat with my anger and watched other people as they seemed to have come to a place of peace that I have not yet found. I’m glad they could celebrate these two lives this year and not the act. I normally can, too. But not this year. I saw the pain.
I’m not angry at the person. I’m angry at the act – at the intense emotion. I remembered a training class that taught about anxiety. If people were only taught what we learned that day. Anxiety has a ceiling. We feel most desperate when we near that ceiling. It feels as if you really cannot breathe. If we had only been taught to get through the feeling – to cope just a little longer, the feeling of anxiety and desperation just might subside.
MAJMB – I wish you could have held on. I am sorry I had to get angry this year. It was my time. Each of you have reminded me of the other and if one suicide is too much, well, what about five?