Suicide: Ending the Cycle

Suicide is a filthy word, especially near the holiday season. While I am not sure we can truly prevent someone from committing suicide, we must do a better job at recognizing the needs of the people around us. Please understand that a subtle smile or a laugh could lessen their burdens.

My mind is racing after hearing about the sudden loss of an acquaintance. She was in a fight with life that she could not win. After struggling for an unspecified time, she eventually succumbed to the pressure and gave up.

On the surface, she had a good life. She had a house in the suburbs and she had a job that she could work at for 30 years. Her complaints if any were minor. She seemed full of life, yet full of scars at the same time. Is it true that those who appear flawless on the outside, are severely damaged on the inside? She showed very little vulnerability when we spoke. She would offer me words of encouragement even though I would seldom complain about anything in my life to her. When I ask her about herself, she became elusive. Was it a sign that something was wrong? Was I the only one who saw a glimpse of unhappiness? Why didn’t I do more?

I was caught off guard, just like everyone else. She was at a happy place days ago. No one could have expected a sharp turn towards this tragic ending. Woman in her early 30’s found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She has decided to leave us prematurely.

Everybody missed the signs here.

Maybe if someone would have made her grin more. Offer her simplistic ways to appreciate life. Things could have been different and no one would be left asking why? Our questions would consist of how was your holiday instead of, why did she do this. Sadly, it is too late for her.

For the rest of us there is still some time. We cannot continue to point out the flaws of each other because we are all flawed. We cannot continue to start fights with each other because we are created with the intentions to love, not to squabble. We are quick to take the hill-sized problems in our lives and turn them into mountains, yet we never fully know the problems of the person who sits across from us. Still we judge them and we are unapologetic for it. We must be mindful that some of us are just one bad situation from losing our own fight with life. It is up to us to reel each other in.

Somewhere, there are people mourning the sudden death of a loved one. This past weekend we saw Kansas City Chiefs, linebacker Jovan Belcher shoot and kill his girlfriend before killing himself. Suicide ruins the lives. Suicide leaves questions to be answered. We must do what we can to lift the spirits of those around us. Suicide should not happen to the people we are close to.

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