I think it no coincidence that today is the day I end up taking Brian’s ashes to scatter them on a beach he played on, as a child. I was supposed to go, last week, but seeing as it was the Saturday before the last long weekend before School is back in, my sister and I thought better of it. Long and busy ferry lineups are not our thing.
I didn’t even clue in that we’d re-worked our plans for THIS day. There are no coincidences…this was meant to be.
I miss him. Every day, I miss him.
For new readers, my late boyfriend, Brian, took his life on May 11th, 2015. It is a day that I’ll never forget and one that changed me for the remainder of this life.
Every blog post I read about those who have lost someone that they love, to suicide, tells a similar story. Gut wrenching pain and all too stupid and insensitive comments; platitudes that are tossed out there to us like left over scraps thrown towards a starving street dog.
I’ve heard it all and if you’ve gone through it, so have you.
Mental illness is not treated like other diseases and can you imagine if someone came up to you and said: “Well that was very selfish of him to die of cancer that way!”
That’s the trash we get from friends, family, people who should know better as well as strangers.
One of my all time favourites: “Why aren’t you over it, yet?”
They don’t know any better. We’ve been taught to be uncomfortable around the word: SUICIDE. Why? Because, in our culture, it’s an unacceptable way to die. We’re not supposed to choose to leave on our own. If we spoke about this out in the open, discussed it with our children and loved ones, early on, so it wasn’t a taboo and unholy subject, I believe less people would die.
For those who are battling depression, anxiety and have ever thought of taking their life or who have attempted it, ignorance and societal judgments, as well as, misunderstandings are just the norm. It’s sad and it makes everything SO much worse and I dare say contributes to the rising rate of suicide and suicide attempts.
Those that are so desperate to end their emotional pain that they are willing to end their lives are treated like criminals and outcasts, and that is the worst crime of all.
Let me share this: what suicide attempt survivors wish you to know.
I’ve met others who’ve had a brush with suicidal thoughts; it’s far more common than you think. I know a suicide attempt survivor who is a good friend of mine. One thing that was said was: “thoughts of ending your life never leave you, they are always at the back of your mind. I’d decided that if I ever needed to attempt it, again, that this time I was going to get it right.”
Brian’s story isn’t new. His isn’t unique although his reasons and pain are unique to HIM. How many other people out there are suffering in silence, afraid to ask for help because we criminalize their pain, lock them up like a common killer, and take away every shred of their dignity and all of the things that make them feel human and provide a sense of belonging?
We can do a better job and we have to. In a future blog post I’ll describe the initial PAU (psychiatric assessment unit) that Brian was put into. I will say, now, that it was frightening and he was very scared. I would be too. I’m sure there is a way to fund some sort of community temporary home that allows safe personal items as well as protects people from themselves in a more loving environment. I strongly suspect that family would be willing to help. I would have been.
One issue that is brought to our attention is that our youth are greatly at risk. One in 5 teens have considered suicide, last year according to this article.
In, Five, teenagers…children, for God’s sake.
What is it going to take for us to be comfortable to talk about this in the open? When are we going to let suicide out of it’s closet, because it’s bloody well banging on the door.
Take your religion out of the picture. Take your presumptuous thoughts and set them aside. IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. It could be your best friend, your spouse, your daughter or your dad. It could be your uncle, your cousin, someone you work with, someone you go to school or the gym with. You could save a life. We could all saves lives if we brought this out into the open and just talked about it.
It could be you. You need to know that it’s safe to talk about.
So, let’s do it. Right here. Open up the door and let it out because if you don’t, it could destroy you.
My goal is to help, to council and to coach. My path is to assist in your healing and guide you to your next steps on your journey. Remember, your soul wants to be here. You chose to be here and everyone has everything to live for.
; None of our life stories are over, yet.