It’s been two years to the day that the man I loved ended his life; an odd anniversary of sorts and there is still so much to say and so much that I’ve already said. I feel, sometimes, that I’m endlessly repeating myself.
So, I’ll be somewhat brief.
If you’ve known someone or loved someone who has experience with losing a person to suicide, or intimately understand what it’s like because you’ve been through it…
Be gentle. Be kind and be empathetic to those that have survived and yourself, if you – like me, have learned to live with it.
You see, that’s all you can do; live with it. You don’t get over it and you don’t forget about it just because it’s behind you. You live with the stigma of suicide around you, every day.
I’m not a grief counselor but I will become an educator. This happens so much more often than I was ever aware of and I’m guessing most people are not aware of the staggering statistics.
Why? Because we, as a society, sweep it under the carpet. It’s a dirty little secret and we talk in hushed, whispered tones, quickly looking around to make sure we are not overheard.
“Did you hear? He killed himself…”
Then, everyone not involved, goes about their daily life and tries not to think about it. Yup. We typically don’t reach out to the survivors, we don’t try and understand mental illness; we try and forget about it if it didn’t concern ourselves directly.
Before Brian, I’d never had any experience with suicide, suicide grief or had known anyone close to me who’d chosen to leave the world by their own hand. So, I can’t say that I was any different, or any more compassionate. Honestly, I can’t remember if the topic ever came up.
My point is that it’s not a fault of the individual; it’s the fault of our culture and the lack of education and understanding.
So I will become one of the educators because I really need to. I need people to understand that you can’t get over it. It lives with you, daily. It becomes a part of you and rather than reject it, I choose to embrace it.
I choose to take this experience and make something positive out of it.
Brian’s life mattered. ALL lives matter, no matter what our exit strategy is out of this world.
So please, don’t pretend it doesn’t happen. Don’t avoid the topic or whisper about it.
YELL IT OUT.
Everyone needs to know and learn about mental illness and how to help those that are suffering.
Because it can kill.
Just like cancer.
Just like any other disease known to humans.
It’s time to make this a priority and stop pretending it’s not a massive problem.
Suicide is a major cause of premature and preventable deaths.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for people of all ages. In 2009, it ranked as the ninth leading cause of death in Canada. Among those aged 15 to 34, suicide was the second leading cause of death, preceded only by accidents (unintentional injuries).
a simple like doesn’t do this post justice.
even though i didn’t know brian, i felt like i knew “enough” through his eloquent writings. at the risk of sounding cliche, perhaps both of you were brought together for a purpose – you showing him that it was possible to have love again and him showing you a road or a new purpose to spread your light.
suicide is such a complicated matter and while there are cases where people in the midst of the act regret it, I believe that there are almost as many who go through with it decisively whether out of fear or pain. there was a man who kept a suicide journal online detailing his life and how he came to the conclusion that death was a better choice. it was worded so articulately and everything he said I could identify with. After almost a year of posts, he calmly called the police department to report his own suicide and while the police were en route ended his own life. yahoo took down his blog site which i felt was a huge disservice to a cause such as the one you are pursuing. but it sums up my point that for some people, it is a finality that in their mind is the only one to follow.
i was suicidal for like 5 years after a series of lows in my personal life. i was caught up in the negative side of brian’s business. i did tremendous amounts of cocaine up until a few years ago when I overdosed – BUT death was what i wanted. i had a cavalier attitude about life and i felt like it was pointless and just fraught with stuff i didn’t want to confront. it wasn’t some religious thing that made me reconsider, nor was it even the night i overdosed. it was just a realization that life is the better choice over death no matter how bad it was: being alive is just…better. now, while i can come up with a point like that, it is certain that someone could arrive at the opposite conclusion with the same inexplicable “moment of realization”.
you don’t have to worry about repeating yourself on this subject. brian’s writing is proof that even an immensely generous/genuine person must be reminded that they have an inalienable, palpable worth on this planet. life is so special and yet so fragile; once it’s gone all the potential good, the creativity, and the capacity to love goes with it. the world truly becomes that much less of what makes it amazing.
i’m glad that you are taking your pain and using it for the betterment of people. i am naturally skeptical as a person but even i know it is important that we work to make sure people don’t fall into that mental abyss where they can only see one outcome and one way to live their lives. we have to show them that while the commercial version of happiness is available only in bits and pieces, we can still make the best of what we have and if it’s still an issue where suicide is the clearest decision then….i guess we all have to respect it. i don’t know whether its right or wrong, all i know is that the option is always on the table.
i see alot of myself in the way brian articulated things which is why i still look at his page every now and then. that you take the time to remember his life hopefully makes him happy, appreciated and at peace where he exists now…
What a tender reply filled with hope and meaning, a confession of sorts… and I’m truly humbled that you’d share so much. Thank you for speaking from your heart.
Pain, whether it be emotional or physical, is so very draining. As I only knew Brian for 3 months, I will never get to know him in the way that I most wanted to. He had a difficult time opening up and letting people in. I was privileged to have known him for the time that I did and to have loved him.
That said, the Medium in me wants you to know that he’s quite regretful and for several reasons. 1) We get to watch and experience the cause and effect of our choices (you can imagine how THAT was like). 2) It’s extremely rare that suicide is predestined in a life choice (this one wasn’t but the struggle with mental health ‘was’). 3) He feels like he let everyone down, but he let himself down the most – as we incarnate to experience LIFE in the 3D world and our souls choose what we want to experience…so he’s missed out on a lot of stuff he wanted to do. Again, it’s done so he’s okay with it.
Brian is okay. Really, he’s okay with everything because it can’t be undone, so it is what it is and he’s healed so much since crossing over. Most of all, he understands himself so much better and that was always key for him. He’d tossed around the idea of suicide since he was 12 or so. It’s always been on the table for whatever reason. So, although his ex-girlfriend leaving him was a huge push, if she hadn’t or if they’d split up amicably, he would have found something else at some point because he didn’t feel that he was ‘enough’. He didn’t feel worthy and most of all, he didn’t love himself.
The girl in me wants to say that she’s SO happy that you decided that life, here, is worth it! It’s people like you who give so many the hope that they’re looking for. It can’t be easy looking down that dark tunnel and wanting out.
I’m so sorry that you’ve felt that pain and so thankful you’re still here.
You’re a real treasure and a trooper; please always know my door is open for you should you need to talk to someone or simply vent. I can assure you that Brian is extremely grateful for your interest in him and continued support through me. He was and still is very loved.
You are too!