The Aftermath Of Suicide

Today would be my Beth’s 47th birthday.

Today I’m not going to spend the day drinking and crying as I did last year. Today is not as bad as it was then, nor is it as horrible as it was the year before.

That first birthday in 2009 almost nine months after she passed, I crawled in bed as it was approaching and stayed there for close to two weeks. My husband said little at first and left me alone. I wallowed in her memory, my self-pity, and the pain of loss. I didn’t change my sheets, I seldom bathed, I stared at the walls, looked out the windows, till darkness would once again close in around me and I would shut my eyes and will myself to die in my sleep. I dreamt of her; of all those moments that when they’d occurred seemed so insignificant, but now breathed life into her dead body. I couldn’t hold down food, my ribs and hip bones were beginning to look ridiculously defined as I lay on my back. I didn’t care. If a slow, painful death were my penance for letting her die than I’d decided that I more than owed her that. Guilt had crawled beneath my skin and lay writhing like a parasite trying to devour me from the inside out. All I could think of is that I could’ve saved her if I’d been there, but I wasn’t. That is the picture of a suicide survivor, my friends. Disturbing, but nonetheless very real.

I believe there was a very real possibility that I could’ve allowed myself to die in that bed had my husband not finally intervened. At one point I had his 9mm in one nightstand, a pharmacy of prescribed drugs in the other, a shitty life that awaited me if I crawled out of that bed, and felt I had no reason to go on. The minutes and hours ticked, ticked, ticked, by as I looked from one side to the other debating, plotting, changing my mind, and finally falling asleep from emotional exhaustion again and again. Then one day the door opened, he stepped inside, and told me to get out of bed. He didn’t ask me to come downstairs or ply me with a movie or dinner as he’d tried before. There was no look of  sympathy on his face or comfort in his voice. He opened the door, looked at me, and said “Get out of the damn bed.”

“No.” I said, rolling over and pulling the pillow over my head with me.

“Get out of the damn bed!” he raised his voice.

“No!” I screamed back. “Leave me alone!”

“What do you think you’re doing, huh? You think this is going to bring her back? It’s not. Do you think this is what she’d want? You always told me she loved you more than anyone ever had. Do you think she would want you to be like this because of her? Is this how you’re going to remember her? I think she deserves better than that, don’t you? I know I wouldn’t want to be remembered like this.” I could feel him staring at me from beneath my pillow. “Now get out of the damn bed, go take a shower, and come watch some tv with me. I made dinner.” And with that the door closed behind him…and I got up. Make no mistake; suicide takes more than just one life.

Today I’m choosing not to share with you the life she had and the memories I have of her, but my own personal experience with suicide. I believe had she the opportunity to make this choice again, she would choose otherwise. I believe the same of many that did. So I honor her on her birthday by hopefully enlightening all of you. I hope this dispels the myth that any of you may have that with suicide comes finality and peace. It doesn’t.

My stints with this subject go much farther back then just this one. When I was in elementary school my oldest sister tried to take her life twice after the sudden death of her husband. Once she succeeded and was DOA before they pulled her back from the murkiness of death. Now I was young enough that I don’t remember all the details of the events that transpired, but I remember her despondency and mood changes. I remember the reaction of everyone after. I remember feeling cautious, sad, my mother wringing her hands with worry that it might occur again, and she might finish the job as my mother would put it. Several years later in my teens I would once again be visited by this deceptive demon as I was preparing for bed. We heard sirens, lights began to flood through the windows to the interior of the house, and as my mother and I scurried from our rooms and down the hall to see what was happening, officers began pounding on our back door. My mother dressed in her small nightie yelled out to my sister to answer it. This sister, the third in line of us four, was going through a messy divorce and was living there at the time with her two children. The door was barely opened when they barged in, proclaimed they’d received a call that there was a suicide attempt in progress at our address, and as my mother and I both looked at each other confused my sister collapsed in front of us on the floor. I watched them begin to work on her, the stretcher appeared, and then her body seize into convulsions  as they were strapping her in; her limbs flailing weightlessly in the air. Had it not been for the good sense of a friend that had been on the phone with her at the time and called the police, my sister wouldn’t be with us today. The amount of Darvon she took that night could’ve taken down several horses.

My family has a history of depression that while I was growing up was not diagnosed. Because of this, it comes as little surprise that several years later I would attempt to do the same. What could push a girl at seventeen who is smart, very pretty and popular to want to overdose on a bottle of pills? The love of a boy, that’s what. Looking back I don’t believe it was ever my intention to do myself permanent harm. Rather, I wanted to get his attention. A ridiculous breakup, I heard he was with another girl, I went into my friends basement and swallowed an entire bottle of Extra-Strength Tylenol. Again, the good sense of a friend would come into play and save a life. An adult was called, I was rushed to the hospital, and into the emergency room. There was no Ipecac syrup that would be administered. I had swallowed an entire bottle of a substance that was capable of shutting down my liver, and they worked frantically inserting a tube into my nostril that wound it’s way down to my stomach to pump the poison out. The pain of that experience is still cringe-worthy. My face felt completely inflamed, I could feel the cartilage in my nose crackling, see blood coming up through the tube as they fed it slowly in a few inches then back out, over and over again, making sure they’d gotten it all. If I hadn’t been serious about it before, I wished for death at that moment. This boy who’s attention I desperately wanted would eventually become my first husband, and give me many more reasons to want to take my own life for years to come. At one point if it had not been for my then, two year old daughter, I would have. Today I look back and realize how undeserving he was of not only my love, but also the life I might’ve lost because of him. No one…NO ONE…is ever worth dying for!

There would be others:

An old friend who was having a hard time and had a history of drinking too much to try and ease the pain, shut his garage door one afternoon, crawled in his car, and sat in it while it was running till his life ran out. I would unpack the things I’d prepared to take with me to Sturgis that weekend and attend his funeral instead. I guess I don’t have to tell you that all our friends we partied with and shared most of our teens with were there. No one was laughing though. He had thought himself alone and that no one any longer cared. If only he’d reached out to one of the dozens of people that were present to say their goodbyes and tell him they loved him. I was to learn soon after that when they found him the car door was open and it appeared that he’d been trying to get out.

I watched my ex-fiance, the love of my life, heavy with sadness nearly crumble at this funeral, and also at another friends who took his life by shooting himself. I was also present, and the one that had to give the bad news to one of my best friends–a club member–later on that his girlfriend had taken her life. She had gotten her second DUI, had made it clear she wasn’t going back to jail, and made sure she didn’t have to. Each one that took their life had something in common…they left behind people who loved them. None realized they weren’t alone.

So here we are. We’ve come full circle. We’re right back to Beth. Beautiful Beth with her naughty smirk, her wicked sense of humor, her clever ideas and never-ending love and support. Beautiful Beth who pulled herself up by her boot straps, ventured far from her meager beginnings, and succeeded in a career where I had failed. Beautiful Beth who raised her children to serve God and their country, while mine have chose the lesser roads with one now sitting in prison. Beautiful Beth who didn’t know how truly magical she or her life was who ended it, while I still struggle in mine that pales in comparison. Beautiful Beth who chose to die, while I choose to live.

Her death tore at my insides with painful spasms. It shrouded me in guilt that I couldn’t shake free. It caused me to slide down the wall and beat my head up against it in frustration at searching for answers to questions that had none, more than once. It crept into my head, made me question my sanity, as I could sense her in darkened corners of my house, and hear her whisper my name. I became afraid to climb my stairs at night to use the bathroom for fear she would be waiting for me, come out of the shadows, and ask me why I hadn’t saved her. I loved her and cried for her. I hated her and cursed at her for hurting me, herself, and others. Then came a point I begin to sit for hours in the darkness anticipating her arrival, for I hoped she’d take me with her. For what seemed like forever she twisted around inside of me and made it impossible for me to live. I finally went to her grave, I sat there, I told her to stop it she was scaring me. I finally found some peace.

There is no finality with suicide…only aftermath.

One important thing I should mention. They didn’t find my best friend tucked away in the comfort of her bed as if preparing for the eternal sleep that would finally ease all her years of pain. They found her face down on the floor as if she were trying to get across the room. We believe at the last minute she was attempting to try and save herself.

“Happy Birthday, HomeGirl.  I hope you’ll be pleased with this message.  I love you!”

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36 Comments on “The Aftermath Of Suicide”

  1. […] a fellow blogger’s page I found This Post. One thing that struck me was this description of a funeral: “He had thought himself alone […]

  2. I am new to blogging and stumbled across yours today. I must say your writing is amazing, and your posts powerful. Keep it up, Ive found writing about things really does help and you are also sharing your amazing talent with the world. 🙂 x

    • Thank you. That’s incredibly sweet!
      Yes, writing has helped me tremendously in all aspects of my life. It gets me over the daily hurdles, and almost makes me see painful memories from a different perspective so that I can cope with them better. I know that since starting this blog back in January I’ve been moving forward emotionally by leaps and bounds, where as before I didn’t seem to be making any headway at all. I really hope you have the same experience with your writing and the blogging community as I have. There are wonderful people that can be found right at your fingertips if only you look. Feel free to peruse my blog roll and take a peek into those I read. There’s always someone there to humor me when I need a laugh, comfort me when I need a friend, intellectually stimulate me when I have a brain freeze, and share a story when I need to feel a part of something. I recommend all of them highly.
      I’ll have to skip on over and take a look at your blog. Make sure you come back and visit. 🙂

  3. lifereconnected says:

    Oh my goodness Lou there is so much here I hardly know what to say except good on you for sharing, for being so honest and expressing what a lot of people find hard to say. It is all so so sad and your descriptions of how you felt after your friend Beth died was just absolutely haunting. Very, very powerful stuff here Lou and I agree with your other commenters that this needs a wider audience. How do you feel now yourself after writing about it so honestly here I wonder? If it feels right you really could try to take it farther – I’m sure there are a lot of organisations that would benefit from your experiences.

    • Honestly Penny, I felt great after writing it. I feel even better after knowing it was well received and I didn’t push the envelope by saying too much. There’s always so much more to my stories that could be elaborated on, but I try and hit upon what I feel are the important points and refrain from ones that might be a little too much. Suicide is a touchy subject anyway. But I really think talking about it is helping because I didn’t cry once on her birthday. Not once. That means I’m healing. And if our story gives one person a reason to reconsider taking that dark step, then I know she would feel so blessed that she is a vessel that is being put to good use. That’s how my Beth was. She didn’t hesitate to help anyone that needed assistance. She was not just my best friend, but tried to be everyone’s best friend.
      If I thought her story would make a difference for a wider audience I would shout it out to the world. Unfortunately for now I’ve only felt comfortable sharing it with others that only know her first name. Before I would share it and her completely with the world I would have to get the blessings of her family. I doubt her siblings and children would have a problem with it if they thought it would do something good for others, but her mother may have difficulty with it. This has been really hard on her. I mean REALLY hard. The last thing in the world I would want to do is cause her mother more pain.
      You know, I almost emailed her sister and told her to read it, but chickened out at the last minute. I don’t know why. At the viewing and funeral her family made it a point of stressing how much she loved me and my writing, and after I wrote her eulogy for them they all told me that I needed to share my writing with the world because this is what she would want. I haven’t told one of them yet that I started this blog back in January. I don’t know what I’m afraid of, but I suppose it might be that if I thought they were reading it I might hesitate more about including the things that I feel might disturb them. I don’t want to alter my writing. I guess time will tell.
      I haven’t really been reading any posts the last few days so am not sure what everyone has been up to. How’s the London thing going?

      • lifereconnected says:

        London was great thanks and thanks for finding the time to keep reading my posts.
        I think it is great that you felt so good after writing about it all – and remember that when you are writing about what is has been like for you then you own that story although I do understand that it is such a sensitive subject and I know you don’t want to hurt her family. Maybe it is good that your blog gives you a chance to be very honest about it all. My thinking has been that if I just keep writing then it will all unfold somehow (whatever story I have to tell I mean) so maybe that is how it will be for you too. You seem to be able to tell your experiences with just exactly the right amount of detail so I just wanted you to know that ie you don’t need to alter anything – is any of this making any sense? Don’t answer that!

  4. Lou, I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Grief is a painful companion.

    As a suicide survivor, maybe I have something to contribute to this discussion. I got to see first-hand what my attempt did to my loved ones, and I cringe to think of how it would have wounded them if I had succeeded.
    When I attempted suicide, I was in so much emotional pain that I would have put my head through a brick wall to make it stop. My husband, who found me downing as many pills as possible, told my daughter that it wasn’t her mother who did this: I was way beyond being myself. Imagine being tortured and having the means to escape — that is how it felt to me.
    I am confident that if your friend could have understood what she was doing to you and others who loved her, she wouldn’t have killed herself, but her mind was incapable at that moment of grasping anything other than incomprehendable pain.
    Depression kills. A person’s biochemistry can get so out of whack that their judgement is completely skewed and irrational. A person can become so deluded that she believes that she is doing the people around her a favor by removing herself from the scene. Because depression is a physical illness, not just a state of mind, it is imperative that depressed people get medical help. Most depressed people can get some relief (sometimes a complete remission) from the right meds.
    In my experience, horrible life circumstances can be endured by most people, though they may succumb to great feelings of sadness at times. People with clinical depression are already in such a dark place that when difficult life events happen, they have little or no resources to deal with their problems.
    Most of us assume that suicides happen because of a crisis or loss or disappointment, when in fact Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the real culprit.
    Anyone reading this who is struggling with depression, please see a doctor ASAP. If you feel suicidal, get to an ER. Depression can usually be treated effectively, and no one should have to live in misery when there are solutions out there.
    Jodi

    • Bravo, my friend! I couldn’t have said it better myself and agree with everything that you said. As a matter of fact I just wrote a post recently on why those that are thinking of suicide don’t have the right to make that choice, because they are incapable of discerning what is best for them at the time they are doing it. Call it mental incapacity, depression, imbalance whatever…but they are not.
      You know, I’ve heard so much BS from people that don’t have to deal with this, and think it’s all in our ‘heads’ (they are right about that!), and we need to just ‘snap out of it’ as if we enjoy being this way or something. Yeah, I thoroughly enjoy being this way! It’s fun, fun, fucking-fun, not to want to get out of bed for days and weeks at a time, to have to force yourself to then not even have the physical energy to do anything. To have to “make’ yourself, while exhausting yourself, to accomplish simple tasks around the house. It’s sheer joy to find flaw after flaw in yourself despite what anyone else may tell you, to hate the way you feel and believe the future is so bleak that you would rather end it than to suffer through another day. And of course the most pleasant thing of all, is to sit and watch the hands on the clock move, struggling to get through each hour, with the ultimate goal being to go to bed so you can at least sleep part of the pain away.
      There was a time when my depression was at it’s worst, I would literally wake up in the morning with the thought in my head of what I needed to get done as quickly as possible so I could go back to bed. The only thing I looked forward to was crawling back into bed and lying in the darkness where I could be alone with my thoughts and dream of another life so unlike mine. And then there’s the medication to deal with; mountains of it. Meds that gave me dry mouth, weight gain, made me mean, made me more suicidal then I already was, migraines, made me sleep all the time, made me more hyper…my God, the list of meds they introduced me to at one time or another is overwhelming to think about. And of course each time a new one is introduced you must wean yourself off the one and wean yourself onto another, and spend days/weeks figuring out if it’s a perfect fit or not. As if you’re not depressed already, the meds make things even more maddening. YES, I ENJOY BEING THIS WAY!
      I have clinical depression and a panic disorder. I didn’t know I had that till I let my depression go untreated and my underlying panic disorder became so full-blown I thought I was going crazy. I no longer have to take Xanax for that, but rather choose to just keep my anxiety in check and try to avoid obvious triggers. My doctor also suspected Bipolar 2, but I didn’t stick around long enough for therapy to have her diagnose me properly. I am managing mine okay on my own right now, I take my Wellbutrin faithfully everyday, and although it’s not a miracle drug and fixes me completely, I’m thankful it’s not worse. Besides, to be honest, I don’t really know what normal feels like, and I guess you can’t miss what you’ve never had, huh? Do I wish life looked rosier? Well sure…but you work with the cards you’re dealt with, and that’s what I’m doing. No matter what it’s still better than the alternative, which is death. I still have a lot of things left to say and do before I check out, thank you very much!
      I hope you’re being able to manage yours all right, too. meds aren’t ever going to fix me, but I figure if they can take the edge off I can do the rest. I’m pretty damn tough that way. I’m a survivor. So are all of you! I believe there is hope for all of us! You know…blogging through the blues. 🙂

  5. The Hook says:

    This is by far, the most hines, poignant and “real” post I’ve eve read on WordPress. Very well done. I hope you see the light while acknoweldging the darkness that surrounds you right now.

    • Thanks Hook! And I’m doing fine, actually. I didn’t cry once the whole day, so that means I’m making great strides. I really think my biggest problem for so long was that I wasn’t able to talk about it. Not that I didn’t want to, but that my husband and family couldn’t deal with it so they wouldn’t let me. Try holding all that shit in for a couple of years! Anyway, I can pour my heart out all I want now so it’s freeing me to grieve, to share her life with others, to do all the things I NEED to do in order to move on with my life. I feel like I’m getting to the point I can finally say it’s going to be all right, and mean it.

  6. So powerful and so moving 😦

    • Unfortunately, a stark reality in the world we live in. Depression kills. You can reword it any way you like, but that’s the just of it. There are far too many people tearing us down with their judgments and expectations, and not enough giving encouragement and understanding. Life is one big shit sandwich sometimes!

  7. SimonAndRoni says:

    You conveyed such emotion in this post, it brought be back to when I lost someone to depression years ago. I was haunted for so long, as you are. I hope exploring these events through your words has made you stronger, that’s the best way to honor the lives of those we’re missing.

    • SimonAndRoni says:

      PS. I just realized I sound like a super depressing Hallmark Card and I’m sorry about that. 😉

      • No, not at all! Hell, if that were the case I would be the Queen of Hallmark inc. ha..ha.. You apparently haven’t been following my blog cause I can be incredibly depressing. You know what I figure though, life is messy, I can’t always be happy, shit happens, and you deal with it the best you can. If I am having a good day I express that. If I’m having a pissy day–and most of the time I am–I express that too. When I’m unhappy, send me some cyber-tissues cause I’m gonna rain Boo-Hoo-Lou’s all over your parade. We’re human. We’re supposed to do that. Don’t apologize for expressing what you feel or let anyone dictate what you think and should say. You’re unique and you have a right to be ‘you’. And on my blog anything goes. Speak your mind dammit! We all wanna hear what you’ve got to say. 😉

    • It has. I believe what was keeping me sick about this was not being able to talk about it for so long. She being my best friend for thirty years, and being such a large part of not only my immediate family, but also knowing my siblings and other friends, people cringed at the thought of dealing with me after. I can’t say I helped that much, I fell apart constantly. In their ignorance though, they didn’t want me to talk about it, but just get on with my life. My family’s refusal at helping me grieve, at taking me to her grave, turned what was horrible in itself, into complete insanity for me. I guess that is something important I forgot to say in that post. PEOPLE NEED TO BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT IT! DON’T DENY THEM THAT RIGHT.
      I hope that you had the support you needed when you lost your someone. This is an absolutely horrific thing to deal with when you love a person and they choose to take their life. We should never had to go through that alone. If we do it doesn’t speak well for those in our lives. I’m just saying…

      • SimonAndRoni says:

        Talking is the only way we can make sense of anything life has to offer!

        And yes, I just came across your blog today and I will be back pissy posts and all!

        • Why thankyou! And may I say it is very nice to meet you, you’re more than welcome to pop by my house anytime…door is always open and the coffee’s on…and I shall scoot on over and hang my hat at yours as well.

  8. Spectra says:

    This is brilliant writing. You’ve done an incredible job here. You’ve approached a difficult subject, head on, and you beat it up! You did’nt let it beat you up, you pounded the hell out of it. And you have given us all instruction, as well.

    1. PAY ATTENTION. The little signs are there. Realize people you know and love may actually be capable of harming themselves.

    2. SUICIDE IS NOT REVERSIBLE. It seems the people you described tried to change their minds at the last minute, and some were unable to survive their moment of lapse, of realization that life and people are worth living for.

    3. DESPONDENCY SUCKS. no add-ons. it just sucks.

    4. GET HELP NOW. If this story sounds familiar to you, and you have roving thoughts of exiting this world when life becomes too challenging and distressing, take advice from this post, start asking around. Do not trust your own mind in times of despondency!

    Great post. This one has long-term meaning and purpose. It is textbook-quality testimony on the importance of seeking help and communicating your thoughts and emotions. So important!!!

    • Wow Spectra, that really flatters me coming from you. I guess I never considered telling the truth as ‘brilliant’ writing–although I think a person can add their own touch of excellence to the truth as I’ve seen it done time and time again on this forum by many of you. But most definitely nothing I thought myself capable of. I guess I see brilliant as more of a gift of creativity which you’ve definitely got, and sadly I am at a loss for. I could not pull that hilarious ‘Jerry’ shit out of my ass for nuttin! And I still think you ought a try your hand at adult comics or something. You have a flair for the dramatic that sells.
      I wonder if perhaps this means that God is leading me in a direction where I should give up on my fiction and focus on writing about factual events? This is something I should give consideration to. I know there are many subjects that I’m passionate about, and if I knew that my words were helping people in any way, well..then all those dreams I had when I was young of writing something that wouldn’t be forgotten would be fulfilled, wouldn’t they? Thanks for the boost, pal. I needed that.

  9. jsh0608 says:

    Wow this was a powerful story. I’m glad you didn’t succeed on this process for we won’t get to read your great and powerful blogs. I’m sorry for all the ones you have lost to suicide. I don’t know if this is wrong to say, but I think they are selfish in a way. There are people that love and wish they were still here. I don’t know if that would make us selfish too. There are people that are sick and die of illness who would love to be alive. There is always someone out there who has it a lot worse then we think we have it. But I know also that there are stronger beings than others. I have known a lot that have attempted and I have known some that have died cause of it. It is really sad, and wish I could have been there to stop these events. But I believe if you are meant to go then it is your time to go. Apparently you were not meant to go. And your sweet Beth was meant to go. Maybe to make you stronger as a person. I think she would be very happy with this post. And I’m glad that writing such blogs makes you feel better.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • No, you’re right. Suicide is a selfish act. They have become so preoccupied by their own problems that they take no consideration for what it may do to others. Unfortunately the act of suicide is a direct result of some kind of depression, and although it is in fact selfish, this selfishness is unintentional on their part. They just want to stop the pain.
      This is why I have difficulty dealing with my Christian family members beliefs on this subject. Why my faith has waned and I suffer from such confusion. I know the scriptures that have been pointed out to me. I’ve read them, some I studied when I attended church. But I also know things can be misinterpreted, and I believe the belief that suicide victims are going to hell is one of them. I refuse to believe that a loving God would yet further punish those whose lives have already been so miserable that they choose not to live anymore. It makes no sense to me, and no one can convince me otherwise. This has made me question a lot of different things in my faith. I mean a lot. My brother-in-law is gay. He’s also one of the kindest most loving men I’ve ever met. I have a hard time believing God is going to send him to hell simply because he loves a man. When did love become conditional? Just many things. And yes, I’ve tried to believe that it was her time or God would have reached out to save her, but this is probably the most difficult of all for me. I believe her life wasn’t finished yet. How could it be when she still had so much left to contribute? I don’t mean to discourage anyone’s faith by saying that. People believe the way they believe and I honor that.

      • jsh0608 says:

        Very well said. I might not go to church, but I have my faith and I think a whole bunch of things that don’t make sense to me, but to others it does. We all have different opinions and views on everything. We are all not going to think the same, and people can’t take others opinions. I’m open to opionions and I know you are too. And it’s true…just cause person loves another person of the same sex won’t go to even…but I guess some things just can’t really be explained to us.

      • Well, I know they can’t explain it to me. That’s why I think many of us get to a point where we realize it’s hard enough to live our own damn lives, and stop second-guessing and judging others for how they live theirs. I’ve been pretty open-minded my whole life about most things, so I guess it’s not as difficult for me at times to think outside the box. I still have my peeves that I know are nothing more than ‘learned raising’, but hopefully I still have enough time to overcome some of those too.

  10. Powerful stuff. Sometimes I wonder whether your posts short out your computer. They would surely burn holes on a paper page.

    You were wrong on one thing though. You said ‘I can never quite gauge when I’m saying too much…as brutal honesty is probably my biggest flaw.’ It isn’t. It is one of your more notable strengths. Not always easy to hear, but honest and truthful just the same. Necessary. For you and those who hear/read you.

    So many people choose suicide as a way to end the pain – not realising how much pain it causes. Here in Oz, suicide is the most common reason for death for young people in the 24 -30 aged bracket. Scary isn’t it? And your words need to be shouted from the roof tops.

    So proud of you. Hugs

    • That is scary!
      There’s a lot of unhappy people running around. And of course most of them don’t have the support they need. The very worst thing a person could do is not listen or take someone seriously when they start talking about ending their life. People think they’re just crying wolf because they’ve heard it all before. Every person I mentioned in my post had talked about suicide before; some for years. Then one day they did it. Unfortunately none of us know when they are going to turn that corner, so why would you take the chance. I, myself, can tell you I talked about it for years, and there were a few instances that I came so close looking back it scares me. When they talk about it it’s a cry for help. Seldom does someone do it without telling someone about it beforehand. They want someone to listen to them. They need to vent, cry, scream about the injustice in their life. They WANT someone to give them a reason to live. I know this. And I don’t care what any of them say, this is the reason they talk about it. The reason she talked about it. The reason I’ve talked about it. We/They just wanted someone to listen.
      I’ll tell ya I’ve listened. When I stop listening is when I know I’m not doing any good. I’m willing to be there for anyone as long as I think they need a friend and are willing to save themselves, but I won’t stick around to watch them take their lives. I offer a hand-up and if they don’t take it I step aside. I won’t punish myself by being an audience for their execution if they don’t give a shit about themselves. I know that sounds harsh, but I’m a worrier, and in a situation like that you have to save yourself.
      You know what I did this morning? I went on a faces of suicide site. They run 400 random photo’s at a time of suicide victims on there. Some just give the photo’s, names and dates; then others a story. Anyone who’s thinking about it needs to go on there. It’s the saddest damn thing you’ve ever seen. All these people, young children and the elderly as well…each was put there by someone that loved them. There are a lot of sad, grieving people out there.I decided soon as soon as I get my newer computer up and running and don’t have to continue working off this old tower, I’m going to download some pictures and give Beth a place on their wall. I’m also thinking about adding a page onto my blog specifically for that. I’ve been inspired.

  11. Brenda says:

    My goodness you’ve had a lot of heartache in your life. I’m sorry for all the loss in your life, specifically Beth, whom I understand you were very close to. May you find comfort in knowing she/they are no longer in pain (whatever their battles may have been). ~hugs~ to you my friend. Hang tough!

    • The shit is never ending in my life, Brenda. It’s hard to stay positive most of the time, because I feel like I constantly have to stay prepared for another new crisis rounding the corner. My husband thinks I’m negative. Ha! I beg to differ. My brother has been missing for 25 years, both my parents succumbed to lung cancer, I lost a close friend who’d been beaten and left to die in a coma twelve days after my father died, more friends than I wish to think about to congestive heart failure from doing drugs, car accidents, etc. And just this past year the other two friends of mine and Beth’s that made up the ‘four’ of us from the neighborhood died four months apart; one to cancer and one from an infection she didn’t even know was serious. I think I stay pretty fucking positive considering, just by managing to stay alive myself and keep somewhat of a sense of humor. It ain’t easy being me most of the time.

  12. So sorry for your loss. Big hugs to you, my dear.

    • Thank you. You know honestly, talking about it really helps. I haven’t shed one tear today. Perhaps this is what I needed all along. I wanted to make sure she was never forgotten, that her death wasn’t in vain, and hopefully I did that today. Big hugs back to you!

  13. mairedubhtx says:

    Thank you for sharing these painful memories about suicide. It will help me when the times get rough and I need to remember why I need to stay alive. Thank you, truly, from the bottom of my heart.

    • You are very welcome, but the truth is I should be thanking you. You took me out of my box and spurred me into action. You scared me so, that it no longer seemed enough for me just to mention it in passing, but actually needed to ‘talk’ about it. I should be thanking you for raising the volume on my voice. I know if Beth were here she would expect me to, and she’d be thanking you also. We’re all in this together. I hope you know that. We didn’t find each other by accident…I believe there is purpose behind everything. You, my new pal, are a keeper. You would be missed by me! And as you read in this post, I’ve had a belly-full of grieving in my lifetime, and don’t need more. I just think we all need to be a little kinder to ourselves, and also cut ourselves a little slack. I know I for one am all about giving myself a break at this point.

  14. my0wneyes says:

    I agree with Ed…very very POWERFUL.

  15. Ed Williams says:

    Dear Lord Lou…
    Your posts fucking floor me sometimes and this one is no exception. I implore that you somehow make this post available to Suicide Prevention sites and let Beth’s story prevent ONE needless death and the aftermath that hellishly goes on with the survivors.
    POWERFULLY poignant read for me.

    • I wondered if it might be too much, but now I’m glad I went all the way with it. I can never quite gauge when I’m saying too much…as brutal honesty is probably my biggest flaw. Sadly, there’s so much more to every story that I could’ve elaborated on, but chose to keep it short to hold everyone’s attention if I could. I wanted to make sure the message got read and was understood. Thank you for taking the time to read it and let me know that I never overstepped boundaries.
      Something that I never mentioned, that I hesitated to include, was that I wrote Beth’s Eulogy for her at the request of her family. It was the hardest thing I think I’ve ever had to do, but forced myself to because her family wanted her to be remembered the way SHE would’ve wanted to be, and I knew her story better than anyone else. They wanted me to write it, because they said she would want me to write it. You see, I write for myself and no one else. I always have. I was always too afraid to put my words out there for fear someone would tell me that I couldn’t write. She believed in me and could never get me to believe in myself while she was alive. I guess this blog is my way of honoring her wishes that I believe in myself and finally share my words with others. Anyway, I hope I she’s pleased by the progress I’ve made. It’s becoming a long, crazy journey…that’s for sure.