Suicide Prevention Day

I was very aware that today was Suicide Prevention Day but thought to myself, ‘I will be okay, it’s just a day of the week that someone decided to make a Day out of.’ Well, I thought wrong.
Yes, it is just another Sunday, true, but it does impact me. I miss my mom every day but today has been harder; heavier, darker.
So much focus around suicide is around mental illness. I wasn’t able to check that box with my mother’s suicide; I checked multiple boxes. She chose to leave for many reasons and none of which were due to mental illness. That isn’t me being defensive or resistant to admit something about my mom; it is simply the truth. My mom wasn’t mentally ill. She was tired and scared, out of funds, in physical discomfort, lost and besides her relationship with me, she couldn’t understand this place–this world.
Her exit was very clear, concise, and quite understandable when I think about it logically. It is when my heart gets involved that I crumble to the floor in agony that she actually did it.
As this day comes to an end I honor my story and where I am on my path of healing, which is basically morphed into simply living with the agony. I also honor her story and her personal agony that became too great to continue to mask and function here in this world, no matter how much she loved me.
I hope that, as a society, we can become more enlightened and conscious with our suffering and those we know who are suffering. I hope we can suffer-out-loud a bit more in this life and not put on our social masks. I hope it will become more acceptable to discuss how we are feeling on a deep and truthful level.
I pray for a community that will stand by those in pain and listen when they have thoughts of suicide, or are simply sad or lost or unmotivated in life. I hope we can move through hardships together, held up by those who love us, and be honored and respected for our transparency.
We must be able to welcome this discussion in our lives in order to really know those we love, and love those we don’t even know.
Be a portal for someone to walk towards, be a light on someone’s path because they know you would never judge them if they shared with you that they had these thoughts, be a safe place for those who need a landing strip to be allowed to fall apart so they can see just how strong and capable they really are through your reflection and love.
Be present enough to sense when someone is in need of a little extra time; a phone call instead of a text, a hug instead of a tweet, a conversation instead of a quick ‘how are you?’
This doesn’t just go for people who are thinking these thoughts but also for those like myself, who are living in the wake of someone who has departed this way.
I will forever regret not being more present with my mom. I constantly ruminate, wondering if perhaps I could have done or said something that might have changed things. One never knows what that something may be, so live out loud and just be there for people, radically. Even if they don’t ever talk of suicide, or depression, or share their suffering, just love people so hard and be so ever-present with people that they know you are a lighthouse for them. I am blessed to have many lighthouses in my life but one can never have too many.
I want to share something with you that I feel is important to this topic.
I went to a Survivors of Suicide meeting shortly after she died and I felt very uncomfortable as I was quite raw in the first few months. I didn’t think there was a point of it all at the time. I couldn’t imagine how listening to others share their horribly tragic stories of catastrophic losses would in any way be therapeutic or helpful.
When it was my turn to share I was crying so hard that I couldn’t even speak, literally could not share the story of how my mother killed herself. Everyone in the group was silent and waited for me to be able to use my words. I finally was able to speak in-between the gasps for air as I cried. There isn’t any cross talk allowed in these groups so after you speak there is some silences and then the next person shares. That silence seemed to last for hours after I spoke. I stayed until the end of the group and planned on never returning as it was simply too painful.
As I was leaving a woman came up to me who was there with her husband and grown daughter. Her share was about finding her other daughter after she had killed herself and how she has thoughts of suicide now because of the immense pain she is in and she doesn’t know how she can carry on. She stopped me before I left the meeting and hugged me, no words, just hugged me for a while. Her husband and daughter were standing beside us as we wept in each other’s arms; stranger’s arms.
She finally pulls away from me and said, ‘Thank you so much for being here tonight and sharing so openly and honestly. I think you are my angel. When I saw you and could see how much pain you are in I could see the impact of a daughter having to live with losing her mother to suicide. I have been having suicideal thoughts lately and not considering my other daughter at all. After listening to you I know I could never do that to her, I could never leave her. I know I am in pain and it is horribly hard but I am still her mother and I know she needs me. Thank you for reminding me that I am still my other daughter’s mother. You just saved not only my life but my husband and daughter from ever having to find me dead from giving in to these thoughts.’ I hugged her and we spoke for a while.
It was in that moment that I realized the power of sharing how I am feeling and being completely honest and transparent. There is power in sharing what has happened between my mother and me. It is a necessary story to share because it happened to me and I am still here. You never knows how one’s words will land on someone and the impact it will have on that life, or lives.
Thank you for taking the time to read my share. I needed a place to go tonight and write, and cry, and be me. When it gets dark and my husband goes to sleep is when I miss my mom the most; the nights are the hardest. My mother and I would always speak on the phone for hours and hours every night, about our day, life, the world, why we are here, the meaning of it all, what we learned, what questions are still unanswered and how we can be more conscious while we are here. We were night owls together. For 41 years we tucked each other in. I still have those conversations with her in the dark. I’m going to go have one right now. I miss her so.
Love to you all.
Good night.
If you feel you need to speak with someone please reach out to a loved one or go online to find a support group or a therapist. Here is a link that has helpful resources. If you ever would like to speak with me please reach out via FB or email