SUICIDE: A message too important to be missed
2011 brings a new year. But in 2010 I lost a friend to suicide. I didn’t have many close friends when I stepped on campus as a freshman but it wasn’t long when I met three of his best friends—all girls who had known him for years already. And it definitely wasn’t rocket science that after a few real laughs there was a good chance I met some friends for life. And then somehow they introduced me. I can’t really remember the day. But I do remember that he was super contagious silly and really down to earth. And I’m thinking wow! He fits right in and looks nothing like any of us. And even though he would dare to hurt a fly— he was a good man to have around. He was taller than us all and protective. When you’re away from home you really miss your brother who doesn’t mine programming your TV. Or your dad or uncle who is aging just a bit: but is still willing to sacrifice their okay back and shoulders to help you bring “the heaviest things” up the stairs. Well while I was away from home I knew I could call him and he would be there. I would be there for him if I was needed too.
I have two moments in my head when it comes down to the last time I’d seen him. I was either watching him on stage doing what he loved or he cooked all of us chicken parmesan and pasta and I ate a little and took the rest to go. It wasn’t my favorite of his but I wouldn’t dare tell him. I knew it would mean more (for him at least) if I just shut up and ate it.
It was senior year and most of us had summer school and the fall or more to officially finish. But it was finally coming down to the end of our four years of college and we had come such a long way. We had come from: late night studying, food and sugar snacks in the downstairs lounge being our own comedians, riding the city bus to the closest mall, finding a ride to anything too far away from campus, being only 18, not really dating, considering the thought that we may never find true love, for me the freshman 15—“now I know why it happened” a lot of good heavy foods and just not enough cardio, for me asking God many questions and seeking the answers like crazy, finding the balance between spiritual things and having a little fun, for me never having my first kiss, hoping we was going to be able to make the grades to graduate one day, hoping we wouldn’t let anyone down especially ourselves, sometimes feeling like outcast, everything feeling brand new, being uncomplicated, being genuinely happy and loving life.
Then after a few years: we got our own apartments, still some late night studying and forever making each other laugh, having our own cars, going wherever we want, being over 21, some dating, considering the thought we just may find our true love, for me-love, losing the freshman 15, I still ask God questions but thinking to myself maybe there are some things I may never quite understand but I still seek, still finding the balance, having a first kiss, making the grades (sometimes barely) but we made it!, we’re proud of ourselves, we do our own thing no need to fit in, having to find new adventures but some things get finer with time, being uncomplicated and complicated, finding joy, learning to simply love life even when everything doesn’t go as planned.
He was in the plan. We all were and the day I got the call I didn’t believe it. I thought of a few misunderstandings besides the fact that it was real. I broke down. We all broke down. It was a shock. I still find myself in disbelief.
But I’m sharing this in hopes that no one has to lose you or even someone you know. There are many reasons why people end their lives. And many times it’s because they don’t see a bright day no time soon if not forever. I just want you to know we all have dark days and personal stories that we may not always share. And many of my complicated days were between me and the person I thought I should portray or thought I should have been. But then I realized that one day— I’d get comfortable with being myself. And that there would come a time when brighter days would come. And they have. Give yourself some time to grow, heal, and grow again. Sometimes life will be bittersweet. But don’t let the bitter parts stop you from getting what’s sweet in the future. There’s a learning experience there.
If you are really feeling down like you’re going towards that decision, give the people who love you or just one person(or being) who is close to you the opportunity to tell you that they love you. And tell you exactly how they feel about what you’re thinking of doing. And if you get to the point where you don’t want anyone to talk you out of it: consider the things I’ve said and know that things can get better and your decision affects the people who truly love you. Give your love ones a chance to say the things I wish I was given the chance to say:
- I love you
- You will get through this
- You will be “So So So” missed
- It gets better
And my friend could have talked to someone about these feelings. Someone closer to him. But I still can’t help but to wonder.
But again if you are in the position where you don’t want anyone to talk you out of it, remember that someone (whoever it may be) deserves that chance and you deserve to make it through to tell your story—a story that will save someone else’s life and empower yours.
I miss you my friend.