I’m always cautious when I write about suicide. It’s not part of my own lived experience and I never, ever want anyone to think that I am trying to represent those for whom it is.
But I know so, so many parents whose children left this life by suicide and don’t want to shy away from the subject just because I need to be careful in addressing it.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.
The name, in itself, is fraught with emotion.
Who doesn’t second guess whether they missed a clue that the person they love is so desperate that suicide seems to be the only way out of their pain? I am loathe to add one iota of guilt or doubt on the heart of a grieving parent!
But I think most folks whose loved one completed suicide would join the host of experts and others who say: Pay Attention! Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Hard Questions! Take Comments About Self-Harm Seriously!
It’s absolutely, positively true that some individuals fall quickly and silently down the pit of despair. There are no tell-tale outward signs warn of their intentions.
Many, though, begin the descent in predictable and observable ways.
So today, in honor of those who are missing someone who is no longer here, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these warning signs.
Commit to reach out and to ask hard questions.
Be an encourager and a hope-speaker.
And light a candle.
For the ones who didn’t make it, for the hearts who love them and for the ones who are looking for any sign there is more to this life than pain and darkness.