Suicide Is Not Painless

Hubby & I are creatures of habit.  We go to the same places for breaks & when there we will go to the same coffee shops & pubs. We like to ‘make friends’ so this habitual returning means we do form friendships of sorts. If we are visiting one of these ‘distance’ friendships around Christmas then cards will be exchanged.

This recent Bank holiday has been no different. We have been to somewhere familiar & we have met up with ‘friends’. Our last call was for coffee before setting off back home. As usual the tea rooms were bustling with holiday makers enjoying the last of the Spring break. We weren’t surprised that our ‘friend’ was not visible as he was often in the back organising operations. We asked the waitress if he was around only to be shocked to the core when told that he had died.

For split second I presumed she had misheard me when I asked for him by name. Sadly that was not the case. She went on to tell us that he had committed suicide a little while after his 40th birthday. His chosen method was to jump in front of a train.

As we drank our coffee, I kept imagining him coming out of the kitchen to see us. I could hear the conversation between him & my husband about the state of each of their football teams. We would ask about his young son & daughter. Although we have never met them, we have followed their childhoods with these conversations over the years.

My thinking then went to how he must have been feeling. I felt dreadful that someone I knew would feel that desperate. We do not have the answers to people’s problems but we can always offer an ear, a shoulder, some time.

I then started to feel angry. Angry at him for doing this. For leaving his family too soon. I was angry that he might have caused a major accident & hurt other people. I was angry that he would not be in any condition to be seen by his family for them to say goodbye.

I was also angry with myself that I should be so presumptuous to think that I ‘knew’ this man. He was an acquaintance who had touched our lives but we did not ‘know’ him or what was happening to make him want to kill himself. As a member of the human race I am sad that someone could feel such desperation without sharing. It is the sense of community & compassion that I hope sets us apart from other animals. For him though, it was lonely.

I’m still in shock. My heart goes out to his family & ‘real’ friends & I know that the song from M*A*S*H is so wrong – suicide is certainly not painless.

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  • everyone feels they want to kill themselves at some point in time ! ( or like me about 10 times) but its the courage to live on that is to be found !

  • Such a brave thought inspiring post. thanks

  • helenjstevens

    So sorry Julia for you, and for your friend’s family. I have known a couple of people who’ve committed suicide and it is so hard for those left behind to deal with. But I do also feel for the person who died; that their mind can get them to such a place where that is the only road open to them. It must be a very hard decision to take to leave your loved ones like that. Huge ((hugs)) and many prayers x

  • How sad. That must have been a huge shock for you Julia, and anger is not surprising – it’s part of grief, after all. That poor man, and his family. Depression is such an evil disease.

  • You are right, suicide is far from painless and has such far reaching consequences…. (((hugs)))

  • I think a normal reaction to suicide of someone we know is anger, at the person and perhaps ourselves for not somehow being there to help. We experienced the suicide death of a young neice a couple of years ago, I too felt that anger.

  • have known a couple of people who have killed themselves, in many ways it isn’t easy to understand. They are usually men, men seem to succeed more than women. Men don’t seem to be able to talk about their problems. GPs don’t seem to be able to deal with people struggling. Their answer is to give drugs because it is quick and easy. Talking to someone is hard, takes time and requires you to give something of yourself. Overworked GPs can’t do this but the drugs they give out take at least 2 weeks to start to work and quite often make people feel worse than they did before.
    Yes you feel anger at the person, yourself but all of that is part of grief. It is good you have been able to express this here, so many can’t and it could be the straw that breaks the back

  • Thanks Chris. Yes – it is strange how mixed the emotions are

  • I’m so sorry Julia. Difficult to get your head around. xxx

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