Two days ago, the world was shaken with the news that one of our most beloved stars, Robin Williams, died through suicide. Since I heard the news, I’ve debated whether to write on his death or not. Should I go there? Should I discuss all the thoughts that went through my head? Or, should I let the news pass over me and move on to other more happy thoughts?
Suicide is personal to me. Any suicide I hear about breaks my heart. It doesn’t matter if it is someone as famous as Robin or if the person was unknown to all but those who loved him or her. Each suicide affects me deeply.
Suicide first hurts the person who attempts the act. I can only imagine the pain that Robin Williams felt before he tried to end his pain. When I attempted suicide, I felt very alone. I felt unloved. I “knew”, in my heart, that my death would ease other’s worries, concerns, and pain. I figured that while there might be a moment of sadness, everyone would easily move on from my death. In my narrowly focused mind, I assumed that I would not be missed. Suicide seemed to be my only escape from the pain.
After a person commits suicide, the pain moves on to those who loved that person. I’m sure Robin’s family and friends feel crippled from the pain of losing him. They probably question themselves. Could I have prevented him? What should I have done to stop him? How did I not know or see that he would do this?
Even though I lived after my desperate attempt, I had to face those who were directly affected by my attempt. I saw the pain and devastation my attempt made on my friends, family, and co-workers. My sister felt guilt because she didn’t call me more often. My parents couldn’t understand how they missed the signs when I saw them just before my attempt. They felt the pain of almost losing me. At least they got the answers though. I was able to tell them it wasn’t anything that they did or didn’t do. It was all me. Work pressures and stress pushed me to my limits, but the thoughts of suicide had been present long before that.
For those who lose someone to suicide, they will never get the answers and reassurance that my family and friends got from me. If I could talk to Robin’s family and friends (or anyone else who lost someone to suicide), I would let them know that it wasn’t them. It was all him. He thought the only way to escape from the pain was to kill himself.
I was lucky. I got a second chance at life and grasped my chance with every bit of strength I could find. I “should” be dead, but I’m not. I’m beyond grateful. Every time I learn that someone didn’t get a second chance, that their family didn’t get another opportunity, it breaks my heart. Suicide is painful for all involved.
Life is precious! It can be difficult, overwhelming, and beyond challenging. But, it can also be delightful, heart-warming, stimulating, and deeply satisfying. I hope that more people will get the help they need so that they can remember how wonderful life can be!
As for Robin Williams, and all others we have lost in this world to suicide, I hope you are at peace now. You will be missed!
*Please, if you need help or you know someone who does, talk to someone. Find a friend or family member or call a suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255).
**If you are that friend or family member, please listen to the person who comes to you for help. Don’t blow them off or tell them to just put a smile on their face. Be there for them and aid them in getting the help they need.