Welcome to World Suicide Prevention Day. Today is a day to celebrate life and honor those who have left us. We stand together to fight this awful creature we call suicide.
To fight this this creature, we need to do so much more than put it in a cage. Locking up suicide and ignoring it can only make things worse. No, we need to unlock the beast and beat it to dust. We need to be asking “How are you?” and not accepting a simple “Okay”. We need to straight out ask, “Are you suicidal?’. Hiding behind the mask we often have on our faces and minds do not help.
Bringing up suicide does not cause a person to think of it. In fact, it can help people know they are cared for and people are here for them. Discussing the aftermath can be helpful as well. a person might not want to leave behind their mother, their dog, or their basketball team. We need to remind them that they are loved.
Love is a big word for some people. Some use it only for close relationships. I say we use it more openly. “I love you for who you are”, “You are loved by everybody who meets you”, or even a simple “I love how your blue eyes shine in the sunlight.”. There are multiple ways to let someone know they are deeply cared for by others.
How do we spread that love? We can do it by looking after each other. If you sense that someone might be struggling, reach out to them. Notice the signs. Are they talking about death? Giving things away? Depressed and isolated from others? Watch out for these signs among others.
For those who have died by suicide and those left behind by someone who has, we honor and remember you and your loved ones. The world is a tough place, and for some it is too hard to handle. This does not mean the person who left us was a coward. They just didn’t find another way out of their pain. This is why we need to talk to each other, so we can find a solution for the pain.
As someone who has dealt with suicidal thoughts, I know listening to others who are trying to help is not always easy. That is why we need to reach out to one another.
I, in now way, can fully understand what a person who has died by suicide felt like when they hit the edge and decided to fall off. Maybe decided isn’t the right word. Maybe it’s more like the person was pushed over the edge.
I also, in no way, understand what it feels like to be left behind. You all are strong. You all can be more than survivors. You can be thrivers. Tell the world your loved one’s story once you are ready. If you are never ready, that is okay. Grief sits differently on the soldiers of every person. The person who left had strong weight on their shoulders, and it gets left behind on their loved ones.
Let’s recap: Love, Honor, Listen, Strong
That is not nearly enough to describe what today means, but as I am only one human being, I can’t do it all. We all need to join together and work to end the beast called suicide.