Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You Are Eternal

This morning my work husband, Kevin, received a terrible phone call. (And yes, I do have a work husband.) The call was from the husband of one of Kevin's staff. The employee had committed suicide on Monday night.
What a terrible day we've had.
Suicide is beyond words, there are none awful enough to describe it. This is the fourth person I know who has taken their own life who was not a patient. And when you are a mental health professional whose co-worker suicides, you have a different kind of grief in addition to the loss. It's an accusatory voice that says, "What did I miss?
And, "If someone in our field can't find their way through, are we all just wasting our time? Is it hopeless?"
It never makes sense to the survivors, never. It's beyond comprehension because anyone who is alive never got there, all the way there.
I spend hours and hours every day trying to impact depression, mental illness and violence. I don't think there is anyone more compassionate than I am toward those trapped within their own anguish. That said, I want to say a word to survivors today. I've been talking to them since 9:00 this morning you see. So I figured I would take this time to tell them to you as well.

1. Suicide is mean. There are multiple victims of suicide. The ones who are still breathing will carry their scars forever. They will always wonder why they weren't enough.
2. Suicide is smart. Most people who are truly suicidal will succeed. They will not seem much different than usual. They might even seem happier because they have it figured out and they believe their pain is going to end. No matter how hard we try, sometimes it will out smart us.
3. Suicide is angry. It's vengeful and spiteful. It takes everyone down with it. It leaves an empty shell for someone to find and questions that will never have enough answers. It deprives us of our rights and decides the pain it inflicts is a reasonable price for its agenda.
4. Suicide is violent. There is no gentle and painless suicide. Life always pushes toward survival, the breath of God demands its exhale and inhale. It is the suffocation of creation.
5. Suicide is a liar. It sucks the color and light from everything. It whispers that your marriage is hopeless, your children are hopeless, your home is hopeless, your job is hopeless. Nothing is good. Nothing will change. No one will care no one will care no one will care.
6. Suicide is preventable. If you know someone that you think is in danger, throw dignity and offense to the wind. Call 911, call their parents, their children, their doctor, their boss. Make suicide impossible if you have to stand on their hands. Remember it's a mean, smart, angry, violent liar. It doesn't deserve respect. It deserves to be wrestled into submission. Make amends later.
7. Suicide is not escape, whether you believe in hell or the possibility of redemption, there is no escape. At the first spark of life we are eternal. There is no shortening of days.

Only a fool would lay down in the hands of a mean, smart, angry violent liar. Fight ugly and unfairly. Pull out all the stops. And if you are thinking the unthinkable, take the next breath and use it to say "No."

You are eternal.

...the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:11


Debra said...

Oh, I am so sorry for this person's family and for your sadness, too. This was a powerful post to anyone considering such a terrible way to leave this planet and I'm praying God will use it to change the minds of anyone reading who may be considering suicide. Praying for you...Debra

Jada's Gigi said...

Oh Yes...We are Eternal! So sorry to hear of this loss...

Margie said...

so sorry! but praying!