I don’t know why we don’t talk about suicide more, well actually I do. History has shown us that the more we talk about something, the more we are educated and made aware of that anomaly and how to handle or cope with it.
As with sexuality and religion, we have gained so much because people stopped being afraid to talk. Certain things are no longer taboo or floating amongst the unmentionables.
Talking about suicide is not easy but it is necessary in order for us to gain knowledge and understanding. Suicide needs to be brought into focus and addressed, not hidden, shamed and blamed.
Suicide has such a giant stigma attached to it, in fact, several. One being the feeling of failure and hopelessness as a parent or someone who was close to the person. The feeling that you failed them completely. Your job was to protect your kid, know everything about your friend, keep them safe…we didn’t do that , we failed. We weren’t enough for them to stay in this world with us and go through it with us. Didn’t they know that we would’ve done anything for them? Didn’t they know they could talk to us? Didn’t they know that we wouldn’t judge them or make fun of them? Why didn’t they know that or feel that? How did we fail so badly to not let that person know how much we loved and needed them, how important they were in our world, how different life is without them and instead having to live with the guilt and doubt. It’s heavy, the burden weighs like a black hole in outer space…
Then there is the shame that goes with being the parent of a child or the partner/husband/wife who has committed suicide. Shame is different to guilt. Shame is the sadness I feel at not being able to correct something that was wrong and I should have. Guilt is the feeling of being responsible for the end result. Neither one of those feelings may be validated in real life, but now that someone has taken their life, it changes those left behind.
There is the question of why, which never goes away. The wonder, the wishing, the ache that it could just change back to when you were here, and alive – it never goes – that wonder, that ache…