When Suicide is the Only Option Left: and why it leaves us angry and broken.
Anthony Bourdain died today and Val Kilmer FB’d how angry he was that his friend took his life. This is not an unusual reaction. I know it well. The love of my life also hung himself.
It is a horrible way to die and it is painful and hard. In the letter I was left, the dark place with no hope of light was so clearly articulated. Imagine a place of no hope such that hanging yourself is a relief. It gets that bad. I also have to say that for so many people who take their lives they have hung onto life with their fingernails, trying to live, and in the end, dying is the option that stops their pain. We, who would not make that choice, cannot understand this desire to live and the pain it takes to do so.
Suicide hotlines in many ways only prolong the pain. They are there for the ones left behind so we can feel like we did everything in our power to save them. And in the end, there is nothing we can do when someone is determined to take their life. For so many who live in this place, it has no colour, no laughter that sustains, no love that feels real, they live with eternally feeling like they are frauds. I simply cannot imagine living like that. For those who take meds to stay alive and live somewhere above neutral; stay the course.
But if you loved someone who took their life you are left with “how could you do this to me” and they thought they were saving you from a life of pain living with them. You are left with how could I have not known it was this bad, or if you did know you are left with how could I have made it better for you to be here. The person who takes their life sees no way out, no way to the light, no way to being loved because they are quite convinced no one could ever love them.
In the face of a suicide, I am left empty, and broken in my grief that another person dies this alone. I feel this way every time I learn someone has taken their life.
I said earlier this week that it has been 13 years since my love hung himself and while the melody of his life lingers with my soul, I miss him and I wish he understood how much I love him and how much comfort he was in my life. That he rescued me from loneliness. So I understand those who have a platform to express their grief and anger over their loss. But my heart breaks for their loss and my heart hears the echoes of my loves death. Go in Peace and Peace be with those left behind.