He was a friend. He was my best friend. There are so many times he made me laugh. He was a joker and loved to surprise people. He had a lot of friends. He was the kind of person that If there was a need to help others, he was always there. He was that person who put others first and would never take no for an answer. We all need friends like him and the world will always be better because of them. I have often wondered what made him tick. We all have pain and trouble but I never saw this in him. That was a place he never went. I wish I had pushed at this but I did not. I don’t really know why. I remember the last time I heard his voice. He called to say he was moving away. He wanted to start his life anew. At first I did not understand why but thought of all of the difficulties he had with jobs and his lack of a degree was getting to him. Maybe getting away and finding himself would help? Maybe meeting new people would change him? What I never thought of that day was that he intended to take his life. It was on that day he did.
All too often these stories are told and all too often they sound the same. “I knew something was wrong but I never asked”. “No one is ever that happy, all the time. I should have seen it.”
Suicide leaves behind a lot of sadness, pain, feeling lost, alone and so many unanswered questions. It can also bring out anger and frustration. WHY? , HOW COULD YOU? , THIS IS NOT TRUE. For those that are left behind they have a lot of searching to do. They have a lot of letting go to do. And yes, a lot of remembering to do. Those who are left behind when someone they love dies as a result of suicide need help too. There is a re-building needed in their life that for some can take the rest of their life to complete, if at all.
Sorry my story seems so bleak but it is not meant to be. Life is all too short and we only have limited time to live on this earth. To make friends, fall in love or be part of families. We have limited time to find our purpose or contribute. To help others and to leave this world better than we found it. However, In between all of this, are the trials and tribulations we must all face. Some are harder than others and sometime they are too much for some.
When we reach out and ask each other “How are you doing?” Do we really want to know or are we so kept up in our own feelings we just ask. Taking the time to really ask can change lives. It can change yours and it can change others. Really connecting builds bonds and really talking, builds trust. It is that trust which helps human beings to not feel alone. Most people do not really want to die. Most people want to feel better. Most do not want to feel pain and to not feel alone.
As we try to be more aware of this thing called SUICIDE during this week of suicide awareness, ask yourself this simple question. How can I better connect with those I love? With those who are alone? With those that may just seem too happy?
We can become more aware of the statistics and the tragic stories but my challenge to you is to change one simple thing. Really connect with someone and make a difference.
The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester has been here for 60 years. We believe that we can all make a difference in even the most difficult traumas facing individuals because there is always hope and there are always others to help, so that no one has to live that difficulty alone.
So if you are not really fine, call us we can help.