A friend of mine killed herself last week.
I don’t know why; I hadn’t seen her in years, and she wasn’t one to share the details of her despair on Facebook.
I know she was distraught the last time I saw her, unable to let go of a wrong someone she loved had done her. Maybe she never let go. Maybe that was her pattern, to hold onto the injuries she suffered while forgetting, or never noticing, how she could improve the lives of those around her.
I know there are those for whom the simple act of living one day after another eventually becomes too much to bear. I know for them, like for Robin Williams, suicide is more an expression of exhaustion than of despair. Maybe that was her pattern; her kids were grown and on their own, and maybe the effort of keeping it all going was simply too much.
I know I, as always when this happens, have more questions than answers. I know the best answers I can come up all start with maybe. I know I wish I had said or done something for her the last time I saw her to make her reconsider the choice she made. I know there are plenty of others who are asking the same questions and wishing the same wishes I am, and I know the real answers, the answers that made taking her own life seem like a good idea, died with her.
I know we who loved her will miss her, and the manner of her death does not diminish our affection for her, and if we could have her here now we would wrap her in our arms and ask her not to go.
But it’s too late to do that.
Instead, I’ll say it to you. If the idea of taking your own life seems like a good one to you, I beg you to reconsider. There are people who love you and would miss you. I am one of them. Reach out to somebody. Send me a message. Ask for help. I promise it doesn’t mean you’re weak–it means you’re strong enough to recognize you can’t do it on your own. And here’s the secret nobody has told you: none of us does it on our own.
And if none of that convinces you, if you’re convinced it’s the only way out, put it off until tomorrow. You never know what might happen today, and you might be sorry if you miss it.
I can’t promise today won’t be hard. I can’t promise tomorrow will be easier. I can’t promise there will be a day that doesn’t feel like a struggle.
I can promise you are not alone in this. I can promise there are people who love you today, and others waiting to love you in the future.
I can promise you another day is worth it.