The misunderstanding we hold within to come to terms with a lost soul, chosen to end their life with their own decision.
Suicide never makes sense to the outsider, because we never hoped to understand the thought to begin with.
To have a loved one confess to you they aren’t too happy with their life, one often falls into the misguided illusion that there is a band-aid for the visibly broken.
The ones that surprise people the most are the ones of whom lives we barely understood; Robin Williams and Anthony Bourdain, to name a few.
They had the lives many of us wish we did, from the outsider’s perspective.
Little did one suspect the defence mechanism of inner-struggle.
The battle of the dark cloud that follows us.
Winston Churchill’s “Black Dog”.
Much like Churchill, I too am scared to stand too close to the edge of a railway.
The thought that it’s just a swing forward away from immediate demise.
Victims, often do not consider in these moments of the impact their loss of life would have on others.
Outsiders, often feel it’s even selfish — a coward’s way out.
You’re not helping by calling “Suicide” a cowards way out.
The skewed perception of inner struggles.
How does one explain to the outsiders of just how worthless it feels as a victim to actually feel like their loss of life wouldn’t affect anybody at all?
Would that change the perspective we hold towards suicide?
Would it make us pause, and reconsider the way in which we treat others?
In the darkest of moments, a suicidal individual is rarely thinking about how valuable their life is — they’re searching for end to the struggle.
Survivor’s guilt is quite worse of the misery to deal with, even worse than depression, is the onslaught of events that ensue when one does survive a failed attempt.
Was it for attention?
Was it for sympathy?
Is there something we need to be worried about?
The dismissiveness or over-sympathy, hardly ever makes it any better.
Being left alone is the only thought that runs through the body.
To the outsider, leaving the survivor alone is the worst possible decision; the thought of another attempt is too daunting.
Nobody ever tries to understand what causes something, but everybody does seem to enjoy guessing.
“I’m sure it was just a phase”
“It gets better”
The words are as useless as the attempts to safe a life through a pamphlet.
My dear mentor, who took his own life not too long ago, was a brilliant human being; one who deeply understood the human condition and taught me to be empathetic towards others — look at the world with a kind vision.
The single most useful piece of advice my mentor ever gave me was at a funeral,
“Never say ‘I understand what you’re going through’ at a funeral”, he’d say.
Never say that because even if we share the same loss, the pain and suffering, the method through which we deal with a loss of a life is hardly ever the same.
We may all bleed the same, but we all hurt differently.
The individual who did save people from jumping to near death, never asked the question or passed judgement; he never said “It gets better” or “It’ll pass”.
What he did say, with the utmost sincerity, were the simple words.
“Is there something I could do to help?”, as he would invite them over to his house for tea.
Saving lives through simple conversation, rather than suggestions of how it would get better — he did the simple yet effective act of “listening”.
The angel of the “The Gap”.
Thank you for reading.