This post is a long time coming... since March 9, 2014 to be exact... why is it so hard for the therapist to express her feelings.. I guess his birthday is a good enough day. Happy birthday my forever friend!
Suicide is a major taboo and as a mental health professional I am able to rattle of facts, myths, coping skills, and places to seek help without thinking to hard. What I am not able to to do is tell you how to process your grief when suicide hits home.
It was a normal Sunday evening at the Gilyard house when I received a telephone call that I still have nightmares about. My friend, colleague, supervisor, and mentor had committed suicide earlier that day. My instant thought was why would he play such a cruel joke on me and Monday (the next day) I was going to curse him out.
You see he an I started out as co workers and he later became my boss but during that time we developed a strong friendship and I even considered him to be my brother. He was one of the smartest people I know. He had this weird sense of dry humor and would always make me question my decisions as a way to make me better. He was very smart and strong minded so it till baffles me that he believed in that instance suicide was the only way.
So why did he do this? The job as I have vented about several times is very stressful, and with him being in middle management (having no real power to make changes) I know it was even more overwhelming for him. Did he have other risk factors? Sure but if you look at suicide from a textbook viewpoint WE ALL have risk factors. This man is not a text book case. He was my friend a man who often declared how stupid suicide was because "the body fights to stay alive." A man who was and still is loved and respected by those who knew him.
Suicide unfortunately is one those things we will never have the answer to. I will never know why he chose to leave his family. I will always wonder why he didn't use the tools and resources he knew so well. I have to think all the time was there something as a professional and as his friend that I missed. I'm left with so many questions and no answers. Sure I have thought of a thousand conspiracy type situations but I know that is my grief trying to explain the unexplained. I have cried a thousand tears and he is still gone. He left no note and no answers. I can only imagine that in that moment he believed what he was doing was the right thing.
So for anyone out there who needs help do not be ashamed. Suicide is never your only way out. There is help if you seek it. With technology growing in leaps and bounds there is even help available via online chat. Please do not leave your family, tomorrow is always another chance to make a change and get it right.
Go here for more information and help.