When you're home for holidays... have you ever felt like disappearing into your mothers wall paper or burying your head in the mashed potatoes? If so, you are not alone. The holidays can bring up all kinds of unresolved issues from your childhood and even be a sore reminder of unresolved emotional business. Even if you're like me and you've "done the work," read the self help books, been in therapy and even got counsel from a mentor... the challenges presented by being tramped within 4 walls with family members can make anyone feel stir-crazy.
As a survivor of suicide loss, going home means being back in the same house where I shared many memories with my late father. He and I had a good relationship but I'm reminded of what his mental state must have been around the time of his sudden death, it brings about a feeling of puzzled darkness. "What was he going through? What was be being triggered by?" In retracing his steps, I wonder "what was he running from? Why was he so eager to transition to the other side? What did he think he would find there?"
My father didn't believe in heaven, in fact he was an academic atheist and a diehard "non-believer." He would say "I don't believe in anything." So, if this was it, this life, was all there was for the entity that was Jeremy, why was pure blackness more appealing than his day to day life? It has been said that people who take their lives don't want their lives to end, they just want to pain to end. So it's fair to say that the pure darkness had more appeal than the pain he was experiencing.
Being home this holiday I have come to learn new information about my father's final days. Apparently he had contacted the suicide hotline during his first attempt (only 3 weeks prior to his final attempt) and to make matters worse, when questioned by the nursing staff at the hospital he was admitted to he responded that "the aliens did it." Now, my father had an epic sense of humor but for a health professional, wouldn't this be a little alarming?
I tell this story as a cautionary tale and wave it as a flag as a cry for help for people suffering from suicidal ideation. We must improve our systems... and it starts with us... the people... having THE CONVERSATION. By simply reading this blog, together we are taking a step in the right direction in creating a world where we share our hurts about our losses and our failed system so that we can start putting together the puzzle pieces on how to make it better.