Be Aware Before Suicide


Please read the following sentence carefully as it is shocking.  Over 90% of people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death.   The most common mental illness is depression and it could happen to anyone. 

My husband was a wonderful and gentle man yet he claimed his life May 4th of this year.  I’m still reeling from the ordeal and my heart actually hurts the pain is so real and so invasive.  Through research on suicide and causes, by conveying this knowledge rather than covering up the information, we can help one another. 

 

There is no template or design on who will be next.  Depression is a disease, yet is treatable and that’s the key.  Be aware of the signs — don’t dismiss them as being something else.  Usually if your gut, or woman’s intuition, or some “feeling” tells you something is wrong, it generally is.  Please, I implore you to act upon it.  The worst thing that could happen if you’re incorrect is that you’ve shown you care enough.  Essentially that’s what we all need. 

 

Times are very difficult and challenging on families across the globe.  Teenagers have huge amounts of peer pressure as well as stress to exceed beyond their means sometimes.  Careers, or the battle of finding another career, can wreak havoc on one’s emotional stability.  Try talking about your stress in a positive way.  If you don’t have close friends or family, seek counseling.  There are avenues everywhere but you MUST SEEK it in order to receive it.  The comfort will not seek you out.  Above all, be kind and gentle with one another.  You don’t know often know what another person has on their plate, or why they’re behaving as they are.  You very well could be that KEY person in their lives at a given moment in time.

Read the following list of possible causes for depression and suicide and be aware of those around you.  You could help someone out of a dilemma they cannot help themselves out of.  

Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.   

Untreated mental illness (including depression, bipolar disorder and others) is the cause for the vast majority of suicides. 

There are people who are predisposed to depression, and they may not appear to be undergoing negative life experiences – they’ll have a calm and quiet exterior, yet still they become depressed and may die by suicide.   

I’m learning that it appears to be very rare for someone to die by suicide because of only one cause.  There are usually several causes.  Many people commit suicide because depression is triggered by several negative life experiences, and the person does not receive treatment for the depression.   Some negative life experiences that could cause depression and some causes for depression include:  

  • The death of a loved one.  
  •  A divorce, separation, or breakup of a relationship.   
  • A serious loss, such as a loss of a job, house, or money.   
  • A serious illness or terminal illness.   
  • A serious accident.
  • Chronic physical pain.
  • Intense emotional pain.
  • Loss of hope.
  • Being victimized (domestic violence, rape, assault, etc).    
  • Feeling “trapped” in a situation perceived as negative.
  • Feeling that things will never “get better.”   
  • Feeling helpless.   
  • Feeling “taken advantage of.”
  • Inability to deal with a perceived “humiliating” situation.  
  • Inability to deal with a perceived “failure.”   
  • Alcohol abuse or drug abuse.  
  • A feeling of not being accepted by family, friends, or society.
  • A horrible disappointment.
  • Feeling like one has not lived up to his or her high expectations or those of another. 
  • Low self-esteem.

Is Suicide Stressful?


Now that the evening is falling, I’ve watered our flower and vegetable garden, I’m saddened that my Martin is not here with me physically.   His suicide was May 4th.  It’s torture to know our life together was cut so short and that I may have many years alone here on earth without him.   What a cruel thing to have to live through. 
 
I can at least say I’m so blessed for having three wonderful years with him.  We were so very happy and together loved.  It was easy being together.  That’s partly what made our life so loving and happy.  I want to see him once more, to talk with him, to tell him how much he is loved, to know our love doesn’t die because he in body is gone from me.
 
 
I have to try and make it.  It’s just so painful and hard.  The level of stress a person feels after losing a loved one to suicide  is catastrophically high — equivalent to that of a highly traumatic concentration camp experience, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”  
My shock at losing my loving husband overwhelmed me.  Then I was angry at him.  Confusion set in, sadness deepened, then the guilt and mostly the terrible debilitating grief.  I realize there is a very long road of healing ahead of me.  At this point, I’m hoping I get through it.  Optimistically, some day I can say I will get through it.   No hurry, I need to take things at my own pace in order to recover. 

I know I need to be gentle with myself.  I’ve been unable to focus clearly, I’m more forgetful and I know this is normal for what I’ve experienced.  I know crying is a release, a cleansing that helps express my emotions and allows me to grieve.  I’m talking, and writing, to allow myself to work through my loss.  It is slowly helping. 

Today dear friends took me to a restaurant for lunch.  I thought they were bonkers.  Did they really want to sit in disbelief when I begin wailing at the table?  They had me actually laughing again for just a little while for the first time.  I’ve been crying and wailing since, and it’s okay.  It’s my release and still a part of the grieving process.  It will take time.

Right now I don’t seem to be able to even listen to music, something I absolutely love.  But some day hopefully soon, I can, to help me relax and calm myself.  I’m thinking that maybe tomorrow, Mother’s Day, I may ride my bike a bit – something Martin and I did together.  Baby steps. 

I have the cremated remains of Martin now in a somewhat unobtrusive urn on my coffee table.  Why?  Part of the anger I can’t let go of.  He wouldn’t like me doing this and I am still angry with him for doing this to himself and to me.  It’s not huge but it’s there.  Perhaps I’m being bratty … we joked about that while he was alive.  Someday I’ll likely spread his ashes from a boat – something he did love doing.  Again, baby steps.

People tell me I’m a strong woman.  I don’t feel strong currently.  I want to feel that I can rebound from this trauma.  The next major hurdle is to celebrate his life and pay tribute to say a final good-bye.  It will be grueling and yet soothing too.   

Tragedy Struck


This post will be short, not necessarily sweet.  My husband is my Knight in shining armor.  A Brit who in 2005 after dating me 2 months, felt guilt and terrible grief.  Guilt for being happy and in love and grief as he still was tormented and grieving his late wife who died from cancer.  Because of these feelings, he left suddenly for London where his family and friends were.  I never knew why and was devastated, vowing to put up a wall and forget him forever.

Two years later, in September 2007 he returned for me.  He was over his late wife and knew I was to be in his life.  In February of 2009 he proposed on his knees saying he couldn’t conceive of a life without me in it and wanted to wake up beside me every day.  The man of my dreams. 

Now the tragedy:  My husband apparently still suffered a grief which manifested into depression.  On Tuesday, he took his life.  Gone forever.  I’m struggling with all the emotions from pain and torment, to anger and grief.  I wail and miss him so much.  I love him deeply.

I write this in my blog because it is helping me to write and talk out those feelings in order to deal with this unbelievably difficult stress. 

From me to you, hug and kiss your loved ones.  Make amends always – don’t let your pride keep you apart.  Life is absolutely too short when you least expect it to be and you never know when you’ll lose that certain someone.

Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
~Author Unknown

Mark Twain: Originality, Honor & The Golden Rule


 Pure and simple, I love Mark Twain.  He makes me laugh at myself and the world around me.  He showed us a different way to think about life and goodness and most of the things we take for granted in this world.   Twain is an American folk hero and I will endeavor to live the remainder of my life as he once was quoted.  

“Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

 

What a good thing Adam had–when he said a good thing, he knew nobody had said it before.
Mark Twain’s Notebook

It pleased me beyond measure when Yale made me a Master of Arts, because I didn’t know anything about art…I rejoiced again when Missouri University made me a Doctor of Laws, because it was all clear profit, I not knowing anything about laws except how to evade them…And now at Oxford I am to be made a Doctor of Letters–all clear profit, because what I don’t know about letters would make me a multi-millionaire if I could turn it into cash.
Mark Twain’s Autobiography

  

 

 Samuel Langhorne Clemens, for nearly half a century known and celebrated as “Mark Twain” was born in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835.  He was the foremost American philosopher of his day; the world’s most famous humorist of any day.  During the later years of his life he ranked not only as America’s chief man of letters, but likewise as her best known and best loved citizen.

Mark Twain’s work was always of a kind to make people talk, always important, even when it was mere humor.  Yet it was seldom that; there was always wisdom under it, and purpose, and these things gave it dynamic force and enduring life.  Some of his aphorisms, so quaint as to invite laughter, are yet fairly startling.  His paraphrase, “When in doubt, tell the truth,” is of this sort.  “Frankness is a jewel; only the young can afford it,” he once said to the writer, apropos of a little girl’s remark.  His daily speech was full of such things.  The secret of his great charm was his great humanity and the gentle quaintness and sincerity of his utterance.

His understanding of subjective human nature was simply amazing.  Such knowledge he acquired from himself.  He recognized in himself an extreme example of the human being with all the attributes of power and of weakness, and he made his exposition complete.
 
The world will long miss Mark Twain; his example and his teaching will be neither ignored nor forgotten.  Genius defies the laws of perspective and looms larger as it recedes.  Mark Twain’s memory  remains to us a living and intimate presence that today, even more than in life, constitutes a stately moral bulwark reared against hypocrisy and superstition–a mighty national menace to sham.
 
 
 

 

Harpers Weekly photo 4 July 1908