Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bear With Me: Please


Did you know that nearly 39,000 people a year commit suicide? It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Directly and indirectly, my life has been touched by suicide three times.  The most recent has been this week.

About three months ago, my professional path crossed with another persons. I had to make some professional judgement and stand by those which caused the other person to lose their job.  That other person recently chose to end their own life. They left behind family: mother, father, siblings, children. And of course they left behind other people who were in their circle of friendship.

I feel a little selfish for feeling as distraught as I do. Selfish in the fact that I realize others are hurting way more than I am. Others have a right to be concerned more than I. Others have a closer relationship with this person than I did. In fact, I even acknowledge and honor that "others" might point a finger and blame me. They might say, I caused this. I helped push this person over that edge of no return.

There are two sides to me. The logical side and the emotional side. They are at war right now.  My logical side knows that there were many problems there. That I did not cause this.  My logical side knows that I made sound professional decisions. That my assessment skills were spot on. I even know that if I had it to do over again, I would make the same decisions.

However, my emotional side is screaming, "It did not have to be this way!" "This could have/should have been prevented." I keep thinking about children and family left behind. My heart is sad. My soul is injured. 

My emotional side has captured the logical side and is holding it for ransom.

Nearly two decades ago, a person at the center of my circle chose to end their own life. I still carry the grief and guilt over not being able to prevent that decision with me. I know this factors into why this recent news is rocking my world so drastically. I know that unresolved grief will keep re-emerging. But let's be honest: unresolved grief and guilt is what we who were left behind must deal with on an ongoing basis.

Again, not my photo, I grabbed it from Google

I understand pain and making it want to go away. I would rather not feel any emotional pain, too. But we were not promised rose gardens and sometimes life does hand us some thorns. {Heck, I have been given thorns, rashes, and bee stings all at the same time.} There are tough decisions to make and you might feel like no one will like you or support you. But, I promise that is just not the case. Yes, today feels dark. But there is always the promise of sunshine!

If you are thinking about ending your own life, please talk to someone. Say the words out loud. Do not let them live in your head. Do not let them take root. As soon as you say them out loud they look differently.

To my friends, thank you for your support! I am sorry for one minute I let you think something was wrong with me. No, my cancer is not back. Yes, my children are healthy. Yes, my husband is still wonderful. I am just waiting for my logical side to come up with the ransom money to buy off the emotional side.

Greatfun4kids: Best in Blog Link


  1. Pam, I don't know what to say except I'm sorry. You are a wonderful friend and social worker! No matter how this person crossed paths with you, I have no doubt your assessment was spot-on. Keep working on buying off your emotional side - in this case, your logical side is clearly the winner :)

  2. Your logical side is whispering what you already know: that no single thing tipped the scale, and what happened professionally was symptomatic of the problem, not the cause. But your caring side is louder. Grief and pain are loud and ugly. I wish you peace, Pam. --deb t.

  3. Wow, that must be really hard, especially since this has touched your life before.
    Like the two commenters said before me, no ONE thing causes someone to take such a drastic action. Usually its a pile up of things, and a feeling of general hopelessness and the inability to see any way out.
    Two people close to me made serious attempts. One was rescued in the nick of time, the other sadly was "successful". It sucks. And is never the answer.
    And I think every single person who ever came across someone's path who ends it all, asks themselves "Could i have done anything to prevent this?"
    I really hope you don't beat yourself up over this Pam.
    Big hugs
    from Simoney xx