Someone I knew killed himself. He was very close to me. It’s his anniversary soon and I have been reflecting.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have shocked me. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in young people. Statistically speaking, it isn’t shocking at all. But I was shocked. I suppose I had been fortunate to not experience this before first hand even though I knew about depression etc. I chalk up some of my surprise to youthful naivety and inexperience – a reminder that even though at the time I felt old, mature even, looking back I was so very young. He was very young too.
I look at the situation from the eyes of a person with depression who has been suicidal. I now know that he must have been suffering beyond anything I could have imagined at the time. I can’t think of many situations where a person would commit suicide and not be suffering. I cannot begrudge him for wanting to put an end to it. I’ve been there. I get it. I am glad he is not suffering now.
I also look at the situation from the eyes of one who was ‘left behind’. This is the perspective I first experienced, long before I had depression. I was on the outside looking in , and, I’ve got to tell you, the view wasn’t great. At the time, someone posted to his Facebook profile “You have no idea how missed you are going to be.” And that has stuck me ever since. He and I were close friends and he was someone I admired and was extremely fond of. I don’t think he realised how much I cared about him.
In truth, this experience has helped me. It has impacted me. Though I think to myself ‘If he can’t make it, how the hell am I supposed to?’, I also think of the pain this loss has caused. This has been imprinted on me and even when I am in a bad state I remember it all. I know that I will not be able to consider harming myself without remembering the words “You have no idea how missed you will be” and the pain and suffering everyone is still going through all this time since he took his life. I never deluded myself that others would not suffer if I committed suicide, but I always thought ‘They’ll get over it.’ In a way, I guess it’s true. The pain has slightly lessened with time. But I know, in this situation, there will never be a time when we will stop missing him, and we will never be the same. I have to assume the same would stand if I were in his position.
I dearly wish this wasn’t the way things ended but I’ll never forget you.
I miss you.