An e-mail arrived while I was out riding this morning. The e-mail was a suicide note from someone who I’ve known for many years but who I haven’t seen recently. It was a note full of sadness and pain and some details that I didn’t need to know. I was gone about 26 minutes but by the time I opened the e-mail it was already too late to do anything.
The shrink I used to see, a man who didn’t mince his words, once told me his views on suicide and I could see the fury and anger in his heart as he talked. Certainly we are all effected when someone we know passes and even more so when it was preventable. For myself I had no knowledge of the events which led to this morning’s tragic denouement but it still raises the question: what if?
The universal truth is that this act is a cry for help and, when it’s too late, we all say if only we’d known perhaps we could have helped. But if you hurt that much can you deal with the loss of pride that comes with: “I’m suicidal”?
On this sad day all I can share with you is this. If you feel suicidal – don’t do it. I have felt sad and terribly depressed in my life. There were times, years in fact, when I felt unbearably alone, that no-one understood and that it would be fabulous to end all the pain. But I stuck it out and I’ve found contentment and joy in my life that I never anticipated – and it didn’t take drugs or a loss of pride. What it did take was a lot of hard work and the work never ends – but it’s been, and continues to be, all worthwhile.
So now I say a prayer for a dear man who had a big heart and ask myself again: “What if?”