We had a tragedy in my community yesterday. Two of them actually. A driver pulled over to the shoulder of a busy interstate, waited for a tractor trailer to come and then stepped in front of it. It was a tragic end for a person too depressed to see any other options. And it was a tragic beginning for the driver who will have to deal with the trauma of hitting him.
When the news article was posted online there were a lot of comments about the "selfishness" of the suicide victim. Some even said, "He should have done it alone instead of involving anyone else." Which, of course, avoids the reality that someone has to to find the body.
I want to address that thought of selfishness. Let me be clear: I'm not saying that suicide is an option. If you feel like it's the only one you have, REACH OUT. Call the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.
The reality, however, is that if you are contemplating suicide, you're in a lot of pain. When we are in deep pain, there comes a point at which we just want to make the pain go away. Our field of vision narrows until all we can see is that we have to make the pain stop. You may not remember that there are people in your life who care about you, who will be devastated by your loss. You cannot remember that you matter.
If you feel that way, call the hotline. There are a lot of people walking around today with good and happy lives who once were in the place you're in now, and who are deeply grateful that they didn't act on those feelings. Some of them may have a tattoo of a comma, a reminder that that time was a pause in their life, not the end of it.
If your own loved one has taken their life, take some small solace in knowing that it wasn't that they didn't care about you. It was that they were blinded by their pain and could see nothing beyond it. Not even you.