In the United States, a person dies by suicide every 13.3 minutes, claiming more than 39,500 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute, with close to one million people attempting suicide annually.
That’s way too much.
There are many thoughts, opinions, and discussions that surround this tragic topic. & I would like to talk about some. Some see it as a selfish act. Some see it as a desperate act. Some see it as one’s only option. Some see it as a relief because the person is no longer in pain. Some see it as the coward way out. I see it as a tragedy.
Regardless of ANYTHING, it is one of the most heartbreaking realities in my opinion. This is something that hits close to home but also something that I personally have A LOT of trouble “dealing with.” I have trouble shutting the door on all the thoughts that flood me of how much pain someone must be in to go through with taking their own life. My heart physically aches when I think about it and that’s a very hard feeling to shake.
Now, I am a religious person and I believe that God has a special place for those who commit suicide (the ones who didn’t do it selfishly & God is the only one who can judge that). I believe in a God who wouldn’t punish someone who is hurting enough to take their life. Suicide is the devils doing. HOWEVER, this does not excuse suicide because it hurts a lot of others: parents are left without a child, siblings without a brother or sister, children without a parent, friends without friends, etc. People are left behind to grieve, to ask questions, to have a new kind of pain that can’t be described. It’s easy, yet very hard, to get mad at someone who takes their life. All I know is it sucks! The grief of suicide is different than that of cancer or a car accident and that’s because to some extent, this death included a choice. And I wish I had magic words to make suicide okay but the truth is…it should never be something that we are “okay” with it. It should affect us. We should talk about it. We should acknowledge it.
So what can we do now? How can we have positive come from these tragedies? Well, we can remember that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I don’t mean live in fear but I do mean to keep in mind that we NEVER know fully what someone is going through; whether it be situational or a diagnosable mental health condition. Don’t put off an apology or a friendly hello. Call our loved ones often. Ask people how they are and then LISTEN. Offer to go through the tough things with a friend/family member. Be their support. When needed, find professional help.
At the end of the day, the biggest and most important thing we can ALL do is pray. Pray for ourselves. Pray that there be 1 less suicide that day. Pray for the families that lose someone. PRAY FOR THE PERSON WHO FEELS SUICIDE IS THEIR ONLY OPTION. Just pray. A lot.
To learn more, receive help, donate, participate in a Out of the Darkness walk, & much more, visit https://www.afsp.org/