There is no “worst” thing about suicide because it’s all the worst. Every aspect, every horror, every guilt, every wish for a do-over; the keening of every parent whose child has chosen it, the longing for a lifetime of every child whose parent followed that path. The permanent solution to a temporary awfulness that was being experienced. It’s just that in the moment, the suicide victim no longer holds hope that their predicament is temporary, will ever be even minutely better.
Maybe knowing that of a beloved is the “worst” for those left behind.
Among the long list of “worsts” is that suicide begets suicide.
Yup. You read it right. Suicide begets suicide.
Suicide introduced into a family, high school, community, society, culture begets another. Think the Hemingway family. Or Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and then and then, and then the thoughts by we mere mortals that if the sparkly people can’t make it in life, how will we?
A suicide enters a name on a Rolodex. Adds an app to your phone. It’s one more take-out menu in your kitchen junk drawer. Because it happened it’s in the index of potential solutions in crisis and rolls up as a possibility for resolution.
Beware of this. Talk about it. Reach out. Look into the eyes of your distressed loved ones and neighbors. Look into the face in the mirror.
Suicide begets suicide. You can’t un-introduce it in the master plan of options during a terrible time, but you can be on the lookout. You can listen for and hear your own self-talk and if you allow the suicide choice to flit through your mind and land on your brain for more than an instant, it’s time to talk to a professional. Let them help you make distinctions between the normally neurotic, needing a little help through a down time and needing a lot of help out of a black hole.
Are you in crisis?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline