On suicide

I’m a little late for World Suicide Prevention Day, but I revisited my friend Richard’s facebook page. They have it converted to an “in memory of” page.

fb memory.png

And I’m struck by the juxtaposition of his happy at the beach profile and banner pics with the word “Remembering” above his name. The name of the man so many people thought of as fun-loving Box. Just as people misunderstood Tony and Robin and so many others who die by suicide.

I have some expertise on this. Almost no one saw it coming when I tried killing myself 23 years ago. And if I’d succeeded, so many would second-guess and blame themselves.

It’s a silent epidemic.

And we need to all do better. We need to end the stigma of suicide so more people will talk about it. We need to reach out to others when we are in pain. We need to understand and listen when our friends and neighbors reach out. We need to reach out if we see them in pain, because signals can be very subtle.

We need listening and empathy. And listening. And love.