Image: Suicide by Scandinavian artist Joakim Back.

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." -Phil Donahue

That sounds correct in theory, but the fact is, it's not always true.

That wasn't the case when suicide touched my life.

Mrs. C was my first grade teacher. She was also my mother's best friend. She was a very good person. She had Multiple Sclerosis. And for years, she bravely battled. She kept on teaching when she could barely walk.
But she was tired. Her marriage was failing. Her only child was rebelling. Her parents were elderly and ill. Her problems were not temporary. They were getting progressively worse.

She didn't want to battle it any more.

So one day, her teenaged daughter left the house and left Mrs. C alone. Mrs. C called my mother and very calmly told her that she was going to kill herself. She asked my mom not to try to talk her out of it. Her only request was that she call someone to come get her body; she didn't want her daughter to find her.

Naturally, my mother begged her to reconsider. She called my brother, who lived near Mrs. C, and he raced over. She called 911, then headed to Mrs. C's house herself.
They were all too late. She'd shot herself. She was rushed to surgery, but died on the table.

This was eight years ago, but I still think of her often. She is buried in the same cemetery as Baby JW, and when we visit his grave, we also visit hers. She touched many lives. She was a very special person. She will forever have my respect and admiration, and I pray that she is out of pain now.

She's been on my mind lately, around the anniversary of her death. And then last week, I learned of another friend's suicide. I was talking to my son and his cousin (on his father's side), and they told me that a good friend of my ex-husband's recently committed suicide. This is someone who used to be at my house on an almost daily basis. He ate dinner with us countless times. He helped me out when my ex was out of town with work, and also when we seperated, he helped me move. Now he's gone, at 42 years old. Why...I have no idea. Maybe nobody knows and will ever really know. There aren't always answers.
There is help, though.

"More than one soul dies in a suicide."

Has suicide touched your life?


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Powerful and timely blog. CJ's 19 year old friend killed himself on Sunday.

So sad....


Queen of Feisty said...

When I was a Senior in H.S. I had made friends with a freshman guy, in a class we had together.

He was dorky, and had no friends. I knew all about that when I was in Jr. High, and so I thought the least I could do is be his friend.

We passed notes for months, and on a Friday, he gave me a note about how sad he was. He didn't like his life, no friends, and his parents were always working and didn't care.

I would sometimes then wait till Monday to give him my note back, but something told me to give him a response before the weekend. Just to cheer him up.

I went out of my way to give him a happy note, filled with happy thoughts, some doodling, and telling him I was his friend. "see ya Monday"

Monday he was at school. He gave me a note, smiled a small thank you smile. And walked away.

The note he gave me explained that if I hadn't been there, he was planning on killing himself over the weekend. He said my note made him realize that one person did care what he did.

We stayed friends, for the rest of the year, he made friends, and even though I made the impact on his life. He may not know how much of an impact he left on mine.


Ness said...

people tend to think that the person who committed suicide was thoughtless of others and took the easy way out. There is a lot of personal pain for someone to consider taking their own life, much less doing it. It's not as black and white as it seems. And when you look around and there is no one who will help you out suicide becomes the only option. People cry out for help but those around them tend to ignore them because "somebody" else will help them.

Sometimes the "somebody" never shows up and you make the only choice you have.

It's a lonely place to be.

Kim said...

The post was heartbreaking yet sends such a huge message.

Kel said...

Suicide comes in all shapes, sizes and ages...My bio-grandmother, whom I've been told I'm just like, took her life when I was about 10 - I'll never know her. I've fought alongside men and women in instances where we've prayed we would make it out alive, only to make it home safely and have them take their own lives because they felt they could not go on anymore.
You're right, it touches more than one life ... so sad.

On The Verge said...

What a heartbreaking post. Thanks for getting the word out.

Mama Wheaton said...

My girls had a friend who at 14 went in her backyard and shot herself. The girls had no reson to think there were problems, she was well liked, did well in school and her parents loved her. It was a very hard funeral to attend. And now 3 years later my girls still talk about her and bring up stories about their time together.

A Buns Life said...

My dad shot himself, and it tore my what fragile strings my family still had holding us together apart. I wrote about it here:


Thank you for writing about this.


Swirl Girl said...

how sad that this is even a word in our language and an experience in our lives.

Melissa said...

My husband's family has a very high rate of suicide, at least four that we know of for sure and several that are suspected. Thanks for writing about this. It is an important topic.

Tonjia said...

suicide affects so many. what a sad story..

Jo-Jo said...

I had a friend attempt suicide when we were in jr. high. I told a teacher that she took a whole bottle of pills and was scared to death she would never talk to me again.

Today, I look back and am proad of myself because that girl has two wonderful boys, a foster child and runs a daycare out of her home. What a waste it could have been.

Wep said...

People shouldn't have to resort to that. Sometimes I wonder if we know too much about medicine, that we are just putting ourselves in more pain :(


Lauren said...

A friend of mine killed himself in HS. I was a senior just coming back from Christmas break and learned what he did. He was a junior. I was angry with him for a long time. I sometimes think about what he might have done with his life had he not taken it at 17.

krissy said...

Suicide. Ugh.

I have known many people who have choose to take their own lives. A few years ago, it was our neighbors teenage son. I saw him 5 minutes before he shot himself in the head. It was a nightmare.

I fear with the economy and lay off's that suicide will become first choice for many people. All we can do is pray.

My neighbor whose son killed himself has suffered a great deal from his decision. I wish that he could have seen her pain before he made his knee-jerk decision. *sigh*

Jennifer said...

Thankfully, my life has not been touched by this directly and I hope it never will be! Though I have had friend effected by it and it has been devastating to them.

mrsbear said...

My husband's cousin committed suicide several years ago around the holidays. It tore their family apart. I'm sorry to hear about your friends. It definitely needs to be talked about.

Bad Momma said...

Stories like that break my heart.

My oldest son went through a phase at age 4 or 5 where he would sometimes be melodramatic when being punished.
"Nobody likes me...You hate me...I wish I was dead..."
Phrases like that, would concern me, even though I knew he didn't mean what he said. I would have long talks with him to make sure he realized this was wrong.

I can't imagine the pain of losing a loved one to suicide.

CC said...

Very, very powerful post.

My husband suffers from something called "suicide headaches". So called b/c many people who get these choose suicide over the never ending pain. I pray daily that my husband will never feel that hopeless. :( :(

Minxy Mimi said...

This has not touched my life, and I cannot imagine the pain of the person who commits it, and the ones left behind who feel guilty they could not stop it.

Momisodes said...

Thank you so much for bringing this to light. It is so often tucked away. My life has only been touched by suicide professionally as a nurse. It is always tragic, and often leaves a ripple effect on those left behind.

Mrs4444 said...

I thank God that suicide has not touched my life (KOW). It has to be incredibly tough to be left behind. A friend of a friend's daughter (age 22) shot herself to death a couple of weeks ago, shortly after graduating from nursing school. So many questions.... Sorry you've been touched by this.

Jen - Queen of Poo said...

I've never been touched directly by suicide, but one can't read someone else's story without being affected. I'll be thinking about your teacher for a while.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting anonymously because I don't want my mother to find this in a Google Search somehow...

My mom has severe Fibromyalgia. Until recently, no one really knew what this disease was - but there's a new medication (that doesn't help her, unfortunately) so now it's becoming a more familiar illness.

Basically it's a disease that manifests itself as pain (severe, mild or moderate) anywhere (or everywhere in my mom's case). It comes with fatigue, insomnia, memory and comprehension issues - and there isnt treatment for it.

I know that there is a good chance she'll kill herself one day. It's hard because it'll be bittersweet - she wouldn't be in pain and I cant ask her to stay and struggle through each day for me. but i dont want to lose her either.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Anonymous: This is heartbreaking. You are courageous to already have realized this could happen. I hope it doesn't, but I think you have the best attitude you could have about the possiblity.
I have heard of fibromyalgia but I didn't know the pain was that severe. I'm so sorry.