Suicide isn't the answer by John Seeley
September 9, 2005
As I sit on this plane going to Atlanta, I feel the sadness that has been welling up inside of me thinking about the funeral of my dear niece Sara. I just spoke to her less than a week ago on the phone. We actually have a longer than normal conversation, lasting almost a half hour. I detected nothing in her voice to lead me to worry about her. She seemed to be dealing with her life and the recent surgery removing her appendix, and getting back to work. I heard nothing that sounded an alarm. That’s the thing about suicide. There often is no outward sign that something is wrong. I’ve dealt with suicide before. My best friend Bob, was the first really close person to me that left this planet by his own hand. I felt helpless then, and I feel helpless now. The difference is that this time, I knew what to do to help, and I still wasn’t able to.
A friend of mine wrote to me after hearing about my niece, telling me that she too had had suicidal thoughts in her past and how she didn’t reach out either. Luckily for her something inside her kept her from completing her attempt. We all have different strengths inside of us. The problem is that sometimes things can feel overwhelming. I certainly have felt that way, but there’s always been something that kept me here.
To anyone that reads this, and ever feels alone and hopeless, know that there is always hope. You may not be able to see it, but reach out for help and someone else will be able to see it for you. Sometimes professionals have limiting beliefs and pass them on to others. Like a doctor that says there’s nothing we can do. The correct wording would be there’s nothing more I know how to do. But don’t give up! Hope is what creates miracles. It’s a belief, that no matter how things look, there can be something done, or something created to change what might be fact or truth as we now know it.
I have to say that
suicide is never the answer. I have to think that once the
person crosses over, they realize that there was
another way, but it’s too late, at least this time. The
effect that suicide has is some much more than most people could
realize. We affect so many people that if we choose suicide,
we never see the wide ripple effect it causes. I was caught in
a tidal wave effect when my friend Bob died. I was in tremendous
pain. I cried for days. I cried for years. Jimmy Stewart in “It’s
a Wonderful Life” found out what difference he made to
all the people around him. He got a second chance. Unfortunately
we don’t usually get that in life. It has to be known,
by each of us. Dustin Hoffman in “Hero” found out
he made a difference in lives, even though before that his life
wasn’t about contributing to others.
We all contribute to others in different ways. I try to contribute to others with my work, my writing, my speaking. But everybody contributes to the world one way or another. We touch many people in our lives. Many we never know about, and of course the ones we do. When suicide is chosen, many more people are affected and hurt that the person could possibly realize. I don’t pretend to have the answers to everyone’s problems, but I do know that they do, and perhaps can’t see them because of their depression.
The key is to reach
out to someone. If they don’t have
the answer, or aren’t supportive, find someone else that
is. There is suicide hotline all over the country. There are
friends, family, ministers, therapists, books, etc. Reach out!
Don’t give up! Pray for guidance. Talk to someone, anyone.
Let someone know that you are in pain. Hold on. It will get better.
That’s a guarantee. Believe me.