As we drove under the overpass where she jumped to her death, I could almost hear her thoughts.
There’s too much to overcome. It’s not worth it. There’s no way this pain will go away. Ever. This is the easiest hard way out I know, and it’s the only way to be sure that I won’t have to face these demons anymore.
So many deaths, so little understanding of what goes through their minds. I have personally known at least four people that have taken their own lives. This one is a girl I did not know. But it’s easy enough to get wrapped up in the wondering and the questions when her face and moments of her life are plastered all over Facebook for us all to see. Her life is quite literally flashing before our own eyes. There was no note, and no one offers an explanation as to why she felt that she could not go on. Maybe that knowledge alone is what she brought with her on that fateful and fatal night that she decided that giving up was all she could give.
My first experience with suicide was a good friend of mine back in the 6th grade. With his sick sense of humor in tact, he ironically took his life by ‘kicking a bucket’ and hanging himself from his bedroom ceiling. As we later discovered, Glen had a very violent and abusive childhood, and chose to end his life rather than to endure more disappointment and pain from those who were supposed to love and guide him.
The second was my 2nd cousin, who took her life after learning that her husband of 10 years had been having an affair for at least half of those years. And the third was a girl that had just become a close friend weeks before she shot herself. She was a freshman in high school, and she was being molested by her step-father who was a police officer. Her mom denied her daughter’s allegations, and Lisa gave up hope and ended her life cuddled with a teddy bear to silence the shot. The fourth suicide was within the last couple of months, when my friend Kelly shot himself on the side of the road. No one understands that. He was full of humor, smiles, and gratitude for his vocal talent and his children, who were his life.
I can honestly say that there have been many times in my life where I felt as though I could not go on, especially after my dad died when I was in sixth grade. I believe that what has always been a deal breaker for me regarding suicide is my faith. When I think of being created by God in his image, the last thing I truly want to do is destroy myself. Somehow, I think, that I would also be destroying some part of God. I also reflect on how everyone around me would be impacted by my sudden departure. That stops me in my tracks. And of course, as a mom, the thought has never taken any traction whatsoever. I cannot destroy my children, no matter what I face.
Suicide angers me. I have not walked in their shoes, but I have felt their pain in my own flesh and heart, and I know deep inside that there is always tomorrow. And while we are not promised anything in this life, we are promised that if we keep trying, eventually we will understand all the bad stuff. In the rear-view mirror, the bad stuff was only a fleeting sting – like a shot – and the good stuff eventually takes over, if only we give it time…..