This story isn’t a happy one, not to start with anyway. From the beginning there is pain, and darkness. At a very early age I lost someone to suicide. My brother.
I was five-ish and he was seventeen, I think. Quite the age difference, and because I was so young, I don’t remember that much about him. I do remember this, and will never forget it. I attended the funeral and paid respects standing next to our father. I reached out and touched the casket and from that moment my life would be changed forever.
I grew up with this notion that people taking their own lives was just a part of life. I didn’t see it as something that could be stopped. Fast forward some years, I had my own close calls. Not with suicide, not yet anyway. Disease, Poisonous spiders, and a river. By the time I was twelve I felt like I had cheated death so many times.
At that age the first terrible thing happened to me. I was kidnapped, I didn’t feel like my life was in immediate danger because it was someone I was supposed to be able to trust. When I was returned home my family never talked about it again, even to this day. Outside of this entry, I’ve only ever told one person on this entire planet. I kept the memory locked away for so long until it slowly started eating away at me.
So, a few more years pass and I’m seventeen. A senior in high school and terrified because I had no idea what I wanted in life. I had no direction. Sure, my grades were good, but it didn’t help. I was clueless. I had maybe one or two people in my life that I could trust with anything. Everyone else in my life were just bodies taking up space. I didn’t care for them, and they certainly didn’t care for me. I can only assume that mostly everyone reading this either is a teenager, or has been one before. Teens can be cruel.
I found out the hard way that the couple I thought I could trust, weren’t that trustworthy. I’ll purposefully leave out some details here. Some things happened, and I ended up feeling totally alone in the world. I know now that, that just wasn’t true. At the same age as my brother was when he died, I too, attempted suicide. Thank God, I failed. I let one person and they suggested that I try going to church. At the time that seemed so stupid to me.
After recovering I did decide on going, what could it hurt right? There that night I saw some of those bodies from my school that I didn’t care for, and I thought didn’t care for me. I told the suicide story, leaving out everything else. Those people in that group are now the best friends I’ve ever had.
I still have days where the painful memories creep back but now I know that I have people I can talk to and they’ll be more than happy to listen. Even better than that they all want to see me succeed. Everything I do is to honour them and the unyielding support I’ve been shown.
While your support may not be a church group, maybe it’s just someone pouring out their heart online, how really doesn’t matter. Know that there are people on this earth that care about you. They want to see you succeed. Even if you feel you haven’t met them yet. Know that I am one. You are not in this life alone and no one was designed to face it by themselves. Let my words resonate within you. Let’s become the generation that stops suicide. I challenge anyone who reads this to reach out to someone. Anyone. Friend, family, complete stranger, it doesn’t matter. Let them know that they are loved. Let the light within shine! Let Hope live!