I originally wrote this at the beginning of this year. Then I decided to shelve it as I felt I was commenting on someone’s misery and the fresh grief of those left behind. And yet now I hear of it happening again, just a few miles from where I live.
A young man with a young wife and family has taken his own life. So I feel the need to publish it.
It’s difficult to find a headline for this short post. But that is how I feel as, once again, I hear of someone who was young and seemingly outwardly happy, has taken their own life.
This time, it’s someone from the profession of writing and while they weren’t someone I knew, or even had any contact with directly, I was aware of their content online and the quality of the person’s work.
I find the thought that someone could be in such a dark, dark place that they end their own life a truly tragic thing. And the overwhelming response from everyone was that they had no idea it was about to happen.
For me, that is the truly frightening part. The prospect that within my own circle of friends, loved ones, work colleagues and others that I care about, there could be someone who, right now, could be in a similar dark place. And it seems none of us have any awareness of it. Or any way to stop it.
I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate that even in some of the darker moments of my life I have never, even for a split second, considered the prospect of suicide. As we go through life, we all endure tougher times. It is what we learn from and adds to the patina of our own life experiences. The thought of taking my own life has never occurred.
So I cannot imagine in what dark corner of someone’s mind they must retreat to to finally take that tragic step.
That thought in itself is worrying to the majority of us out there. But the truly, truly frightening thing is the reaction from that person’s friends, family and colleagues at work.
Almost without exception, utter shock, pain and bewilderment kicks in. Nobody had any idea.
Indeed, Googling the subject scared me even further, as the UK’s NHS website states that writing about the subject of suicide is one of the warning signs.
With the fresh interest in people’s mental health and the new willingness to discuss it, thanks in part to Princes Harry and William who have worked to bring the subject into a more open arena, perhaps we can all learn to spot a tragedy like this as it develops.
Anyone who knows me will, I hope, say that I have a ‘glass half full’ mentality and that I’m not normally given to write on such morbid subjects as this.
But I just hope that if you’re reading this, either as a stranger or as someone who knows me, and you happen to be approaching one of those dark doors in your life, these words might just stop you from opening it and stepping through.
This isn’t meant to be a dark, depressing post, but one which I feel I need to write. Perhaps it may help someone, somewhere.