By Donna Zephrine

Suicide does not just cause pain to those who harm themselves.
The hurt spreads to the whole family.
Family members might try to reach out, want to help, but maybe don’t know how.
Impossible to know the right thing to say or do.
The person might push you away, become violent, or isolate and withdraw.
They may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their feelings.
Little do they realize the drugs add to their problems and sadness.
How do you help someone who doesn’t want your help?
Many families don’t understand mental illness.
They may not know how severe things are getting.
There may even be signs like superficial cutting, past attempts, or there could be no signs at all.
Impossible to know what is going on in their head.
If they do not want you to know, you won’t.
Families feel helpless.
And then one day it might be too late.
They find their loved one dead by their own doing.
How can the human brain comprehend something so painful and complicated?
Why? Why go this far? Why not let me help? What could I have done? What were they thinking?
The survivor’s guilt starts to kick in.
Why am I still here if they are not?
A parent who loses their child somehow has to go on outliving their child.
There is no closure.
Some use religion to try to reason with suicide. Maybe it was a demon, the devil? Anything to try and make sense of the unimaginable.
Those who loved a person who committed suicide are left to try and pick up the pieces event though the puzzle is shattered into a million pieces.

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© Robin Barratt