Suicide is often such a taboo subject. We feel its effects, yet it is not a topic discussed much. Compassion and forgiveness are in the forefront of recovering from the shock and grief when suicide touches our life. Here’s my perspective on suicide. Our family has experienced two of these just in the last 20 years. The family remains deeply changed by these events. I have done much inner work in the intervening years, yet some of the pain remains.
I don’t know about you, but when I learn of a loved one – whether a family member, a friend, a mentor, or someone we admired from afar – who has committed suicide, my heart seems to rise right up out of my chest into the base of my throat and my breath shortens immediately. It is as if a bit of the light in my heart has gone out when I hear such news.
One takes their own life when it is seen as the ONLY solution
and certainly a decisively permanent solution.
We just naturally are afraid of the unknown. It’s a powerful survival instinct. Just imagine someone choosing the unknown darkness over the darkness they see themselves in… and what it takes to overpower even their innate drive to survive. That’s how dark the inner world looks… and the outer world. There seems to be nowhere else to turn except the ultimate unknown world.
I have touched into this space a time or two before… it is a dark place indeed, seemingly void of light. Yet somehow, I was able to find the light and walk through it. Why me and not them? I have no clue. I could say I am here because of grace, and that is probably a true statement. Yet my experience is that everyone is graced. It is not discriminatory.
This act of taking one’s own life I do not see as self-loathing, but essentially self-loss. Utter and complete.
The impact of suicide affects so many… it’s like a part of each of us dies when this happens, even though we didn’t choose it.
This is a place where compassion for all concerned is paramount, as is self-compassion. The last thing we want to do is turn away from how we feel. It is through this dedicated compassion that those of us who survive grieve fully, heal, and refocus… on deepening our compassion and capacity to forgive… on sinking our teeth into the marrow of life… of currying greater gratitude.
A last note here. People suffer in silence. One never knows what challenges someone is going through. It’s a good bet that everyone we know is going through something challenging. Kindness can make the difference for someone seeing their world as nothing but darkness. Your smile could be the light they are searching for.
If you or a friend are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘Home’ to 741741.
Gently in light and love,