The three lettered word left behind when we lose someone to suicide. These three letters go around and around in your head. The question ‘Why’ will invade every aspect of your life. The questioning never stops. This innocuous word produces nightmares and will send you batty if you let it. Eventually you have to accept that there will never be an answer and move forward. The tricky thing with this never answered question is that occasionally it will just rear its ugly head and invade your thought processes. Sending you reeling backwards in your grief journey.
For me I’ve never really been struck with this question in the same way others are. I understand fully ‘Why’. For me it’s more about ‘Why’ wasn’t I able to get through to him. ‘Why’ didn’t I, who completely understood the challenge of depression he was facing, see how close he was to the edge. I’ve seen it in others and helped get them through. For some reason with him I wasn’t able to catch him. I couldn’t save him. Now I never will be able to as my dreams keep reminding me.
The actual reason why someone comes to the conclusion that no life is better than this life will always be a mystery. Unless there is a note left behind. Their ‘Why’ will always remain unanswered. Those left behind will have to find their own way to get passed the ‘Why’. The lead up to ‘Why’ could take years or minutes. One second you can be happy. The next your mind is answering the ‘Why’ question, or pointing out all the hundreds of reasons for ‘Why not’.
What needs to be addressed is ‘Why’ suicide is such an option. This is not easy to discuss. It’s painful and embarrassing to relive. In speaking to people who have had thoughts about committing suicide they will tell you that shame is a gripping emotion when they relive those thoughts. They are also scared of hurting those around them. So those thoughts get buried for as long as they can. This however can lead to dangerous thought patterns. It also means that those who don’t struggle with depression will never understand the ‘Why’. The ‘Why’ will always remain unresolved. It will continue to haunt those left behind.
Lets break down the silence on ‘Why’ suicide. I myself have never really discussed this in real depth with anyone. Not even my husband of over 20 years. My soul mate, best friend and love of my life. Even with him, I’ve never been fully open about it. It’s hard to explain. Terrifying to relive. What has to be understood is that once the decision is made, (yes it is a decision. Not a good one, but one just the same), there is complete and utter peace. A sense of relief. Purpose, complete clarity. Acceptance and for once something akin to happiness. It’s almost like Christmas morning. For the first time in a long time, or maybe even your entire life, you are actually able to breathe deeply. A cleansing breath. Like you’ve been holding your breath in anticipation all your life and finally the wait is over. Now finally you can let go and just be. The sun shines a little brighter and the wind smells sweeter. You accept the decision as the right thing to do. All this happens in a matter of seconds. If you’re not in control of your thoughts and realise how scary this choice is, the best option will always be to choose the peace.
I’ve had numerous days like this through out my life. The last one quiet recently. I didn’t start the day with any idea of where my thoughts would go. It was just a normal day I was at work. As I left work and broke down I called my husband. I knew I had to break the thought cycle. As always he is able to help me. I felt better after talking to him. Not much better but just enough. Here’s what he doesn’t know and how scary depression can be. It was after I hung up the phone from him that one thought entered my head. ‘I just want to be with Kyle’. I knew the train was due in 10 minutes and even pictured myself walking in front of it. Like some unstoppable force beckoning me forward. Had I not been in control, my husband’s last thought about me would of been, ‘I sounded a lot better after talking to him’. His ‘Why’ would have been a battle all off its own. One too hard to even begin to contemplate. What my brain should have thought was, and what I was able to rationalise was, ‘I just want Kyle here.’ Not the other way around. A simple thought process that got reversed could have led to a very different ending. That’s how crazy and unrelenting depression is. That’s ‘Why’ suicide is sometimes the only answer available. It takes you by surprise and makes complete and utter sense.
Having gone through the last year and a bit since we lost someone so precious. Knowing now what happens to those left behind, there is no way that depression will ever beat me. It will no oonger control me in any meaningful way. That doesn’t however mean it doesn’t still rear its ugly head without warning. I’ve gained control and balance in my life and I know I am exactly where I am meant to be and nothing is as bad as your mind can sometimes make it out to be. For those who suffer every day, the ‘Why’ or ‘Why not’ will continue to hang over their heads. There is a big chance that the ‘Why’ may one day devour their family. Understanding ‘Why’ a choice was made doesn’t make it any easier to live with. It just means my ‘Why’ is different to their ‘Why.’
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