36 years later it still hurts – #SuicideAwareness

When I heard about Robin Williams committing suicide, I was sad. When it turned out that Chris Cornell took his life, I was sad. But it was Chester Bennington’s suicide that shocked me. It was the first time in my life that I shed a tear for an artist. Part of my sorrow was related to my memories of Linkin Park’s music being present in my life in my early 20’s, but part of it was due to the fact that six children will never be with their father again. For a moment I imagined my 6 year-old daughter left without me and it was a devastating thought. I felt sorry for the Bennington’s children, and I feel emotional even now, writing this post. This situation reminded me of a message below that was shared* by a friend of mine. Sifaan (that’s my friend’s name) is an adult man, with a wife and a son – a great, loving, and truly amazing family. I’m posting it with his consent. Please, read:

I see my friends sharing #SuicideAwareness posts like this…

… and my first thought is that if someone I knew was contemplating suicide, the only reason they’d reach out to me is because they want to know the best way to do it (not that I know, but they’d figure I would research it thoroughly).

And then I remember that I know of 3 people who committed suicide.

Among many others, they are each missed by

  • his father and mother (my aunt)
  • her sister, father and mother (my cousin)
  • his mother, siblings, widow, and son… Me.

I don’t “miss” my father in the traditional sense, because I was very young (3.5 years) and I have very few memories of him.

And I don’t even know that my life would’ve been better if he hadn’t done it. I’m certainly not unhappy about how my life turned out: there’s no words enough to thank my Mom for her role, and one of my uncles stepped in as my father figure (I thought of him as my father, was too young to think it unusual that he had a separate room… was a bit of a shock when the news broke that he wasn’t).

But there’s this thought that, whatever troubles he was going through, didn’t he love me enough to want to stay alive for me?

So, if you are thinking about suicide, please don’t do it.

Even 36 years later, it still hurts.

The post is a perspective of a child who was touched by his father’s suicide. Below is a link to a post by Tim Ferris (yes, that Ferris, who wrote the “4-hour work week”). Tim shares his story of deciding to kill himself an planning to do it (and eventually not doing it by unexpected turn of events). The key part of the read are realizations that helped Tim (and some of his friends) moving away from suicide, and daily tactics for dealing with dark thoughts. As Tim puts it ” They might help you find your own, or use them as a starting point.“. Even if this is not relevant to you personally, this is something that may be useful to you when dealing with friends, family, or even strangers. I really hope this is never needed, but if it is, you may want to know where to turn to. Click here to read Tim Ferris’ post on suicide

I will close this post with a quote shared in Tim’s post. It seems very powerful in the context of this topic.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage…”

Lao Tzu



Sifaan’s original Facebook post is here.