Suicide – what is it?

That word is the word I couldn’t say for months after my son was found dead in his apartment. I physically couldn’t say it. My mouth could not get the sounds out. Eventually, I was able to say it but it was still such a bad, horrible, scary word to me. Ryan would not have done “that”!!! It was an unbelievable thought.

Over the past ten years since his death, I have read a lot, talked to a lot of people and learned a lot about suicide. I still don’t know anything. Suicide seems to mean different things to people. I have come to live with it as a part of my life.

We are trying to decrease the stigma of suicide. We now use different vocabulary and it is always changing as well. People do not commit suicide, they die by suicide. I like that. It takes the crime out of it. I really do not think of my son as having committed a crime but as having tried to end the pain he was in at that time.

People think about suicide for so many different reasons that there should be different words for different reasons. (I think). There are some who are depressed or have had somethings happen in their lives that have made a change and don’t want to live anymore and plan their deaths; some who are angry or sad in the moment, most often under the influence of drugs or alcohol and end their lives and there are those who are ill and want doctor’s help to end their lives.

I truly believe that if my son had told someone about his thoughts, his drug use that he would have lived; that he wanted to live. That is why I believe in talking about suicide in the hopes of others talking about it as well. I don’t have answers but I am always open to talking and sharing my story as a mom who has been left behind by suicide. I have also had suicidal thoughts due to the trauma, so I know what that is like as well. It is scary when thoughts come into your head without your control.

There has been much discussion on the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. I cannot comment on that because I have not watched the series and I won’t be watching it. There are still some things I can’t watch. But I am happy that it has brought a lot of discussion on suicide to the media. I have learned that talking about suicide doesn’t cause suicide.



10 thoughts on “Suicide – what is it?

  1. I sit here searching for another mom like me. Searching for some club that nobody wants to be a member of. Eight days ago my adult son attempted suicide. He’s an adult. He lives on his own. I am “just mom” in the eyes of all the professionals. Friday he will go home to his own apartment. Friday I will lay in bed and wonder if he’s safe. If the next time I try to call him I’ll get voice mail over and over again. Today I have my son. Tonight I will go to his facility and be able to hold him. Tonight I will sleep knowing he’s not able to harm himself right now. But at this moment, I will remember that I am lucky. That my son lives to fight another day. And I will remember those who didn’t have any fight left in them,,, and their mothers.

  2. A very hard topic. I lost two brothers to suicide. One in 1988 and one in 1989. I try to help them. I took blame for many years after their death. Took war and many more lessons for me to understand. No-one knew them. We know few people and my brothers had demons. Needed drugs and feared life. I did learn to listen, not lesture. I pay attention to my family and friends.

  3. Bless you. My Sister took her own life in 1991 and one of my best friends did the same only 3 weeks ago. You are so brave for writing about your experiences and your life, well done you. Good luck in everything you do. Rhys. xxx

  4. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I think of suicide as a space a person gets their head into and they do it almost on impulse after a long period of contemplating it but if they could actually understand how much it hurts those left behind they would never do it. A school mate of my daughter had a brother who died of suicide and his mother became an obsessed suicide prevention activist going everywhere trying to educate the world. I think her obsessing the way she did drove her into a bad head space and she eventually died the same way her son did, leaving her husband and younger son behind. I think you are doing the right thing by not watching “Reasons Why.” I enjoy your blogs a lot and I for one would be sad if you got your head into the wrong place and I hardly know you. You must be much more valuable to those around you. I am glad you are being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself instead.

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