I will never understand the utter desolation, despair, anguish, fear, shame or whatever it is that it takes to actually drive someone to that place of final acceptance of knowing they are going to take their own life.  And then to actually carry it out.  Oh there have been times I have struggled with feeling “blue” or even mildly depressed but there has never been a time I thought I wanted to end it all.  There has never been a moment that I didn’t know that this “feeling” was just fleeting.  Sometimes I feel that person is the most selfish, self-centered person in the world.  Because if you think about it they certainly were not thinking how their awful self-inflicted murder would affect their loved ones and they obviously were not thinking of the …  “who’s going to find me?” aspect.    This is a pretty graphic and burdensome thing to carry for a loved one.  I have been wishy washy because of the pain and my anger towards my own family members who have taken their life but I have come to the conclusion that most people who do this are so deep in depression they can’t see anything else but their own problems, pain, illness that they can find no other options, no other way out.  So deep down I know it’s not selfish, it’s a sickness that needs to be treated.

The first time I had any real connection to suicide was when I first became a Paramedic.  We were called to a Possible Suicide.  It was my first time dealing with a suicide and my first time dealing with the grieving family of a suicide.  It wasn’t a normal grieving family over a “regular” death like a heart attack, this I’ve seen, this I’ve dealt with.  Oh no, this was much different, much worse.  We had just found their father, husband, grandpa, friend with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  But what really got me was when we found his slumped-over body on his knees, he was grasping his rosary.  At the time I wasn’t quite  “with God” yet.   I couldn’t understand why this man who had this huge seemingly loving family, who had been out looking for him and was now so very indescribably distraught and inconsolable would do something like this.  This man who seemingly had a faith to grasp onto and cry out to, even unto death.  It haunted me in my dreams picturing this man on his knees crying out and praying to God right before he shot himself.  At what point do you stop talking to God and just do it?  It haunted me for a long time and this wasn’t even my family.  We didn’t know these people from Adam.  My partner was an Evangelical type Christian and he was going around praying with and trying to console the family and really doing an amazing job helping them in their grieving process, even if they didn’t realize it then.  I just felt so awkward and useless.

This family had a little something my family didn’t.   A little something that might have helped with the grieving process if only the slightest bit.  That little something was a note.  An answer.  A reason from their father, husband, friend on why he felt he couldn’t go on anymore.  If only a selfish one, at least they had something.  Most people don’t even get to have that much.  The rest of us just have our wild imaginations to run with.  They will never know how much that little bit can keep someone from going over the edge with all the questions WHY.  The forever asked question WHY, but never answered.

When my Uncle Ben killed himself it was a terrible tragedy that this family has still not gotten over.  The grief that his self-inflicted murder sent through this family was like shock waves with after shocks and after shocks, never knowing when the tidal wave of crazy is going to come crashing down.  Then, as if one suicide in the family isn’t bad enough my Uncle Lynn killed himself the same way his brother Ben did.  These deaths were years apart but they may have well have been only days.  Suicide never goes away.  Both these men left behind devastated children, significant others, sisters, cousins, a Dad, the list goes on.   Family who’s lives have been altered forever.  Fractured.

I don’t have many words of wisdom about how to get over something like this because my family is still such a tattered mess.  However we are a family of Faith in the Christian God.  I won’t lie though this has shaken some of the strongest Christians in my family but I see God working in the lives and deaths of this family.  That is the only way I know how to cope.

This is a permanent, life-ending end.  All you kids, young adults in school who are thinking or have thought about suicide…please tell a friend, teacher, neighbor, MOM or DAD or SIBLING, OR ME.   Point is TELL SOMEONE how you’re feeling.  There is more to this life than what you are going through right now at this moment.  Whether its sex, drugs/alcohol, pregnancy, sickness, divorce, abuse, breakups, bad grades, things get better, things change, this is just a small minute compared to the rest of your life.

I get a physical sick feeling in my stomach when I hear of another suicide anywhere let alone our county.   God please bring comfort to those who have lost loved ones to depression and help those who are dealing with it now and help them to have enough strength and courage to come forward and get the help they so deserve and need.  Amen.

God Bless,


Please seek help if you are contemplating suicide.

Illinois Suicide & Crisis Hotlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline