Suicide has been my friend, and yeah, he’s not a very nice friend. He’s been the friend that whispers to me, that offers me a way out, an end to the pain that boring, everyday life can bring.
Well, if I put it that way, suicide hasn’t been a friend at all, but all the same, I’ve lived long periods of time with the enemy inside my head, chattering at me.
Since he’s been such a constant companion, well, I come across insensitive when I talk about death and suicide. I can shock and offend people so easily, and over the years, I’ve tried to keep my flippant comments about suicide to myself.
I had a friend (a real one, not in my head) who killed himself in college. When I found out, I said, “Well, at least he’s found a way to quit smoking. Permanently.”
My dad’s a cop. Dark humor goes with the territory and it must be genetic.
I didn’t mean to come across callous, but I understood what had killed my friend, and when faced with death, I usually laugh inappropriately. Again, I’ve had to do some pretty heavy self-editing at times.
The problem is, people have had close friends, relatives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers kill themselves, and the living are left to deal with it. And that’s a hard thing, made harder if the survivors never had suicidal thoughts. When I get all flippant about suicide, I hurt people who’ve experience such loss.
One of the things I tried to add to my novel, LONG LIVE THE SUICIDE KING, is that suicide, even talking about suicide, has consequences. No one can be suicidal in a vacuum. When someone kills themselves, it affects everyone around them, and in a way, it kills the ones closest to them. It’s a form of murder.
Heavy stuff. Life is hard. Death might seem like a solution, however, I don’t believe it is. Don’t ask me for specifics, but I think we have lessons to learn, and if we don’t learn them here, if we checkout, permanently, we go somewhere else to learn them.
I don’t think suicide is a way out. In the end, I think it’s a monumental waste of time and, again, it murders those around us.
It’s my job to be heroic, to find the other side of my pain, to reach out for help. And it’s my job to talk about my dark thoughts with at least one other person on this earth: a close-mouthed friend, a pastor, a therapist, my mom. As humans, we heal through our mouths. The words we say can shed light into the darkest parts of our psyche.
And there is hope and good stuff about life, in all of our lives. Chocolate. Seriously, there is chocolate in this world. You know what I love? I love those cheap, crappy chocolate donettes–not a real donut, but a donette–you find in gas stations and convenience stores. Hmm, crappy chocolate donettes and the waxy milk you can buy to wash them down. Convenience store milk isn’t exactly sour, but it really wants to be sour, you just know it.
I could swing that into analogy, about me wanting to be sour, but somehow, something inside of me, like a FDA-approved preservative, fights the sour, and so I wash down the chocolatey goodness, standing outside the Conoco, with the morning sun on my face.
Life is sweet.