This past Saturday there was a suicide in the downtown streets of a near-by city. The man was a Marine. He was also a Marine that just so happened to be on the docuseries "60 Days In" (it's on Hulu and he is on season 3).
But please let me highlight a key part of that first sentence.
He shot himself and died in the streets of a small town on a Saturday night. In fact it was front of the Pizza Hut that I just ordered pizzas from earlier that night. I know people who were there.
His social media contained a post that said, "This isn't an admission of guilt. I'm just tired, I've been through so much in my life, the pain of my situation now hurts more than I ever imagined. I can't keep going on. I can only imagine how bad this would all turn out, all of the legal crap that would ensue after this with custody and everything else. You win! You have promised for weeks, you will ruin my life and I had no idea who I was messing with. You are right, I didn't know who I was messing with."
I have been pretty vocal about my stance on suicide. As a survivor (meaning I am the person who has lived through a suicide of someone else, in this case my Dad), I have an admittedly biased lens on the topic. Specifically that I think it is incredibly selfish and redistributes the pain that individual experienced to those who loved them most... plus it tacks on a lifelong scar that is more painful than anything I have ever experienced.
But this... this is on an entirely different level of redistributing trauma.
Ironically enough I was supposed to go downtown on Saturday with my sister after our family Halloween festivities. Ultimately we were tired and decided to stay at the house... and I could not be anymore thankful for that. I think witnessing a suicide would have put me over the edge where there is no coming back.
I wasn't there, but there were others who witnessed it.
My heart breaks for him, but it also breaks for these people who had to witness this act. They did nothing to deserve it- all out celebrating Halloween and enjoying themselves... which, frankly, is required during this time.
And then this happened. I can't decipher if I am angry or sad, which is an eerily similar feeling that I had when my Dad died. Your heart breaks that anybody would feel low enough to take their own lives, but you're angry that in addition to a family who is devastated... you did this in public, redistributing trauma to a community that would have likely helped if that's what you needed.
Let me reiterate that: if you need help, it is there. Seek help. Don't let your life story be clouded with the trauma that suicide overshadows.
National Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255