I’m going to go through the process of what he said in various places to various people so you know what someone contemplating suicide might say.
This is a super hard post to write. Extremely, exceptionally, impossibly painful. I’d not do it if I didn’t think it would help others avoid standing in the shoes I am in now.
Honestly, really and truly. Do not ever think that it cannot happen to you.
Charles’ notebooks revealed a lot but we did not have access to those. His last phone call was cryptic and I was an emotional basket case during that on and off two-hour call. I missed signs that would have otherwise been more obvious if I specifically had heard what someone says when they are contemplating suicide.
Typical comments from those contemplating suicide:*
- I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this
- I just want to end it all
- I can’t take this anymore
- I’ve tried everything and nothing’s ever going to change
- I just feel like dying
- If I died tomorrow, no-one would care (Charles said this one on his facebook page – see below)
- What’s the point?
- Every time I look in the mirror, I hate what I see
I don’t know that what you see below would indicate suicide. But looking at a lot of what he was posting at the time, it would indicate a state of mind.
The post below was a definite red flag. I saw it later than he posted it as it was sent to me by his Godfather but I had little communication at the point when I saw it. He was on heroin at the time which would have exacerbated a depressive episode. He never admitted to depression, covered up well even though diagnosed. If you were his friend on facebook, you can see the post here. All replies after June 5 would be after his death by suicide.
The text below was sent by another mom whose son died by suicide. Her son was in a work release program. He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression and had no business being in jail. He needed treatment. But that’s America for you. Prisons and jails are depositories for people we don’t know what to do with: Mentally ill, intellectually disabled, autistic, addicts. I highlighted the phrase that would be a red flag.
Please share this post. And if you have an image of a “last message” from a loved one that died by suicide, use the contact form and let me know you are willing to share it and I will email you where you can send it. I will blot out names, phone numbers and personal information. The image would go here.
5 thoughts on “What did Charles say prior to suicide to indicate his intentions?”
My husband of 43 years died by suicide on July 28, 2014. He rarely had a good night’s sleep. I really feel that sleep deprivation is a symptom of many suicide victims. He was a PhD and a pediatrician who graduated top of his class from Thomas Jefferson Medical School. Although he was the most kind, thoughtful man, and a writer of notes to so many people in pain, he felt that he was a burden. He was bipolar, and had severe anxiety and was treated with every medicine available for those illnesses. He had shock treatments and talk therapy. In 1996-1997, he was in an experimental program at NIMH with some of the top psychiatrists in our country. Nothing worked for him. In his suicide note, he wrote “I have been trying to hide my depression, but the agonizing pain is worsening. I have a gaping hole in the center of my soul. I feel like a black hole who is devouring happy spirits of those, like you, who surround me. I have become unbearable to live with. The pure unadulterated feeling of grief is bubbling up from within my terrible and defective soul. It is like having leg caught under a boulder which fell upon it and having such unbearable pain that I am willing to amputate it with a scout knife. My pain is from the center of my soul so I have no choice but to cut it off completely to relieve the pain as I do today. I know my action will cause you awful pain but it is the only way I can be released from this unrelenting agony. I am terribly sorry for hurting you, Rebecca and Brett(our children) by the terrible thing I must do. I love you all and hope that someday you may be able to forgive me. I miss this wonderful man every day and pray that he is at peace. I never knew the pain of his depression.
Wow. I am so sorry you had to go through this, too. Or rather still going through it. Thanks for sharing the sleep issue info. It was the one thing we focused the most on his whole life. I knew how sleep deprivation could change a life for the worse and nothing worked. Thank you for sharing that deeply personal note with us here, too. It offers amazing insight. Your husband put things so eloquently even in his last note to you. He obviously loved all of you so much. I think having some writing helps work out the “why” and I am thankful I have so much of what Charles wrote over the years. His thoughts of suicide date back to when he was 15.And I think Charles also had pain “from the center of his soul.”
Anne, thank you for providing an outlet for us survivors of suicide. Your son, Charles was such a thoughtful writer and he expressed in his raps/songs what so many persons with depression cannot say. I am trying so hard to support my son who is 35 and who has a diagnosis similar to my husband’s, but has dealt with it with alcohol. He just got into a rehab program which begins next Wednesday in Chicago. He totally resisted any treatment until last month when he got a DUI. I am so grateful that he did not injure anyone. The risk of suicide is so high for him after losing his father to it. He has been hospitalized 5 times for suicide attempts in the last 6 months. I know he is crying for help. I am praying that this rehab program will help him start to change and take responsibility for his life.
Dealing with suicide, the guilt, the if onlys, and trying to rewrite history (as a way to bring them back). It’s horribly painful for anyone losing a loved one. But the pain of losing a child is beyond description. It’s another entity only those who go through it can understand.
My hardworking, loving, giving son called me in December of 2013. Four of his step-daughters (18-22 whom he loved very much) had moved back home, and had been laying around all day sleeping, watching t.v., leaving a mess, and causing chaos as they fought between each other–one on drugs who would go on rampages and call her mom and my son vile names. She even threatened to kill herself. My son took his guns to his friend’s house to protect her.
He spent over $20,000 on her rehab and spent months trying to help her. He begged his wife to make the girls listen. He never complained to me, I heard much from other people.
One day he called me weeping. He had never done this before. “Mom. I can’t take things any longer. I come home from work and the girls are still lying around, they leave a mess. I told them they need to get off their butts, get jobs and move out. They all attacked me. (One) said it wasn’t his house. (In fact he bought it from my then husband and me and had paid $50,000 already).
That’s how their minds works.
My son then told me, “I feel like killing myself”…. I told him to get out of the house right away that I’d pay for a motel. (I lived in another state) He said he was going to a friend’s for a couple of weeks.
He allowed the girls to stay, still going through ups and downs for at least 6 months. In the meantime his wife takes him to her doctor and is prescribed Ambien.
He called and said he was leaving his wife. He told me different reasons, although had never said anything against her before. Although I knew of many reasons why he could have. I’d forgiven and ignored many things.
He came here and stayed her for a few months then decided to go back. He really did love his wife and as far as love goes I know they all loved him.
He called about a week later. “Mom. Everyone’s moved out. I cleaned the whole house.” He took a deep breath “It feels so good to have my house back.”
Hearing this from him brought me such joy.
One month later he called me very depressed. “Nothing has changed.”
What was told to me, not by him, but the girl’s grandmother: The three sisters kicked out the girl on drugs and she had moved back home and had a drug relapse.
I tried to reach out to his wife, his mother in-law for a couple of weeks. saying how worried I was about him. he didn’t seem the same upbeat person he truly was.
His wife finally called and we talked 4 min. She said he was great, just great, although later I heard he wasn’t and everyone there knew it.
One week later he took his life.
She called my eldest right after and told him that my son had been busy all day. Stopped at Fred Myers, got a turkey and some wine. He came home and cooked dinner. She had been in bed all day, not feeling well. About 9:30 he came into the bedroom, took off his jeans and crawled into bed. She said he wanted to snuggle but she sent him back to the kitchen for some reason. (someone told me one of her daughters said it was to get her something to eat)
SO, he left the room and didn’t come back. A half an hour later she finds him in the family room just down the stairs in an open room where he took his life. He had brought one of his gun home after the girls moved out and kept it in a safe.
What has been extra hard is that those who should talk to me about what happened won’t. It caused so much extra pain.
I’ve wanted to be able to discuss with those who would know, why he would took Ambien that afternoon. The police were told one story, and I got one text saying another.
That night he had some wine as he cooked dinner. They were both low doze, but I don’t think he would have taken his life without those two factors added to his mental state about everything that had gone on that last 10 months. I believe he just felt helpless that night.
Didn’t plan to go on this way. I keep very busy and try not to think about the bad things, but it’s always here in my mind. My son was such a great person, such a wonderful personality and so talented. My heart will always be broken until I see him again.
One of the detectives wrote that in his office, the bible was open on his desk and there was a piece of paper that looked like a prayer request. I try to think of those things, but really, there is no way to get over a loss like this, I just keep going and asking God to continue to help me to forgive and to love.
Kathleen- Thank you for telling me your story. I read every last word. I can publish this on my blog as a post if you wanted to do that. I’d need a picture, too. But if you don’t want to or are not ready yet, that’s fine, too. I’m honored you shared this with me/us.
Your son was a clearly wonderful, loving person and I think you are right. Ambien did a number on my son, too. He broke into a store after taking it and mixing it with alcohol. One other time he took it, he was out on the roof in 22 degree weather naked–peeing. It’s a scary drug. I have unanswered questions that others know the answers to as well. Some have called and talked but the one that has most of the answers makes a plan to meet me and then cancels every time. I’m not blaming her at all. I, like you, just want some facts. But alas, there are some answers we will never have. I’m so sorry. If you want to. https://annemoss.com/contact-2/submit-a-story/