Few ever think it will happen to them. I never thought it would happen to me.
Even family members who have a loved one who has attempted suicide, think it won’t happen to them. And even if they are, they are never prepared for it.
A death by suicide is always a shock. Parents often don’t even believe their children who tell them outright, much less kids who leave a more subtle clue. We can’t fathom life would be so bad for our child they would take their life. The same goes for siblings, friends, aunts, uncles, parents. From the outside, everything looks so good.
Charles left clues for years, verbal bread crumbs that left us scratching our heads. Had I even googled one of these conversations I would have had answers. But my brain took a circuitous route through all kinds of rational arguments but never landed on suicide. My brain was an artful dodger.
What’s frustrating is reaching the people who need to hear the message before someone they love dies by suicide. People like me. Like I used to be, that is. That’s the ironic part.
How do you reach someone who thinks your message is irrelevant because it will never happen to them? My answer is I will keep trying even if I have to reframe it and package it as something someone wants to hear.