You might have called my father an adventurer. Certainly his suicide caused me to explore a new whelm of thought. Before he ended his life, death to me was something that came swift or slow either unwanted or welcomed. The key idea, though, was that death came; it wasn’t an option. Something innocent in me had the notion that no one person had that much power as to end their own life. Death, like birth, came from God.
The first few years after Daddy died, I went through my own depression. I suffered through countless child-like angers at family and friends. Little problems or stresses brought about a thought of how easily death now could be called upon. Suicide or perhaps more the fear of it carried a heavy weight in my thoughts.
The fear that I could simply kill myself sat upon my shoulder like a maliciously smiling monkey, chattering extreme suggestions into my ear. I was scared of my own thoughts. Dangerous thoughts came from the mile-wide crack in my soul; I wasn’t in full control of myself. I felt no one in my family would understand, but they, too, were just as shocked by my father’s death.
Rather than death, I sought help. I began talking, first to counselors, then to a priest, and then to friends. It was important that the people I chose to talk with about my father’s suicide and my fears were not dependent upon my being ok—that I didn’t have to put up a front for them. I needed to tell the truth; I was horribly afraid that suicide was genetic. These trustworthy, objective people allowed me to safely expose my fear and be as weak as I felt. They listened, nodded, and assured me that I wasn’t crazy—and that I had more strength than I realized. The fears eased up as I shed light upon them.
The thing about suicide is that its bleak aftermath wants to spread like a bad cold or influenza. Get help. Talk to someone immune to your pain.