trigger warning: this post contains discussion on one of the most common triggers faced by people who struggle with depression. if you might be triggered, i would suggest you read the sign in the wicked witch of the west’s forest, “i’d turn back if i were you.”
my cousin’s grandson passed away last week. doing the math, i knew he must of been somewhere about upper teens. additionally, the hush hush nature of his passing got me to wondering, someone that age dies for an accident or, like valdemort in harry potter, the act that shall not be discussed.
i did some web searching and found about 10 different obits. of course, they don’t discuss the cause of death. i did find one facebook discussion that discusses his premature passing; he leaped from a high school building.
i now face the decision on what to put in sympathy cards. i could put in the safe, “i feel great sorrow for your loss. you are in my thoughts and prayers.” the other part of me considers it responsibility that those of us left behind not to afraid of talk about the unmentionable act. okay, not the specifics but in general.
some people might not want to discuss it because it might drive someone near the edge over the edge. i say it might take someone near the edge, rattle them just enough, that they take a deep breath and take a step back. the headlines of follow-up acts happen far to frequently. but, again, the headline, “student decides to live after friend’s suicide”, just isn’t sexy and doesn’t sell papers.
let’s face the truth; he didn’t die from suicide, he died from depression or from what ever demons he faced. he faced depression and depression didn’t blink. we who are left behind must understand they likely could not preform a single act or a multitude of acts that would have made a difference. depression represents a formidable foe and deep depression makes it that much harder to defeat.
i also recognize the sensitivity i need to show in a situation like this. i recognize the buckets full of guilt that people will be feeling. they likely won’t hear the message that it’s not their fault because guilt holds hands over their ears and won’t let the message through. hearing a message different from i could have made a difference might be too hard to hear and therefore cause even greater pain.
so, i again find myself in a damned if i do, damned if i don’t, situation. care to comment? i would much appreciate that.