When you commit to a plan of suicide…
…and I mean fully commit. I mean not just the method and means or timing, but also the details of how people might find you, how you can control the dissemination of that information, if you can give a final word or meaningful act. When you begin to crystalize the plans down to what will happen not just in sequence but also minute by minute. When you begin to contemplate how your death will impact people. When you decide to destroy worlds, dramatically shift lives, and alter timelines. When you pour over how everything about your very personal life might become public, including the hundreds of god awful blogs you have written that are sitting in a file named “never use”.
When you get to that level of planning, something dramatic distorts the way you experience your life. You become uncomfortably aware of your surroundings. You try to suck in as much detail and as much life out of your lackluster life as is possible.
You stare at your daughter’s face while she sings, while she isn’t aware you are paying attention to her.
You concentrate on the way the air moves through your hair while you drive.
You tell everyone you know you won’t ever see again a silent goodbye, wish them luck and happiness in their life, and hope they will stay in your children’s lives.
I tend to find myself obsessed with the idea that everyone my daughter loves will have to work hard to make sure she maximizes all her amazing potential. And I mean both her ability to achieve success and her ability to find happiness. She has deep wells of talent for both, but she is young, and she needs help to develop into who she can become. I secretly beg everyone I know to help her, to show her love and compassion and warmth and strength.
I also desperately need my daughter to know how much I love her. She is my entire world. I want people to remind her all the time how much I love her. I want people to tell her stories about how much fun she had with me, how much I made her laugh, how much we played and worked and grew together. I need her to know just that much about me. I don’t ever want her to question that about me. She is the most important anything in my life.
A very common refrain amongst people who attempt suicide is that they feel lonely, that their death wouldn’t matter. And this is usually answered by talking about how upset everyone would be by the death. But this doesn’t get to the core of that loneliness. Most suicidal people can understand that people will cry and will go to their funeral and phrases like “such a shame” will be thrown around. What the suicidal person is all too acutely aware of is that all those strong emotions at the beginning will fade away, maybe quickly. And the fear is that once people get back into their routine life, they will find it unaffected by the loss.
Worse yet, many suicidal people believe that once the initial shock goes away, people will find their daily life positively impacted by the absence.
Sadly, this would be the case with my wife and daughter and son. Once life got back to normal after my passing, they would find themselves happier than ever. No longer would their daily lives be drawn into darkness by my anger, bad moods, and lack of any meaningful contribution. They could fill my place with other people or another man; a better man, more capable, more apt to raise my children how they should be raised and to treat my wife how she should be treated.
Sometimes the mistakes you make in life can have dire consequences. I suppose those of us that manage to get a few days to take it all in a final time should feel thankful that at least we get that much.