Suicide-Why Is This Happening All Around Us?

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Suicide is a sad thing for everyone. It may be totally unexpected, it might even be accidental as when an individual takes too many prescription drugs when under the influence of alcohol. I went to a funeral of a young family member who committed suicide and I can still remember watching his poor son look in the casket and just stare. The room was silent, of course, all of us were crying thinking of his only child wishing his dad was still here.

Within the last month I heard about friends who have lost family members to suicide or accidental overdoses from drugs. It doesn’t matter how they died, they were hurting inside and needed help. We as family members and friends ache for them.

The reason I want to address this topic today is because it could happen to any of us. As we picture all the front doors in our neighborhood we seem to think everything is wonderful and fabulous behind that wooden door with the cute doorknob. Maybe a wreath is hanging on the door with a welcome sign attached to the door. What we don’t know is what each family in the neighborhood is going through as they face the daily challenges of kids, jobs, health and financial issues.

I don’t want this to be a gloom and doom article. This is about real people needing to be prepared for the unexpected. I have dealt with older couples in my previous job assignment when one of them died (not suicide) and the other didn’t know where the bank statements were or how to use a debit card. The wife had never filled her car with gas. Now she has to learn to be independent at 70 years of age.

I have seen electricity meters shut off or removed from a house because the single widow now didn’t know how to pay the electric bill and the utility company cut off her service. I want to talk about this because I used to teach people how to get out of debt and get their affairs in order so they are prepared for whatever might happen to them. We often talk about planning ahead for the kid’s college expenses, our own personal retirement, or setting aside funds to help out our parents when they may need our financial help. These are all worthy goals, and like the educational savings plans most states have, often the government even supports these effort so some extent. What I’m suggesting is that it may be prudent to not only have the proper insurance to cover things like disability, long term care and other challenging health challenges, but also to have funds set aside to cover the myriad of situations you and your family may find come your way.  We Americans have for many years been negative savers, meaning we not only don’t save, but we find ourselves in debt beyond what is prudent.  If we tried diligently to put some funds away for “whatever” we might experience down the road the unexpected event won’t be so devastating.  The funds saved may not end up being used for things you had expected or planned for, yet they provided at least some of the financial support needed to get through the initial tough times, and maybe even for longer term help.

I was prompted to write this article today is because I have been thinking about a young woman who lost her husband unexpectedly a few months ago. She has several children, all under the age of ten. Some men or women handle all the family finances without dialogue with the spouse or adult children, that was the case with this family. If you were to lose your spouse or partner today do you know what is due or where to pay the household bills? I realize some people have separate accounts. I get that, but death doesn’t get that. The bills still need to be paid.

The driveway has to be shoveled when it snows, the yard needs to be mowed, the car needs to be serviced, the children’s homework is still there to be done. Some of the physical things you can let slip or neighbors and family will step in and help the one left behindThis post is for young families, middle age people and grandparents. I really want to talk about preparing yourself for the unexpected.

We Are Never Prepared For Suicide:

1. loss of the family member or friend is the first thing

2. burial expenses-they are not always planned and paid for in advance

3. loss of income-if the person is the main bread winner

4. the remaining partner, spouse or other family members now need start a job or return to work

5. if there are young children, daycare is now needed

6. life insurance proceeds available-yes or no?

7. if the death is a child, we never expect our children to die before us

Suicide-Possible Explanations:

1. I personally don’t think there is any one answer

2. health issues-mentally or physically

3. they can’t stop the pain

4. the sadness won’t go away

5. they can’t see any way to fix it-whatever they are feeling

6. they are unable to sleep or eat

7. they do not feel any self-worth

8. they think something they have done is unforgivable

9. they are being bullied and think it will never stop

10. they are depressed or have high anxiety issues

I still remember two friends from years years ago and what we all went through when their babies died shortly after their birth. I had just given birth to my second daughter. I was young, immature and didn’t know what to say to them. So I didn’t say anything. I regret that to this day, and that’s been 40+ years ago. I wish I had reached out to them and hugged them. And hugged them again. I know this has nothing to do with suicide but death makes us freeze sometimes. I did anyway.

Some Things We May Not Want To Say after Someone Dies:

1. he or she is in a better place…

2. I know how you feel OR I understand (you may not know unless you were in a similar situation)

3. you’re strong, you can get through this

4. thank goodness you have other children

5. you have so much to be thankful for

6. don’t feel bad

7. don’t cry

8. it’s God’s will

Please Do Not Ask Personal Questions:

1. was a note left behind

2. how did she or he do it

3. did you have to clean up the area

Some Things You May Want To Say:

1. I’m here for you.

2. How can I help you today? Can I run some errands or bring you lunch?

3. I am so sorry for your loss.

4. I love you and I will pray for your family.

5. Hugs say more than words….

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has had to deal with a death or suicide in their family. May God bless you and your entire family.

 

Please get your affairs in order, make a plan and put it in motion. You may want to download my inexpensive but very comprehensive emergency binder contents to fill out this weekend. Not next month…..this will help with your plan to be prepared: Emergency Binder Printables by FoodStorageMoms. You can print them on cardstock and put in your own binder to keep all your important documents in one place.

Important Documents Emergency Contents

Suicide Prevention Lifeline : Suicide Prevention Lifeline.org. Please note** I took some of the examples above from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.

CDC-Suicide vs. Homicide Stats: (2010) CDC Stats Suicide vs. Homicide 2010.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255

 

Subscribe To My Posts:

10 thoughts on “Suicide-Why Is This Happening All Around Us?

  • June 5, 2015 at 11:00 am
    Permalink

    My great-grandfather committed suicide, 1-27-81. Seventeen years after he told me he was going to do it. When I was just 6 years old. When I tried to tell others, they all told me that it would never happen, that he didn’t mean it. I was his first great-grandchild,and was expecting his third great-great grandchild, when he sent his wife back into the house for some reason, and shot himself. It was a Tuesday, and my youngest daughter was born the following Tuesday, earlier than she should have been. For years I was so angry. Now suffering the same health problems, I understand the need to stop the pain. Though I would never choose his actions as my own, I can say I’m no longer angry at him. Just his choice to end it.

    Reply
    • June 5, 2015 at 11:21 am
      Permalink

      Hi Jonnie, this story breaks my heart. I am so sorry for you and your family. We really need to be aware and listen to others about this very thing. I actually wrote this article a few months ago because my heart was broken over a few suicides of friends. Mental health, physical health, the economy is in trouble for whatever reason these people were hurting deep inside. We need to help each other through these tough times. Hopefully we will all recognize someone who needs help and they will accept the help they need. Thanks for sharing Jonnie. Blessings to you and your family, Linda

      Reply
  • June 5, 2015 at 7:50 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you for writing about this. Suicide is a forbidden subject that needs to be let out of the closet and discussed. Thankfully I have not had suicide touch my life, but I have friends who have lost loved ones through suicide prior to me knowing them. So incredibly hurtful to those left behind. It leaves a permanent hurt on the family and friends.

    Reply
    • June 5, 2015 at 9:18 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Susan, I really hesitated writing this post. I wanted to open the closet like you said and get people to talk about it or at least think about talking with people. Thanks so much for commenting. I was shocked when i read that suicide numbers are higher than homicides in some cases. The only data reported was from 2010. So sad for those left behind, blessings to you Linda

      Reply
  • June 6, 2015 at 11:20 am
    Permalink

    Linda I am glad you were led to write this. Suicide has touched my life quite a few times. It is never easy to talk to your children about why their classmate chose this path. Sometimes it is an impulse or experimenting with the wrong things. We again had this the past week when our neighbor’s 14 year old daughter ended her life. I know this wasn’t the main point of why you wrote the piece but we do need to be prepared for all types of sudden death. The sudden death of a child from accident or suicide will devastate a family for a long time. Better to have all your other parts of life in order so people can help with the mundane bill paying and all that if you need a mental break after a shock.

    Reply
    • June 6, 2015 at 11:43 am
      Permalink

      Hi my friend, Janet this was a very hard article for me to write but I just had to do it. I have seen the devastation it does to families whether it’s the spouse, the child or parent. The heartbreak never goes away. Our friends and family members who have lost siblings or children to suicide or accidental overdosing always question themselves why it happened to them. Some have survived the attempt most have not. They grieve then they question themselves and others…then they sometimes get angry because they left them with bills, funeral bills, mortgage bills, etc. The other spouse must find daycare and go back to work. They have had to hire attorneys to try and get what insurance money they thought they had. We need to bring this terrible “path” out of the closet and talk, talk, and talk some more about it. Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • June 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm
    Permalink

    Linda – You have written an important article on a taboo subject. No one is ever prepared to face a family member or friend’s suicide head on. It is so sad and makes one feel so helpless.

    That said, who has not felt at one time or another that “it is all too much”. For most of us, those thoughts are fleeting. And for everyone else, please reach out for support via your local crisis center or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline mentioned in the article.

    Reply
    • June 7, 2015 at 7:28 am
      Permalink

      Hi Gaye, I had written this post a few months ago and then two more suicides happened very close to me. I thought I have to say something now. I was surprised to see more suicides happen than homicides (data only to 2010). I am sure the numbers are even higher now. That’s just not right. Suicide whether accidental or intentional hurts the ones left behind. My heart aches for those young mothers trying to explain why daddy is no longer here. I can’t imagine a mother or father burying their child before they should have to bury them. Linda

      Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 6:41 pm
    Permalink

    My husband and I help to provide for Bravo Base, a military style camp for homeless veterans and other at risk individuals in Tucson, AZ. There are 22 veteran suicides a day plus 1 active duty military suicide in the USA – every day. Bravo Base serves to educate about this and provide a place for the homeless to be able to connect to benefits in the effort to prevent suicide. Many families and individuals help to provide food, clothing, and blankets/cots, etc for Bravo Base. It has a great success rate. Before becoming involved with Bravo Base, we had no idea that there were that many suicides among veterans. Always a shame to loose a precious life.

    Reply
    • September 30, 2018 at 8:49 pm
      Permalink

      OH, Carol, this program sounds awesome! In Utah, we have a suicide every 16 hours, from 8 years old and up. I don’t know about the Veterans, these are just people who are not Veteran specified. We have two high schools, one with 6 suicides this year and another high school who had 7 suicides last year. I know a woman who started “See Your Strength” on Instagram, Facebook, etc. who sells mirror decals to make the youth more aware of their worth. She herself is a suicide survivor. Here is a link to her website, she is helping the world through school decals across the nation. https://seeyourstrength.com/ May God bless you for your efforts, Linda

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *