I lost a friend to suicide in 2020. We had drifted apart a good many years. However, the year before he died, he had contacted me for advice. He was going through something that caused him to question his role in life. He knew some of my own story, and wanted to know how I coped?
I told him I coped because the ‘story’ was only one part of me. Roles did not define me, there was so much more. He sent me a text a while later to say everything had been resolved with a good result. I was delighted and immediately called him, but he did not answer. I heard on the grapevine that indeed all had been resolved for him.
A year later, at the height of the Pandemic, he killed himself. I was going to write that another, more gentle way, but no. That’s what he did. Then, in 2021, I found a ‘suicide’ near where I lived at the time. (No other details out of respect to that person and their family).
Previously I had worked in suicide prevention for 10 years within a government funded community project. I was ‘burnt out’ from the weight of peoples distress. Yet I had escaped loosing anybody that I had worked with. Still I was experiencing a residual trauma from working with traumatised people and dealing with death. Until I got ill. Plus things at home weren’t great and so I left that work behind. Suicide is NEVER an answer. Anyone who considers it seriously, is experiencing a mental breakdown and needs help and support immediately. My heart goes out to them. But I had enough of dealing with death. I was exhausted.
Then in 2020, death seemed to catch up with me. And everything changed again.
Everything can change in a moment.
Whole lives spun out of control.
Because of a fateful decision,
If that’s a solution to a problem,
It’s Not a good one!
There’s always another way.
Sometimes I look down into those black empty spaces.
And I feel the darkness pulling me.
Hands reaching up with beckoning fingers, and Leering faces
Luring me into the Forever Nothingness.
But I look away and turn my gaze to brighter scenes.
You decided the time,
the way to go.
In a moment of madness
Not knowing that the something had to die,
but so not you.
You were sick.
Wetiko had infected you.
And you believed those lies your mind told you.
In a moment of sadness.
You forgot your own beauty.
You’re gone from this Earth and I’m sad for you.
Whenever I see the rich, full, grasses,
swaying in a warm, Summers breeze, I think of you.
Something about the greens of the grass makes me think of life.
Maybe it’s because green is the colour of our hearts too?
I cry for you then.
What joy you’re missing in the simplest of things.
And I wish you were here.
Then I remember …
You are held in the hearts of those that have loved you,
and those that have called you friend.
Encapsulated in their greenness.
Experiencing life through them,
in each time you come to mind.
Expressing joy with them.
And I remember that there is no end.
Next time we’ll do it better
you and I.
As a Soul family.
Next time round you’ll live life to the fullest!
Living out those elder years of wisdom.
And I’ll be happy for you.
Next time there’ll be No sudden endings.”
© Kathy Barenskie 2022