For some reason, my father's suicide (1983) has been coming to mind lately. It is an important topic that extends far beyond Suicide Prevention Week in September. In this entry, I share some of my story with a reprint from my first blog, Promoting Life As A Roman Catholic.
My Dad tried it. I tried it. He used a belt. I used pills. He physically cut off oxygen to his brain. I chemically cut it off. He succeeded and died. I failed and lived.
He was 45 years old when he completed suicide. I was in my 30's when I tried. He was depressed. So was I. He was alone in his apartment. So was I. He didn't come back. I did. I woke up and went to the hospital, where I recounted my story. My days and dates didn't match those of the staff. We eventually figured out that I was passed out for two days before I came to. No one knew I was there.
Our outsides didn't match our insides. My father and I were both smart. One time in school, he advanced two grades. And then he did it again another year. I was salutatorian of my high school class. They voted me Most Intelligent and Most Likely to Succeed. I was first in my college chemical engineering class, Summa Cum Laude, and often first in my groups in the corporate work world.
My Dad was acrobatic and did diving and stunts. I was a gymnast. He had six wonderful children. I had two. Suicide is real. I could give you statistics, but I won't. Real people, real problems. One of my cousins also tried suicide. Like my father, he succeeded. Real people, real problems.
If anyone tells you they don't want to live or they tell you they have a plan, take them seriously. They are indirectly crying for help, something neither my father nor I did at the time. Call a suicide help line, or call 911 if you have to. Get help.
And please remember - people considering Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide need help to. They are no more in their "right minds" than people doing it on their own. They are all missing God in their lives, as well as the truth about the power of suffering when it is united to Christ on the Cross. How many souls can be saved!
I'm guessing many people did a lot of redemptive suffering to save my soul. Thanks to them, the predictions of my high school class have come true. I am indeed intelligent, and now I am quite successful - from God's point of view. Peace.
Reprint from my first blog, Promoting Live As A Roman Catholic, August 28, 2007.
People often walk around contemplating suicide and suffering inside for a long time, before they get help or before they act on it. Here are some resources for them, their friends and their families.
Recognizing the Warning Signs of Suicide - http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide
Suicide Prevention, Awareness and Support - http://www.suicide.org/
Suicide Warning Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Facts, Treatment and Statistics - http://www.medicinenet.com/suicide/article.htm
Thinking About Suicide? - http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/thinking-about-suicide
Suicide Attempt Survivors - http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/suicide-attempt-survivors
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