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Old 06-13-2017, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Camberville
11,394 posts, read 15,991,510 times
Reputation: 18031

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Last night, one of my oldest friends posted a suicide letter on Facebook. I saw it within moments of his posting and immediately called him, and when I got no answer, called his city's police. Several of his friends did the same, and a local friend jumped in his car and was at my friend's house within 15 minutes. It was already too late - he pulled the trigger seemingly immediately after he posted the note. Even when I called the police, I had a feeling that was the case. He was not one to make a dramatic cry for help hoping for likes or comments: it was his goodbye.

He was almost 31 years old... an Army veteran who joined right after high school graduation because he saw no other option for getting out of the trailer park in Alaska that he grew up in. I remember when he joined having conversations with him that indicated his heart wasn't really in it, but he was hopeful for the chance to go to college and get career training. Instead, he served several tours of duty and returned with PTSD, chronic pain, and skills that were mismatched with civilian life. The last few years have been tough, yet he persevered and went to counseling, tried to better himself, and rose up from menial jobs like working overnight as a stocker at Walmart to a career helping people. Still lowly paid, especially for Alaska's high COL, but better.

And then last night, it was too much and it was over.

This isn't the first loved one I've lost to suicide, but different in that I watched it happen almost in real time. The suicide letter, the phone calls and unviewed text messages, watching his friends leave comments about trying to reach him, up to half an hour later when the friend that went to check on him posted that he was greeted at the door by the police.

He was one of the kindest, generous people I've ever encountered. We knew each other since we were kids and he would always share any news article about me or anything I did with his friends like a proud big brother. His demons wouldn't allow him to see himself the way that everyone else did. In the end, his suicide note penned himself as the villain of his own story, and it breaks my heart knowing his thoughts were that he was useless and hurtful to those around him. To everyone else, he was a loyal friend and trusted confidant. He just never felt like he deserved to confide in us.

I don't really know how to manage my grief. I went to work today and felt like a crazy person, with wildly varying moods and smiling and even laughing as people gave condolences. I have all the pithy, logical lines about not being able to save someone from themselves and nothing could have been done in my head, but that just doesn't feel right, you know? And I'm so haunted by being "there," even if separated by 3000 miles, for his last words.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I'm devastated and don't know how to talk about it.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,838 posts, read 51,286,023 times
Reputation: 27642
"And then last night, it was too much and it was over."

I'm going to cut through the bullsh*t that people use to insulate themselves from someone ending their own life.

It was his life. It was his path through life. It was an experience of life that ultimately became unacceptable to him.

There is no blame. There is no "He should have" or "I should have" or "They should have."

Everyone on the planet eventually dies. He chose to shorten his life. At that point in time, he felt it to be his best option.

We criminalize suicide attempts, largely because we fear death and we fear that anyone can exert control over their own death. I had a friend suicide. I hated that he did it, but I understood his pain. He was not a criminal. His problems were severe, but possibly something that could have been worked through. More importantly to me, he was my friend. He did what he felt he had to do to get peace, and he is still my friend as long as I live.

Grieve, lament that other options didn't seem apparent to him, but always have him as your friend.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
8,853 posts, read 4,823,610 times
Reputation: 7680
Unfortunately, I've had a FB friend do the same, many years ago, with the same kind posting from friends of "Is this a joke" and such.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:38 AM
 
2,953 posts, read 1,388,601 times
Reputation: 5292
May your friend RIP.

We don't do enough for those who keep us safe.

What a shame we feel the top .2 of the 1% need a tax cut. When the money could be spent to help vets get the care they need.

You'll always have him in your heart.

Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe for one day we can forget our first world problems and be thankful there are people who still love this country enough to fight for it.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:33 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
13,341 posts, read 10,898,841 times
Reputation: 12285
Losing someone we care about is hard. The manner in which we lose them oft makes that loss harder to bear. It makes the loss seem so senseless and unnecessary. Suicides can be impossible to understand. The person who takes their life is loved, wanted, needed and yet chooses to just snuff it all out because they feel totally alone. Someone very dear to me went through a suicidal stage after severe trauma. Fortunately I was in the very position to head that off. Poured out my love and sought help, for both of us.


It doesn't always work out thus. It seems that often people commit suicide who we least expect to do so. That makes the shock even more intense. Loss of a loved one is bad enough and the circumstances of that loss contribute greatly to our grief. Having just suffered a recent loss, I completely empathize. All we can do is keep them alive in what's left of our hearts. Best wishes to you.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:10 PM
 
16,785 posts, read 19,628,561 times
Reputation: 33226
Sorry you lost your friend, but he was quiet dramatic.

The friend who drove over there most likely drove like a bat out of hell, putting himself and others at risk.

The police are also on edge, they have no idea when they get a call like that what they're walking into, and are they going to get injured or killed. Someone else could have gotten hurt.

In addition to all the other people who saw it and were helpless to do anything due to distance.

It was his choice, but he could have just left a note.

This could have gone much worse.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:38 PM
 
Location: St Pete
75 posts, read 24,789 times
Reputation: 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
Last night, one of my oldest friends posted a suicide letter on Facebook.

I don't really know how to manage my grief. I went to work today and felt like a crazy person, with wildly varying moods and smiling and even laughing as people gave condolences. I have all the pithy, logical lines about not being able to save someone from themselves and nothing could have been done in my head, but that just doesn't feel right, you know? And I'm so haunted by being "there," even if separated by 3000 miles, for his last words.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I'm devastated and don't know how to talk about it.
I saw a post, that said, Let's cut through the BS, or some such. And then it said that it was his life, and he could check out if he wanted to.

NOPE, wrong answer. It wasn't just his life, it was yours too, and the one's left behind never get over a suicide. My grandfather killed himself, and my mother never could talk about him.

Suicide is never the answer, and it always leads to bad outcomes, because those who knew them are still around. We are made in the image of God and we have God-like traits; one of them being the power of life and death. It is in our tongues, we can kill the spirit of someone, using the tongue.

Mankind can give life or give death, just by speaking. And I figure that he did not get much encouragement from others. But it was a really bad choice to kill himself, all the same. This is one of those things where you have to tough it out.

BTW: I understand the pithy remarks, and the wild swings in mood, I have had them myself. I have had some really bad things happen to me, and it wrecked my emotions. I have to take lithium for manic-depression, because of those things. And, I was all over the map with my emotions, and I am not in possession of my faculties at times. I feel like I stepped into the ring with Jack Dempsey, and got knocked through the ropes.
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:11 PM
 
Location: .N6 A4
3,248 posts, read 4,090,152 times
Reputation: 2625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Motor View Post
I saw a post, that said, Let's cut through the BS, or some such. And then it said that it was his life, and he could check out if he wanted to.

NOPE, wrong answer. It wasn't just his life, it was yours too, and the one's left behind never get over a suicide. My grandfather killed himself, and my mother never could talk about him.
I'm the one who has to live my life--or not--not other people. Other people can try to make a claim to me but I don't take it seriously, certainly not from anyone in my life now, because, again, they aren't the ones who have to live my life if I go on living.

We are thrown into this world without choice. We should have the right to say no to the lives we never asked for.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Boston
3,712 posts, read 1,258,358 times
Reputation: 5732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Motor View Post
NOPE, wrong answer. It wasn't just his life, it was yours too, and the one's left behind never get over a suicide. My grandfather killed himself, and my mother never could talk about him.
.
WHich is why the media very rarely publicize suicides, it only causes more copycats if they think it gets them attention.

Its the single most selfish thing a person can do. Like a person who comes to your house and vomits all over your table and leaves the mess for you to clean up. They cannot see beyond their own self inflicted pain, other peoples peace of mind is secondary.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert, AZ
2,836 posts, read 1,161,584 times
Reputation: 6051
Note to OP - my condolences on the loss of your friend. Nothing else to say.
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