Ed from Riverbend Journal has become something of a fixture around here, for which I am grateful - not only for his comments but his eternal optimism (his job title, granted by myself, as "The Resident Optimist" is certainly not a high paying one but is much appreciated). He is an excellent writer and if you do not already read him, I certainly commend him to your attention.
Thus it was with a growing sense of sadness that I read his most recent post, Trying To Make Sense. He relates that a young woman, a cousin who had visited him and his family last year (I recall the visit as he wrote of it) had gone missing and then was found. It was in fact a suicide.
I leave it to Ed to describe their thoughts and situations; their story is not mine to tell. But it does make me reflect a bit on suicide in general.
I know depression in a way many others do not; for me the black clouds that cling to the mind and body are old acquaintances. At one time - in my late teen age years - I was very much depressed, so much so that I professed an interest in "not going on". In my case it was a cry for help, and it did change many things, including the relationship I had with TB the Elder (less so my mother). It cycled through over the next few years as I went back and forth between colleges and relationships, never quite fitting in with where I was at the time.
I know depression. I know the grinding heaviness of day after day without anything ever seeming to get better or improve - and no hope that it will improve at all. I cannot speak for everyone that deals with this as it is not the sort of thing we readily compare notes about; I do know that from what I read, a lack of hope comes across as one of the defining characteristics of those that make the choice. A lack of hope and existence of pain seemingly so endless and consuming that something - anything - seems less of a risk.
Ed says it far more eloquently than I: "Her last stop had been at a 7/11 where she purchased something before driving to some pay for parking lot somewhere and ending her life. I would be at that 7/11 waiting for her if I could, just to let her know it will get better."
Although I suspect that the bulk of my readers are not in the younger set, I would remiss in saying that my e-mail address is over there on the right. I check it at least once a day. And I bet if something was posted in the comments here, there would be more than an outpouring of support - I know my audience that well, at least.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline