It’s no surprise that I wonder what you were thinking when you decided to commit suicide. I’m past the part of grieving where that question is mingled with resentment or anger. Now, in place of the anger, there is a compassionate curiosity. In those last hours, minutes, moments...what were you thinking? And could anything have changed your mind? If you could do it all again, if you could sit in the dark and feel the bottom of your world crumble and wonder what was left or how could you go on or why you feel so damn alone, would it change your mind to know, firsthand and without a doubt, what this decision would mean? Would it change your mind to know what I know now?
Would it change your mind to know how much your mother weeps for you? Would you think twice after having witnessed the depth of her sorrow from a place where you could not comfort her? Would it give you pause to have seen the light fade ever so slightly from her smile, and realize that you had taken it with you? As a mother myself, the prospect of enduring what your mother has is too painful for words. Words, with their sudden stops and starts and curves and twists, do nothing to justify a mother’s sorrow. I wonder if you would find strength in your desire to shield her from that pain.
Would it change your mind to know that I needed you? The day after you decided to give up, I picked a casket for my sister. The day I laid my sister to rest, your family was picking a casket for you. Would it change your mind to know how raw the edges of my heart felt, knowing you had abandoned me during the most agonizing experience of my life? Would it change your mind to hear the whooshing sound inside my head as the last breath escaped my weary soul upon learning about the choice you made? Would it change your mind to know that your choice to surrender compounded my pain indescribably? I wonder if you would choose to stay and weep with me instead of forcing me to say goodbye to my sister and my best friend in the same week. I wonder if you could find enough love for me to spare me the pain of grieving in two separate, crippling, excruciating ways.
Would it change your mind to know that we saw you, that we recognized your pain? You know now how much we saw, how fully we hurt to see you struggle, and how desperately we wanted to help you. You know now how we, in all our loving ignorance, grasped at straws to find ways to reach you, to grab you and hold on to you, only to find that, clutched in our well-intentioned hands, were wisps of smoke and regret. Would it change your mind to know how much we care? Still, seven years later, we care. I wonder if you would choose, instead, to turn away from the darkness and fall into our embrace. I wonder if you would let us hold you up until you were strong enough again.
Would it change your mind to know that you would be strong enough again? Would it change your mind to realize, fully and wholly, that the darkness was temporary, fleeting, and fickle? The pain you felt, though encompassing and pervasive, was no match for the love we have for you. While the edges of the darkness you tried so hard to fend off seemed to stretch for eternity, it, in fact, never reached past the tips of your outstretched fingers. Solace, reprieve, rest, support were so close. There are places we can go, people we can talk to, peace we can achieve. I know now how to help you; I know now that I can help you! I wonder if, now that you see how finite the battle was, my loyalty and love could strengthen you enough to fight through the war.
Would it change your mind if, in those moments before you choose, I could be with you, sitting next to you with our shoulders pressed together, reminding you of all that you would know now? Would you decide to stay?
Written By: Jessie Rae, contributing member of Suicide Sucks