Wished For “The Moment”


Today, I learned about a tragedy that occurred in the life of a woman who had a profound impact on T.D.’s growth and development. She helped our family so much, and even helped me, though she was not my therapist. She was T.D.’s Developmental Therapist from Early Intervention and came into our home and lives every week for nearly a year. And she is one of the few absolutely saintly people I can say that I know.

Dev fell in love with a man three years ago that was in Medical School. His reserve unit was called out, so he had to drop out of school in his 3rd year. He did a tour of Iraq jumping out of a rescue chopper as a medic.

When he came home, the PTSD was crippling and he couldn’t return to his life. The VA alleged he didn’t finish his tour, so he wasn’t entitled to benefits. Dev loved this man with all of her heart and soul. But, he was living in extreme poverty without access to adequate psychiatric services.

The PTSD was too much. He took his life.

I have been a friend to several people who have taken their lives. In every case, they did not have access to adequate psychiatric care.

I have been on both sides of this. I know what it’s like to be overtaken by an illness. The pit is dark and dangerous when you’re dodging the pendulum. And, I also know what it’s like to feel the profound loss and sadness of a suicide survivor.

But, there’s a unique view that a person has from standing on both sides of that fence. From the one with the handful of pills to the other in a casket.

I feel an overwhelming empathy for the victim. I always wish that they could’ve had an extra few minutes to get to The Moment. The Moment has always come at, what seemed to be, excellent timing. It was always a millisecond of mental clarity that produced a phrase or a feeling that would stop me. If they could have hung on, just one more minute…

The loss is unspeakable. Death before due time is always tragic. But, it’s never more tragic than when it’s at one’s own hand. Friends and family are choked with profound emotion they never knew they had. And who do they blame? There is no definitive perpetrator in a suicide.

I’m not sure that a person can truly know their way around suicide at all. It’s confounding because it violates all self-preservational instincts. There are no distinct causes and effects of suicide. Why does one person only attempt a suicide and another succeeds?

In all fairness, I should probably be dead. I won’t go into all of the gory details of every attempt. This is a situation I call the Heath Ledger Paradox. My last attempt, over a year ago, involved an attempted overdose and intentional drug interactions. How is it that Heath Ledger can do it by accident and other’s can’t manage to do it on purpose?

The Moment is the only thing I can even think of.

My heart weeps and heaves at the subject of suicide. I mourn with the mothers over their children and the wives of deceased husbands. I am a mother and a wife; there is nothing more precious in the universe than my family. People are not made of materials. They cannot be manufactured and replaced.

For everyone out there that might feel suicidal – hang on!!! There is help. You won’t feel this way forever. Call someone. Call anyone. If you don’t feel like you can, call a suicide hotline. They are there to help. The link provided lists national and state hotlines in the US. Don’t wait.

For suicide survivors – I cannot even pretend to imagine what it would be to lose a loved one in that way. I know the way I feel about my loved ones. I would be devastated. I can only say that I deeply sympathize with you.

And with all of the love in my heart for my fellow bloggers, let us be honest with each other, in the very least. You are not alone. You don’t have to be in that dark place alone. We are here as a community to help. If anyone feels suicidal, speak up. I promise to do the same.

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5 thoughts on “Wished For “The Moment”

  1. Lulu, this is perhaps the most painfully eloquent and beautiful thing you have ever written (which I have had the opportunity to read). I have never been that close, either to the act of suicide of having that of someone I know affect me, so I can only imagine. I guess in this I am doubly blessed.

      • Funny, I read it that way anyway. LOL, no worries.

        Thank you so much for your encouragement and praise. Suicide is a rousing topic for me. It stirs so much emotion from so many angles that it’s difficult to process. It is a touchy subject, and I don’t intend on losing anyone else to it. I want people to know that no matter what happens, suicide is not the solution. Even if it’s a thought, urge, or irresistable impulse, it’s not the solution.

        No one can never fill in that blank. What if there was one more minute? What if I just held in there one more day? Would things have turned around?

        So I say live. Live for today, live for tomorrow. Live for yourself. Live because you were blessed with the gift of life. Live because you can, even if you don’t know if you can bear it anymore. Live for the unknowns. LIve for those you love. Live because you have this life to live, and it’s like leaving the theater when the movie looks bad. You may never know how it turns out.

  2. Lulu, what a clear, insightful, beautifully written piece! Unfortunately, I’ve had plenty of experience with suicide and lots of time to think about it. Your essay says it all. ALL of it. I hope with all my heart that neither you nor I nor our children or friends or loved ones ever, ever have to think about suicide again. I pray that all of us have access to help when we need it, and that every one of us takes the time to just take that one more breath and hang on, just keep on keepin’ on. Thank you, Lulu, for being you and putting this truth out here for those of us who need it every moment.

    • I want those who need it to be able to get it at the moment that they need it. I want them to read it now in their moments of conscious thinking to attempt to have that mitigating moment of clarity later on. If this can be rememberred, and one person decides to live, then I’ve done what I intended to do. I think it could help a person in the throes of suicidal ideation to know that there is someone across the city, state, country, world, that is thinking of them at that exact moment and pleads with them to choose life.

      Choose life. Yes, it’s hard. I can’t say what’s going to happen for sure. But I can tell you that it’s a hell of a ride, sometimes for better and worse. It’s painful, but it’s beautiful at the same time. It’s worth it.

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