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I spent my whole Saturday to the funeral of the husband of my wife's school friend. He hung himself last week, totally unexpected, nobody saw that coming. They already had a kid, the second one is 'due' in a couple of months - she's pregnant, to put it clearly ; all in all, I do not see how the situation could be worse for her.
She is completely under the shock, overreacting as were she constantly under cocaine. That funeral was the weirdest moment of my whole life so far (we're all close to our 40s - so church full with young people and kids), completely surreal, I do not think I have fully realized yet. She insisted of kids being there and even organized a part of the funeral with getting the kids involved (she is a school teacher). The image of a small kid with a ball in his hands, looking at the coffin of his father, without even -seemingly - understanding what was going on, is something I will not forget easily.
I was not at all close to him, paradoxically, even if we would go out or met with them from time to time - not a very talkative guy. I think there is nothing to understand in his move, and there is no point in judging.
But the whole situation hits me a lot - if anything, it will from now on revise some of my life priorities.
It's often pretty hard to spot people who are at risk of suicide, most adults are really good at hiding this sort of thing, sometimes you never really know what has tipped them over the edge (and how quickly). One of the things I've heard is that people quite often appear to be getting better (if depression has been the problem) - what's really happened is they've made the decision to kill themselves and this has taken off the burden.
The same sort of thing can happen when someone starts on anti-depressants. Motivation to do something often recovers faster than happiness with the current situation. When someone is in a mental state of 'life isn't worth living, but killing myself would require too much effort to be worth it' starting treatment is dangerous because they start to perk up and then without any apparent warning disaster strikes. This is why people starting on treatment need to be monitored more closely than those who aren't medicated at all.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
The problem is that most people who take their own lives, tend to do it without talking to anyone. The ones who talk about it can often be helped to go on with their lives, and fix what is wrong. See Research report: Men and Suicide | Samaritans[^] - sorry it's UK based, but their may be something similar (Befreinders International?) in your location.
Well, I sort of realized that life can make such a twist at any moment ; I reckon this sounds very very trivial, but to me it was a big slap in the face.
So instead of spending hours at work for (often unpaid) overtime, I will go home earlier and play with my kids.
And talk more often and openly, even if only about daily life problems.