I spoke about this briefly on my Facebook page and got some good feedback.
I have been extremely fortunate in my life to have never been impacted heavily by suicide. To date I’ve never really entertained such thoughts myself. And my immediate family and friends have never died or attempted to die by killing themselves (to my knowledge).
The closest I ever came to having such an experience is this. In high school CALM class, during a test, a classmate leaned over and said, “Please let me look at your paper. If I don’t pass this test I’ll kill myself.” I was 100% intellectually certain that this was BS, but also 100% emotionally terrified that it wasn’t. Who worried about failing CALM? I buckled and moved my arm so my paper was visible. Of course my handwriting is horrendous so the individual likely didn’t garner anything from the attempt.
Only time really.
Which is why I was quite surprised when in two separate instances during the last two days a near stranger has talked to me on this subject. In both cases, the person I was talking to was a caregiver for another person who had recently said they wanted to kill themselves. Quite different circumstances – one is a child who is in near constant physical pain. The other is a senior who is experiencing loneliness and isolation. In neither case do I know the afflicted at all.
I have no experience to relate to help the caregivers. I also freeze up when I can’t give advice to FIX a problem. I mouthed platitudes and felt bad. I do know people who have dealt with suicide. the loss, frustration, anguish and anger they feel strikes my as some of the worst situations to be in possible. I hate being unable to help.
In one case, I think the caregiver was happy just to have a person to talk to. In the other case, the caregiver was looking for advice. I looked up a suicide prevention hotline and indicated that they would likely have lots of advice.
As I ended my Facebook post on the same subject – it seems to me the only concrete action I can take is prayer. I hope my little bit helps.