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Suicide, once a constant companion

Let's talk about suicide.

The word carries a deep heaviness, a fear.

It is a topic many avoid talking about,

Especially those who bear the weight of it's shame,

Especially for those who find peace in it's shadows.

The number of people on this planet who pray for death would shock you.

They are all around you

They are your coworkers,

Your bosses,

Your neighbors,

Your friends,

Your cousins,

Your parents,

Your children.

They are the homeless,

The addicted,

The billionaires,

And the famous.

No one is immune from pain,

And pain is why we pray for an escape.

For relief.

For peace.

The deep pain of life pushes one into hopelessness, shame, torment and suffering.

And it is here, consumed by what feels insurmountable, one looks to death as their only hope.

How do I know this?

Because I have walked beside suicide most of my life.

It has been my companion, my friend, my protector.

It has been there, when noone else was.

Suicide was there when I was molested by my father,

Suicide was there when my heart was broken by rejection,

Suicide was there when I lost my family,

Suicide was there when I was drowning in suffering. Lost, alone and in the dark.

Suicide was a constant invitation.

At 17 I accepted the invite...

But something inside me called out.

Something inside me held onto hope.

And so I chose life.

Over and over

I chose life.

I held onto the only anchor I had -

My children.

Sometimes that is all we have...

A single anchor point

A place to hold onto,

Until the darkness fades away.

Until we discover our light.

Over the past 16 years as a mental health worker, I have talked with thousands of people who felt their only way out was death. I have witnessed the deep pain they carried, and helped them release the shame they feel for thinking this way, for wanting to die.

Like fuel to the fire, the shame and judgement around suicide perpetuates the feelings of isolation and hopelessness. While the stigma around human suffering pushes people further into the darkness... into the lonely abyss.

It is not shameful to wish for suffering to end. It is human. It is a natural reaction to pain, to torment.

There is incredible healing to be found in the truth - in the ability to speak one's truth and not feel shame, to not feel judged or feared.

There is a release that happens when you look another human in the eyes and tell them you want to die, and you are met with love, compassion, understanding and gentleness.

Not fear.

Not panic.

Not judgement.

Not shame.

Just love.

Presence and love.

If someone comes to you and tells you they want to die, sit with them.


Be present.

Take all the love, compassion and gentleness within you and wrap them in it.

Envelope them in acceptance.

Witness their tears, their pain, their torment. Be there.

And if you can't do that, help them find someone who will.

If you believe someone is suffering alone, know that reaching out for help is steeped in shame and fear.

When one is drowning in darkness, they cannot see clearly. They are lost, barely holding on.

Reach out to them. Be a lifeline. Be an anchor of hope.

When you find yourself alone, lost in the darkness, praying for death, reach out your hand.

I will be there.

I will sit with you in the darkness, and together, we will discover the light.

Together, we will find your anchor.

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