A woman who is essentially my sister lost her ex-husband about two weeks ago. He took his own life and left behind four children, one yet to set foot on the earth. When I heard the news, I had no idea how to react. That was new for me.
I knew I needed to be there for her, but how was I supposed to alleviate her pain if I could not subdue my own. Granted, my pain was vastly different from hers. My heart was broken and I hurt because I lost someone I knew for over a decade, but also because my best friend lost the love of her life and because my nieces and nephew lost their father.
I knew that pain-the one of growing up without a father. My father was in and out of prison my whole life and I never had a chance to meet him prior to his death in 2004. I would never wish that upon anyone, especially children who cannot understand death quite clearly-but who does even as an adult?
I found a way to support her-I was there. I was just there for her. That was the best I could do and it was more the sufficient for her. I continuously tried to find ways to make things better and even researched ways that I could be a better friend in her time of need-that is where I went wrong. I didn’t need to be a better friend; I just needed to be a friend.
I needed to show her support, love, and dedication. I just needed to continue doing the things I had been doing for the latter half of my life and throughout my friendship with her. That is the advice I would give to anyone-just be there.
Recently stories about teen suicides have been in regrettable and unacceptable abundance. It has been of such concern in the LGBT community that many people with notable names such as President Obama, Senator and current Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, singer Ke$ha, actor Tom Hanks, Actress Anne Hathaway, singer Lady Gaga, comedian Stephen Colbert, style guru Tim Gunn have contributed to the site www.itgetsbetter.org. It is, at it's core, a suicide prevention website. This site allows not just celebrities but perfect, normal strangers to give support to people they do not know and probably never will.
That’s the key and that is what is most important-caring and just being there. Befriend a stranger or someone in need and see what a difference that makes. Whether you have a friend in doubt, in pain, in mourning, or experiencing indecision-JUST BE THERE. It makes a world of difference for you and them.
Here are some links I thought might be helpful for anyone coping with a loved one’s suicide:
Here is a link if you, or someone you know, has suicidal thoughts: