This is a song about somebody else, So don’t worry yourself, worry yourself, The devil’s right there right there in the details, And you don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself, Put your arms around somebody else, Don’t punish yourself, punish yourself, Truth is like blood underneath your fingernails, And you don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself, I could be wrong ’bout anybody else, So don’t kid yourself, kid yourself, It’s you right there, right there in the mirror, And you don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself, Looking too closely, Looking too closely – Fink
A month ago a women drove to the apartment of her estranged husbands girlfriend along with her two small children. She shot and killed the girlfriend in the parking deck of the apartment complex. She then drove seven miles, parked her car and killed her two children and herself.
Our local television station posted her suicide note yesterday;
To my parents and my sister, I am so sorry for the pain I am causing all of you. You’ve all always been there for me and I love you all so much. I know what I have done is selfish, but I cannot live with this pain any longer. I just cannot handle it. It is too much. It hurts too much. I will no longer be in pain and my children will no longer hurt either. I am so sorry. I love you all.
To Nate, I don’t know what to say. You gave me my first child. I will forever be greatful because of you. I never meant to cause you as much pain as this. I am sorry.
To Ben, you have caused me more pain than I’ve ever been in my life. You have caused my children pain. I hate you. I hope you rot one day for what you have done to me and my kids. You can no longer hurt us. We are at peace. I hope you live with pain and shame and guilt for the rest of your life.
The television station has taken some heat for making this note public. I understand that. This is and was a very painful event for the survivors. Honestly, I can’t even fathom the hurt and pain they are going through, the hurt and pain they will go through for the rest of their lives.
But this story, this event, this woman’s decision affected many more lives than just her family and friends, it affected mine as well. I didn’t know her. I don’t know anyone that knows her. But I know hurt and pain, I have experienced both and have caused both for people I love.
When I heard about this on the news hurt and pain flooded my soul, as a son, as a husband and the hardest, as a father.
I have written about suicide on several occasions over the last two years. Suicide has touched my life more times than I care to remember. But I do remember, I remember the hurt and pain each one caused and what I also remember is the amount collateral damage each suicide caused. This woman was going for collateral damage and sadly, for all involved, she accomplished it.
The news outlets spent a week answering the who, what, where, when, and how and speculated on the why. Her suicide note answered the why though I probably didn’t need to read her note to guess the why and what was going on her in life, I could read between the lines.
I have struggled with this woman’s actions and wrote about some of the issues I was dealing with back in July (What God knows). In the paragraph above I state that the “suicide note answered the why” which I guess in some small part it did, but my problem, my question is the much bigger WHY, why she thought this was the correct course of action, WHY.
As you can imagine many of the Facebook comments about this woman have been very brutal, christian people, or at least people who think they are christian have written some of the ugliest comments and again I ask myself WHY. Maybe they write out of fear, fear that they don’t have all the answers they think they thought they had. Maybe they write out of arrogance, that their “Faith” gives them some kind of protective shield that would prevent them from ever committing such a heinous act. Or maybe it is just ignorance, they don’t know what the hell they believe or how to articulate it they just know, somehow, that they are right and the rest of us, the rest of us doomed souls are wrong.
I could continue to write another 10,000 words here and I know I won’t get any closer to the answer or the truth. If you feel so compelled to offer a comment to my post in the vein of “God knows the answer” please save your breath, my brain cells and the time it takes my two fingers to type a response to blow-up your bullshit. Here is the bottom line, this woman needed help, my friend Tom needed help, my friend Steve needed help. God doesn’t have an answer or a response. God didn’t predict this. God didn’t let this happen. God couldn’t have prevented this. God had nothing to do with this.
As I have written before, I don’t fully understand the demons of depression though I have had a moment in my life where I stood toe to toe staring this tiger in the face with the same thought that life would be better for those around me without me in it. I am thankful, beyond thankful, that I won that staring contest. If you or someone you know is dealing with these same struggles, please, please talk to someone and get help. There is no shame in asking for help, we all need help sometimes. Our families, our friends, our community want and need us here, I know they do. I have seen it their eyes and I have felt it in my heart.
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” – Phil Donahue