Saturday, May 13, 2017

Using the Correct Term

                                                           Suicide Term

     Most people who have lost a loved one by suicide are very passionate about using a term that does not stigmatize their loved one.  It is not uncommon to hear in a news report someone use the term "committed suicide."
    My husband and I facilitate a support group for people who have lost love ones by suicide.  Hearing the word "commit" brings out all kinds of negative connotations.  It is used to commit murder, commit robbery, commit adultery or other kinds of wrong doing that signify a crime.  It even goes back to the times when people were committed to asylums.
     Recently an article by Glenn E. Rice had the headline "Man who killed estranged wife commits suicide."
     A person who attempts or dies by suicide is in deep pain and hopelessness and is experiencing mental illness. This does not signify he or she is a criminal.
    Please use the correct term and understand the importance of language. If you had lost a loved one
to suicide, you would want his or her death treated with respect.  Wouldn't you?


Dear Loved Ones,
     Another Mother’s Day and soon it will be Father’s Day that I am not here with all of you. I want you to know I love all of you so very much but I was unable to stay.  I tried hard to be the person who could just let things not bother me and I did so for longer than you know.  I smiled and I laughed at all the things I was supposed to and I even convinced myself that because I was loved so much I could stay. I knew you would be devastated and sad about my leaving but the darkness, despair, and black hole I felt kept pushing me to find peace.
     I know you would have done anything in your power to make life easier for me.  But it wasn’t about you it was about me. I could have gone to another doctor and gotten more medication prescribed and if you remember I did do that many times. For a bit, the medication seemed to work but my mind was so cloudy that I couldn’t even think or process my thoughts.  So, I had to stop and think about whether this was fair to put my family through all this again. 
    Please believe me when I say, this decision was not an easy one nor did I treat it as such.  To never hear your voices again, be a part of a family, enjoy all the holidays, see others in our family get married and have children brought me to question was I doing the right thing? Would I ever be forgiven for my action?
     I know that I caused a lot of worry, anguish, sadness, and caused a great deal of heartache.  If I could take any of my actions back I would. I hope you will remember all the times we did things together and the fun we had.  I will never forget the smiles we had for one another. Some of those crazy things we did that kept us giggling and laughing endlessly.
     However, I want you to know that I could never find peace and contentment in my earthly life.  I could never say the many things I wanted and felt that I let you down so many times even though you told me that it wasn’t so.
    So, I made the decision to go.  Do not cry and be sad that I have left. Please remember all the wonderful things we did and the joy we had in one another.  I am at peace and have found contentment.  When you see a bird, feel the sunshine on your skin, hear the wind rustling through the trees, read a book, listen to music, and enjoy life remember that I am doing that too.  I am just not where you are.  You can serve me well by being kind to each other and loving unconditionally. I am a better person for having you in my life.  May you feel the same way about me.
     As I say goodbye to you now, please enjoy life and all it has to offer. I can see you, I can feel you, and I will always love you.
     Yours forever,