THE HORROR OF SUICIDE #SuicidePrevention

18 CommentsBlogfests, Health and Wellness, Life, Mental Health, Write Tribe

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day

suicide is preventable
[image credit]

Have you personally known someone who committed suicide?  I have……

His name was Erich.
He had a successful career with a multinational manufacturing company.
Erich loved his job, his wife and his little Dachshund. He was a happy man.

One day, his world turned upside down and his heart was broken. Erich’s sweet little dog had to be euthanized at only seven years old, due to a broken spine. She was his baby and he mourned intensely. Af if that wasn’t devastating enough, the spectre of recession reared its ugly head and Erich was unceremoniously dumped by the company. Fortunately, he was hired by a distributor shortly thereafter and seemed to be recovering. The cheery note returned to his voice and he claimed to be content with his new employer. This went on for five years.

Then came the call which shocked everyone. Erich had consumed an entire bottle of cognac and blown his brains out in the garage, with his hunting rifle.  His wife made the grisly discovery when she returned from a family visit. There was no note, but everyone surmised that losing his dog and his job had caused a serious, festering depression that grew over time.

Similar to Robin Williams, nobody knew.

Erich was my boss from 1976 until 1981. When he was let go, the company promoted me to department manager. (Yes, I felt bad about that, but these are the harsh realities of corporate life.) His new job at the distributorship kept us in daily contact by phone and he seemed perfectly normal. Obviously, the alcohol played a large part in his suicide and I always wonder if Erich would have pulled that trigger, had he been sober. Only his wife was privy to his personal demeanour. Business associates had no idea how tormented he truly was.

How does one predict whether or not somebody is at risk to commit suicide, if there are no outward signs? This question has plagued me for years. According to various experts, there are always signs, some of them subtle.

suicide warning signs
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Stay connected to those you love and reach out whenever possible. Most countries have suicide hotlines and if you, or anyone you know may be considering this, do not hesitate to call!

AFRICA
ASIA

EUROPE
NORTH AMERICA
OCEANIA
SOUTH AMERICA

worldwide suicide prevention hotlines
International Assoc. for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

On the one hand, it must take tremendous courage to end your own life. Can you imagine pulling the trigger, slitting your wrists, jumping off a bridge or tall building, poisoning or hanging yourself? How many of us would even have the nerve? The despair has to be incredibly overwhelming and it saddens me to think that anyone could reach such depths. On the other hand, (cases of terminal illness excepted), it is the ultimate act of cowardice and selfishness. Just think of the fallout for those left behind; the horror, the guilt, the agony of loss. Some problems that seem insurmountable, rarely are. Suicide is not the answer!

Written for
Write Tribe’s Voices for Suicide Prevention




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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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18 thoughts on “THE HORROR OF SUICIDE #SuicidePrevention

  1. Each person has a different personality and impossible to anticipate how they will deal with emotions. My parents were very strong and could never give up no matter what came their way. I’m the same way and hopefully I’ve instilled this strength in our children, but you never know…

  2. Like you mentioned, I think it would take amazing courage to commit suicide. I have been on the brink so many times myself but never quite have the courage to go through with it. I have thought of it a lot, but never have gotten far enough to actually do anything about it. I am always stalled by the thought that everything, including me, has a purpose. Nothing is by chance. So if that is the case, I must be meant to be here. One thing that always stops me is…what would become of my kids?? They would have no one. So I can never quite fulfill my own desire to be done.

    1. I’m saddened to know that you have considered suicide, Kathy. 🙁 Yes, you certainly DO have a purpose and you’re DEFINITELY meant to be here! Glad that you’re thinking of your kids. Wish I could come over there and give you a hug…..♥

  3. Hi Debbie,

    Once my friend told me about one guy who tried to commit suicide just because of his girlfriend rejected him. I mean how could he?
    Life is precious but people don’t live it freely. You will find many people who are fed up of their life and think to live no longer.
    It’s not easy to go away from this amazing world but some people can’t understand. I am amazed to know the signs you have mentioned above.

    It’s such an striking one.;)

    Hope you are having happy week.

    ~Ravi

    1. I’m always saddened when people feel so hopeless they want to end their lives. Nothing lasts forever and there are better solutions. Thanks for commenting Ravi and I hope you’re having a good weekend. 🙂 Apologies for the late response.

  4. Oh my goodness what a horrible story. My heart goes out to his family.

    A cousin of mine attempted suicide many years ago over a break-up with a girlfriend. Thankfully his parents took him to the doctor on time and entered him into a treatment facility for help.

    You’re right Debbie, it is important to stay close to our loved ones. Even check in on them or just pick up the phone and call to say hi. That goes a long way.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Hope your week started out great!

    1. So glad your cousin was saved, Corina! I can only imagine the pain Erich’s family must have felt. Those of us who knew him professionally were also shocked, because his demeanour was always jovial. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. Apologies for the late response.

    1. Sorry it upset you, Carol. This is just a generic guideline put out by an anti-suicide organization. Not everyone exhibiting such symptoms is going to attempt suicide. Similarly, not everyone who attempts suicide exhibits those symptoms either. Hopefully, this person you are close to falls into the first category. Crisis hotlines should be able to offer advice if you have concerns. Wishing you all the best! Thanks for visiting.

  5. How tragic about your old boss, Erich! I, too, wonder about how low a person has to get to do such a terrible thing. I’ve been sad and depressed over things but don’t think I could ever kill myself. So hard on those left behind. Absolutely devastating.

    I especially feel sad when I hear about young people killing themselves. You hear about it more and more these days which is so heartbreaking. The aboriginal youth are especially vulnerable. I remember hearing about suicides when we lived up in the Arctic.

    Thanks for the warning signs list and the hotline numbers. Those are very useful and could save a life.

    1. Yes, it was such a shock what happened to Erich. I’ve been depressed on occasion and when I was young, would briefly entertain thoughts of suicide, but only after drinking too much. I couldn’t ever actually do that! Alcohol in large amounts acts as a depressant and I’m sure that’s what happened to my old boss.
      The statistics for young people committing suicide are shockingly high! 🙁 I’ve read that about Aboriginal youth and it seems their lives are terribly bleak. Hopefully, something can be done for them to improve their living conditions. Thanks for visiting, Cathy and sharing your thoughts.

  6. It’s really sad when lives are lost in this manner…And what is left is regret at not being able to know or notice…And as you said suicide also has ripple effects on family members and friends .. So one life lost is equal to many devastated

  7. Sadly, I had a close friend shoot himself, in a parking lot of a grocery store, over a failed relationship. He was a teenager, just three years younger than me… Happily, that is the only time I have ever been close to such action. One is too many, of course, but at the time this happened, I wondered to myself, how I would deal with this again and again, in the future.