When you get the suicide note.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
    Earlier this morning when I opened my email, awaiting me was a note from a colleague informing me of another's colleague suicide note. When I looked deeper into my own inbox, there from Saturday was the note. I opened the note skimmed it, and went into crisis management mode. My work over the next hour and a half has been to seek out and collect any contact information for my friend "Richard", and to notify the San Francisco Police Department.

    About half an hour ago, after doing what I could to address this exigent circumstance, I finally gave the email, and two attachments a thorough read.

    I'm numb right now. My friend Richard has very carefully thought out and communicated his decision to direct his own exodus. in his note, he names three people...and one of them is me. In that note, he apologizes for not being able to complete the good work which we had been planning together. He goes further to quote my signature "Be Well" signature line.

    I have never received a note like this before, let alone one which left a message to me.

    His note was not one of hatred, nor of anger. My feelings are mixed. His note is lucid and logical. Yet, I am left with a deep sense of loss, and with a feeling of how could I have missed catching him and pulling him back from his decision.

    We had so much good work left to do together. I am feeling empty and sad that we will never have the chance to bring that great work to fruition together.

    Please, if you ever think that you're growing tired of going through the "365 day cycles around the sun", think twice before you choose to opt out. There are so many of us who really love you and wish you could have just stuck around a little bit longer despite the war and the ugliness of the world. Together we could have turned the tide and created beauty and hope for the generations to come, despite our experiences of the worst which the world may present.

    Dear God, please forgive Richard for his choice. I want to see him again on the other side. Please, God, forgive him.

    Aloha and Be Well, Richard wherever you may be. You made a difference in my life. I hope I made a difference in yours.
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:17 PM GMT
    *hugs* I'm so sorry for your loss. I've lost several friends and relatives to this situation. Those feelings you described are normal for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. Don't blame yourself for not catching it, or berate yourself for not recognizing a possible sign. People can be deceptively strong, but still feel angry and lost inside. My own cousin's suicide was particularly hard, as he was amongst the healthiest and most outgoing in our extended family. The best thing you can do is be amongst your friends and family, and draw what strength and support you can from them. icon_cry.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:24 PM GMT
    I can't really say anything to make you feel better immediately other than how sorry I am for the loss and that you received the suicide note with your name specifically mentioned. I can't begin to imagine the range of emotions you're feeling over this. I feel sorry that the guy was in so much pain that he chose an early exit.

    I wish I could give you a big twinkie hug right now.
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:34 PM GMT
    Sending a big hug your way.
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:35 PM GMT
    icon_sad.gif i'm sorry about you're loss, i hope you feel bettericon_sad.gif

    big huge to youicon_smile.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:37 PM GMT
    Sorry for what you're going through. I've been there too. There is a lot of emotional reaction to process, but in the end, you should not accept any lingering guilt. Your friend (if indeed he is gone) made the decisions on his own. I found it helpful to think of the situation more in terms of a learning experience than a guilt trip.
  • eckilegs

    Posts: 223

    Jan 16, 2012 9:38 PM GMT

    Very sorry for your loss man. That's really rough. icon_cry.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:47 PM GMT
    icon_sad.gif Oh wow. I have no idea how you must be feeling right now. Sorry you have to go through this. Stay strong.
  • SomeSiciliano...

    Posts: 543

    Jan 16, 2012 9:50 PM GMT

    WOW....I cant even begin to imagine what you are dealing with. Here is another E-hug from afar. Try and talk it out with someone IRL. Be well.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11644

    Jan 16, 2012 9:55 PM GMT
    You obviously did make a difference to Richard. He thought of you at the very end. In your sadness, try to remember the good that you had together and how much you enjoyed him as a friend. Perhaps you will be able to do something good for someone else in his memory.
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    Jan 16, 2012 10:03 PM GMT
    There is nothing for God to forgive--mental illness is no one's fault, and suicide is never logical.

    I've been there... to the edge... where reality is twisted, and judgement is clouded, and the only reasonable choice is to end the suffering. Although I did not know it at the time, I now know the hell I would have put my family through.

    Suicide is not an act based in selfishness but rather despair, emptiness, and hatred.

    *hugs* icon_cry.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 10:13 PM GMT
    I once had a school mate call me and a few ppl up asking about lethal doses of some sleeping pill

    I wasnt very perturbed.. one of my friends was able to help her get to a psychiatric hospital, where she stayed and received treatment.... I called her, quite calmly, just to talk and chitchat and how she was feeling.. I was later told that she really appreciated how rather normally i took the the whole situation because it made her feel less judged and was better able to accept herself that way....

    Another one was my cousin who had slashed his arm open.. he wasn't able to bleed to death, but I saw him a week or so later, after I had heard of the incident and he had returned from treatment... I just looked at his wounds like I look at any other wounds and asked him calmly why, no judgement, no worries nothing.. he was also surprised at how easily I accepted his feelings and behaviour.... no point in judging.. they seem to be out of sorts.. we all are at some point in our lives
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Jan 16, 2012 10:24 PM GMT
    First, I am going to say I am sorry to hear about your friend. Second,
    I usually get upset when people seem to think people copped out by committing suicide. However, I am tired of fighting this battle. I will just say this to you buddy. Why is it when someone has a terminal illness and people want to end there life no one says no you have to stay with us. But if someone is sick and tired of living a life that is unhappy for them. And want to end there life people call them cowards and criticize them for being strong enough to take there own life. I do not people understand that its there choice to decide when it is there time. I comment the people who decide to take there life. Why go on being miserable for the rest of your life. The only time I think it is a shame is when you are young because you have so much life left to live. Or if you have a family. Meaning you are married with children or you have a partner. Those are the only times I think it is not right because you now leave people behind whom will never understand why you could not allow them to help you through with whatever you are going through. Anyhow, I am sure others feel like the same thing can be said for single people as well but I disagree. Anyhow, that's my two cents
  • HorrorHound

    Posts: 1435

    Jan 16, 2012 10:30 PM GMT
    I'm sorry to hear about your friend/colleague & of this situation. Its heartbreaking.

    It bothers me however when others remark or suggest the person who's been suffering & opted out is "not in heaven" - I mean, how would you know that?

    If I close bud of mine took his life - the LAST thing I'd suggest or think that he's suffering longer in hell.
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    Jan 16, 2012 10:32 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidBeen there...feeling the pain all over again. Big hugs.
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    Jan 16, 2012 10:42 PM GMT
    I am terribly sorry for your loss
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    Jan 16, 2012 10:52 PM GMT
    What a shocker! Sorry for your pain.

    Death is awesome. The person is here and then he isn't.

    Maybe I can understand his calmness. When I made the decision to quit my cancer therapy early cuz I couldnt take the side effects anymore, I made the decision knowing the I could be deciding to die. It didnt bother me in the least. When life gets too miserable, deciding to end it is a no-brainer. It wasnt "oh boo hoo, I'm gonna die." It was "oh thank god, get me out of this. One way or another. I cant to take it anymore."
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    Jan 16, 2012 10:53 PM GMT
    God I'm so sorry. Hope you are coping ok and that friends are providing support for you. Have a whiskey on me.
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    Jan 16, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    I have to echo the others' sentiments. I'm so very sorry you have to go through this.

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4999

    Jan 16, 2012 11:10 PM GMT
    I almost wept when I read this.

    Many years ago, before my mother was married, one of her brother's killed himself. His younger brother was severely retarded and always seemed to be suffering and unhappy; the older brother couldn't take it any more and killed his younger brother and himself. The newspapers called it a murder-suicide. It was devastating to the family.

    People who commit suicide may be unaware of the suffering it causes to those left behind. Also, unless they felt hopeless, probably they would not kill themselves. It may be that many suicides are disguised as accidents to spare the survivors from suffering in which case suicides may be much more common than we know.

    Unfortunately, we cannot know what is going on in the minds of others and therefore are often unaware of the suffering they are experiencing. Even if we do know, we can't always do anything about it. Even so, we often feel guilty thinking that perhaps we could have done something even if there was nothing that we could have done.

    Fortunately, we do recover from the shock and trauma we experience when we learn about a friend's or relative's suicide, but it is not easy and it takes time.
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    Jan 16, 2012 11:16 PM GMT
    May your memories of him be as a blessing.
  • FS696

    Posts: 131

    Jan 16, 2012 11:19 PM GMT
    i had a friend do this around this time last year but he sent me a text stating he was sorry and he appreciated me as a friend but he could'nt go through life again and you go through alot of mixed feelings when that happens but everything happens for reason and its hard to change a situation like that. luckly my friend mom got to him in time after he slit his wrist but, it is a hard think to explain unless you been there and i have been there twice.
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    Jan 17, 2012 12:14 AM GMT
    Im very sorry for your loss. It can be difficult to wrap your head around. The suddeness of his passing is generally reserved for a car accident or other unfortunate event, it can be hard to imagine somoene willingly choosing to end their own life, even more so if there were no warning signs. My BF committed suicide 3 years ago. It was more surreal because earlier that day he had sent me a message saying we needed to talk that night. A few hours later he, after a conversation with his brother went south, he took a lethal dose of prescription drugs. He phoned our friend shortly afterwards, and was rushed to the hospital but died later that evening. We never got to have our discussion. I now know what he was going to talk to me about, and I think he feared my rejection of him, because his family had rejected him, and his brother had told him to "just kill yourself. Your not part of our family anymore." But he really didn't have to worry about me b/c I loved him. I wish he could have seen that he had people in his life who would do anything for him, and that even if his family rejected him, we wouldn't. If there is one thing I've learned, its that you can't beat yourself up over whether u could have done more or not. Your friend was in alot of pain, and people are good at hiding long term pain. As well, generally once they make up their mind, they reach a very calm, zen like understanding of life. They become happier and peaceful just thinking about how it will soon be over. This can mask the fact that they are suffering. Alot of times, there simply are no warning signs, either things spiral too quickly or the person actively hides the fact, so they won't be stopped. All you can do now is mourn your friend, and remember the good times you shared. Know that he is finally at peace with himself and the world, and that he is no longer suffering from his pain. I know it will be hard, but you will be able to come to peace with this. It's not your fault. This is something that simply is.
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    Jan 17, 2012 12:23 AM GMT
    I'm sorry for your loss and I'm sorry that "Richard" didn't seek help. Suicide takes its toll on everyone involved and I hope you can come to understand that Richard could have asked for help from you but for whatever reason he chose to carry this act out without telling anyone.

    Unfortunately, suicide is highly unpredictable and often the people who complete suicide never tell anyone about their suicidal thoughts. Its hard to imagine how someone could feel so bad about themselves and so hopeless in their state that they decide to end their life.

    Remember to follow your own advice. If you feel like you are having a hard time dealing with his loss, find a good friend to confide in or even seek some bereavement counseling.

    I wish you the best

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    Jan 17, 2012 12:25 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidAloha and Be Well, Richard wherever you may be. You made a difference in my life. I hope I made a difference in yours.

    What confirmation have you received that he successfully carried out his intent?