A man I knew killed himself this week. Apparently things had gone too far financially and he didn’t see any other way to solve his problems. I didn’t know him well, as we did some volunteer work together, but I find myself feeling a great deal of empathy for him.
I have glimpsed how he may have felt. There have been times in my life that I felt hopeless and so completely out of control over the overwhelming problems I believed I had that I fantasized that I could maybe die my way out of it.
In 1992 I was very ill, and so miserable that many days I just wanted to die. I crawled my way out of that illness, and each day I felt a tiny bit better, I was grateful for my life. My son was only in his early twenties then, and I couldn’t fathom not being around for him, so actual death wasn’t really an option, but I did play with the idea.
I find myself wondering if as many women take that option as men? Do some women feel more connected to their children and are therefore less likely to abandon them–even if they are adults–in this way? I don’t know the statistics, but I do know that the two things that kept me going in my moments of despair were my son and my friends.
Do men have the same support from friends as women do? Was that a factor for this man? I can’t know what was in his mind. But I appreciate him for reminding me how important I feel life is, and how grateful I am that I have found ways to move through what seem to be impossible times and keep going.