What if my dad heard a little piece of great advice, would that have prevented his suicide? What If questions can sure spiral out of control during the grief process, always analyzing different scenarios that could have happened with my dad.
I was watching a show the other day where a doctor sits down with celebrities and other high profile people discussing their health obstacles in life. During the interviews, 2 different people had battled with suicide. But in that moment of wanting to end it, someone stopped them. In one case, the person was ready to just end it. His mental health issue had just gone public and he was so shameful about it. He thought his career and life was over. While in his suicidal thoughts, trying to make a run for it out of the public eye, someone recognized him and thanked him for being open about his struggle. This stranger had the same mental health issue and struggled the same with it. In that moment, this celebrity had a life altering change of outlook in life. He realized he didn’t struggle alone. That many people struggled with the same disease he had. That helped him to move on and use his struggles to help others.
What if my dad was more open about his struggles? Some of his friends had no idea he was mentally struggling. Most were in complete shock. They knew he had health issues but didn’t know how it deeply affected him.
What if someone, either a stranger, family member, or friend, said the right thing and my dad changed his negative thoughts around? I feel guilt that I didn’t say the right things. I wanted to be the one that helped him out of his grief. But I couldn’t.
There’s a couple of hypocritical thoughts I have going on.
First and main thoughts are this: what if our simple connections with others could help save their life? A simple conversation, asking that person how they are doing and truly listening? What about reaching out to those that have a physical ailment, being a life long disease, cancer, etc. Anyone going through physical ailments ALL have mental issues associated with it. Most issues like depression and suicidal thoughts. It is not easy to keep going when your body is failing you and your brain is struggling to find a positive way out. Reach out to people. Even if it’s a simple text. You might even save someone’s life without even knowing it. Reach out to our aging generation. They are so lonely. They too are going through hardships. There body can’t move around like it used to. But their minds are still strong. I called a good friend of mine yesterday. She is 87! Her brain is sharper than mine! She was so very grateful that I thought of her.
Now to my hypocritical thought about my dad. What if this was the way it was supposed to end? That no good thought or no good deed to try and save him was going to help? I’ve had this thought since he passed away. I’ve felt that it was his time, regardless of how his life ended. What if I had to go through this grief struggle to help others? Or help myself? Still, I believe wholeheartedly that we still need to try and help. We still need to help others who are struggling. Why wouldn’t we? I feel like that’s just the humane thing to do. I would hope someone was thinking about me when my life was shattering around me. The joy we get in helping others is like no other. It lifts my spirits knowing I can help someone.
So come what may, but keep trying to help others, and you in turn will help yourself.