Have you ever lost someone to (apparent) suicide? Up until this weekend, I hadn’t.
It’s a strange feeling. And a devastating one at that.
Not only is there extreme sadness and shock, but I — and I’m sure many others — can’t help but feel guilty. Guilty for having not realized, maybe not paid enough attention…guilty for being so self-involved that we couldn’t see what was degenerating right in front of our eyes.
Over the last few weeks, I noticed she wasn’t as smiley, as happy as usual. She had stopped coming to my classes because she said she was exhausted and hadn’t been sleeping well. I never thought a thing of it.
The last time I saw her, I was coming in to teach my usual Friday evening class. She was leaving, not a smile on her lips, nor a spark in her eye. I didn’t say anything. I don’t remember why. I think I was tired, probably preoccupied with my own life.
A few days later, she disappeared; reported missing to police. A few more after that, her body was found; out, in nature. A place she loved to be.
I don’t know the details about the how, why or when. Maybe it wasn’t a suicide at all? Maybe we’re fooling ourselves with hope.
No matter how she went, there are so many unanswered questions. Did she suffer? Feel relieved? Or maybe she felt nothing at all. The crazy part is, I probably won’t ever know the answers to any of these questions.
Had I known that this is where we would end up, I would have squeezed her so hard that last day and told her how much she is loved.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please reach out for help:
Suicide Action Montreal: 1-866-277-3553
Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645
Centre for Suicide Prevention: 1-833-456-4566
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
If you need immediate assistance, call 911.