On Giving Up

We buried my neighbour today.  On Sunday morning he hanged himself in the stairwell of our apartment building.  He had a wife, children, grandchildren, many friends and was loved, respected and admired by his colleagues.  Recently he became depressed, but refused to get help.  He was always friendly when I saw him.  We chatted just two days before he killed himself.

He had been planning to commit suicide for some time.  He had changed his will.  A few months ago he had a freak accident.  Now everyone believes that was his first attempt.  His wife was upstairs in their apartment when it happened.  Another neighbour found him.  He left a note, typed, hidden between the blank pages in his printer.  He said sorry.  He was tired of living.  He told his wife he loved her and thanked her for taking such good care of him.  Then he hanged himself.

Questions and speculations abound.  I have my own opinions, but I’m not going to give them here.  They’re way too confused in any case.  Rather, I’m going to make a broad sweeping statement that might help someone:

Things get tough.  Sometimes it seems that there’s no way out.  I’ve been there.  I’ve stood at the window of my fourth-floor apartment and wondered if it won’t be easier to just fall out.  But there’s always a way.  It helps if you believe in God, but even if you don’t, there are people who can help.  Talk to someone.  Allow them to show you there are still things worth living for.  I’ve been to two funerals now of suicide victims.  You have no idea of the hurt and confusion it causes.  Don’t put your loved ones through that.  Get help.  It’s there if you only ask for it.  Don’t take your own life.  Life is precious, especially yours.