Yesterday, on the way back into the lab after crayfishing, we saw a police car in front of one of the dorms. Naturally, we assume it is a pot smoker or something small.
A student had killed himself in his dorm. This weekend. They had just found him.
We received an email from the president of the University with the vague details that were just enough to piece it together. Your heart breaks for the family, the friends.
All of a sudden, I was taken back to 2001. When it was me. It was me who had to deal with the aftermath of suicide.
All you ever want is answers, answers that you will never get. I remember being the one that people looked to for those answers. I was the one who was closest to him. I should know the answers.
I had none.
That made me angry. And that made me feel guilty. Here were all these people, hurting, grieving, grasping for peace and solace. I had nothing to give them.
So not only did I feel guilty for the fact that someone had taken their life and I didn't see it coming, not only did I feel guilty that they said it was basically because of me....I had nothing to comfort these people. Family. Friends. Everyone.
Now, there is a fresh wave of people who have to get through the same thing.
I wish I had answers for them, but I don't.
The hurt, the guilt, the anger....it never goes away. Somewhere along the line, you stop looking for answers, you stop trying to fix what is broken, and you just learn to live in it. You learn to cope and this horrible terrible time becomes a part of who you are. You walk with it every day, carrying it. Sometimes it's heavy. Sometimes it's not. There are good days. The good days start to outweigh the bad, and it just becomes....there. It's just there.
And then there are those days, when you hear about it happening to someone else and your heart breaks all over again. You know. You know that there are people out there that are thrown into this private hell that has no map to get out. You just have to start walking and grasping.
You get no answers. You get no absolution. Suicide is different than other deaths. It's different in that you know that person was obviously hurting and unhappy. No one should die like that. It's different than losing someone to disease or to an accident. Those situations are demons of their own, but those people, you can see the happiness. For suicides, your last impression of this person is that pain. That anger. That hurt.
You get nothing to erase it. Everything becomes tainted.
Right after suicide wrecked my life for the second time, I became paranoid. I didn't want to make new friends. I didn't want the old ones, but I needed them. All I saw was this darkness and everyone had the potential to hurt me.
Now, as a mother, I am terrified. What if it becomes my son that is unhappy? It's extremely paranoid, I know. It's insane. It's something to be dealt with. But how can I be sure I raise a son that won't do that? That won't put that kind of pain on someone else? On me? On his loved ones?
You can't. You can't ever know. You never get answers.