Leaving Behind No Answers
By Ginny Sparrow, Editor, AAS’s newsletter, Surviving Suicide, survivor of her mother’s suicide in 1995 when she was 26
No survivor of suicide has skipped this question. Even those who received suicide notes are forever pondering what was in their loved one’s mind? Human beings are supposed to be self -preserving… we move our hands away from the flame. How could someone so close to me do something without at least a reasonable explanation (does one exist?) or a goodbye?
After years of regrets, confusion, anger and sleepless nights after the suicide of my mother, I decided to not decide. There were a number of answers as to why, none of them worthy of such a move. Perhaps in her mind, though, the situation deemed the act. Perhaps in her mind, she would rather not feel anything than feel the pain that life was causing her. On the outside, she certainly seemed to have it all. I’m sure she felt guilty for her misery, knowing others struggled more than her both financially and emotionally. I was once told that the reason suicide notes are usually non-existent or make little sense, is this: if they were in a right enough mind to try and write a rational explanation, and found there is none, then they wouldn’t follow through. It would seem silly once on paper, other options would perhaps appear. After all, journaling is supposed to be a fabulous way to express oneself, although I personally can’t stand the chore. My thoughts look so self involved and small on paper, I’d just assume keep them to myself. And perhaps there is the answer. Our loved ones thoughts were expressed, just in a permanent, violent way. Maybe journaling didn’t work for them either; they kept their thoughts to themselves. So if you catch me giving stuff away, particularly my Coach purse collection, put me on suicide watch! Never fear, I express myself fine. I complain a lot. And I write. I just don’t journal.
The act of suicide is, essentially, selfish. This is their way of self- preserving. The flame is their life. They have convinced themselves that others will be better off without them. Read Struck by Living, a memoir by Julie Hersh who attempted several times and she’ll tell you how convincing her sales pitch to herself could be.
So I’ve decided to let it go. I’ll always be a little mad at her for it, and I’ll never understand how she could do it to me. But I’ll let it go. For me, it’s just easiest that way.