Thinking about suicide: don’t do it and here are some reasons

I am the surviving father of a son who committed suicide today ten years ago. I remember April 19, 2006, as if it were yesterday. The sun was shining, the birds had come out. We had survived the winter and spring was here. I had just finished work, met my wife and daughter at a restaurant for dinner, then came the phone call that would change my life forever … It was my son and I was upset. He was terribly distraught. I had heard it sad before, but this was different. When the phone got disconnected, I quickly told my wife and daughter that I HAD to go … I just knew something was wrong, but where was I? While systematically trying to figure out where he might be, feeling time was of the essence, I drove home, which was 30 minutes from where I had last spoken to him. I could hardly believe my discovery when I got home, there I was in the garage and for a brief moment I thought I was fine. But he was wrong. I found it hanging in the garage, but it was too late. He was a great person who left us too early. I saw Adam take his last breath two days later at St. Michael Hospital, just after 4:30 p.m. on April 21, 2006.

This is a follow-up letter for my son, ten years later. It is a mixture of what I would tell you and I am sure it applies to many others as well. This is one of my ways of coping with our loss. If you are thinking about committing suicide, read this to the end and don’t do it. Thanks to Mandy and Meghan for editing my words.

If you are thinking about committing suicide, I beg YOU, DO NOT DO IT! I know and understand that you may be at the lowest lows today and in significant pain, but I beg you to reconsider. I can say this, even ten years later, and I need you to know that I know your pain is real and I understand it. You are in so much pain that you can only think of yourself and the quick and simple permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you are thinking about killing yourself, don’t do it. It is unfair. Honestly, what you leave behind is so much worse than the pain you think you’re going to end today. If you are thinking about killing yourself, don’t do it. Seek the help of your family, a friend, a counselor, or even a stranger. Pick up a phone and call or text someone. Please do not make a decision that significantly affects everyone you know. This might be your goal, to “show everyone”, to make them feel pain too, but this is not the answer. People will remember you, but not in the way you want. It will affect people you do not know and possibly some who have not yet been born. You see, the thing is, there are so many things that you don’t know yet. Please don’t take your own life and leave your family and friends. Believe it or not, they need you. Believe it or not, you will be missed. They will regret missing a signal you sent or something you said. Believe it or not, they will blame themselves and not you. You may feel that suicide would end everything, but it doesn’t, GO ON FOREVER! Don’t leave a lifetime of pain for the survivors. I write this with passion and supplication. You may find yourself in a dark and painful place right now, but don’t. Times will change and things will become clearer later. Your pain is here and now. It’s real, but don’t do it. If you finish it now, you can only speculate about the future, and let me tell you, the future is just that, unpredictable. But I can tell you one thing for sure, the future is better with you in it. Think of the family. Think of me. Think of yourself! You are worth it! It doesn’t matter what it is! They put you here for a reason. We all make mistakes. Some people have others who dislike them. Some have addictions. Others get in trouble with the law. Some people are depressed, intimidated, and others feel worthless. Regardless of who you are, many people feel the way you do now, at one point or another. I know you don’t believe me. Your pain makes it hard to see clearly, but you are valued, you are worthy, and people’s lives are better with you here! So please, I’m begging you, don’t! Resist the urge to compare yourself to others. There is only one you. And your life is worth living. And despite your current belief, YOUR LIFE WILL BE BETTER. So please don’t.

Yes, it’s been ten years Adam. We still miss you and love you.