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The Impact of Suicide on Someone With Depression

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Someone I knew killed himself.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have shocked me. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in young people. Statistically speaking, it isn’t shocking at all. But I was shocked. I suppose I’ve been fortunate to not experience this before. I’ll chalk up some of my surprise to youthful naivety and inexperience — a reminder that even though I feel so very old, I am so very young. He was very young, too.

I look at the situation from the eyes of a person with depression who has been suicidal. I know he must have been suffering. I can’t think of many situations where a person would die by suicide and not be suffering. I cannot begrudge him for wanting to put an end to it. I’ve been there. I get it. And in some ways I am glad he is not suffering now.

I also look at the situation from the eyes of one who was “left behind.” This is a new perspective for me. I’m on the outside looking in now, and, I’ve got to tell you, the view isn’t great. Someone posted to his Facebook profile, “You have no idea how missed you are going to be.” There are a lot of people grieving right now. I won’t pretend he and I were close friends, but he was someone I admired and was fond of. I don’t think he would have expected me to cry for him, but I did cry and I am crying and I will almost certainly cry some more.

In truth, this experience is useful for me. It has impacted me. Though I think to myself, if he can’t make it, how the hell am I supposed to? — I also think of the pain this loss has caused. This will be imprinted on me even when I am in a bad state. I know I will not be able to consider killing myself without remembering the words “you have no idea how missed you will be,” and the suffering everyone is going through. I never deluded myself that others would not suffer if I died by suicide, but I always thought, “They’ll get over it.” In a way, I guess it’s true. The pain will lessen with time. But I know, in this situation, there will never be a time when we will stop missing him, and we will never be the same. I have to assume the same would stand if I were in his position.

I dearly wish this wasn’t the major impact his life left on mine, but now it is.

We miss you. Rest easy.

Follow this journey on This Is a Depression Blog.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Originally published: June 8, 2016
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