I won’t lie. I’ve been impacted and on the verge of tears all day about Tony Scott’s reported suicide in California. He’d jumped off a bridge, left contact information in his car, and left a suicide note at home.
Thinking of killing yourself? You matter. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
A well publicized suicide will do that to me or a suicide close to me somehow; a relative of a friend, or a friend of a friend. A friend’s beloved father. A neighbor’s son. A mother of a new friend who is a suicide survivor herself, all gone because of suicide.
I am most of all on days like this, the mother of a son who wanted to die for a long time. Today I’m not the kidney mom, or the mom of kids with learning disabilities. I’m the mom to a child who will always be at risk for wanting to die. That is the thought that overwhelms me. Today.
When stories like this are told there’s an entirely other back story you will probably never hear about that involve the people that love the person that is gone. In a lot of cases they’ve tried exactly the same things we did. They tried loving them more and different. They tried doctors and medication and yoga and art or cognitive therapy. They put them on watch; either the kind that is acknowledged or the kind that it subconscious.
Before we realized what we were doing, we just made sure Gage was never alone, whenever possible. There was that window in the middle of the night. The 4 hours he was alone – between 2am – 6am – when I reasoned he was in REM sleep. It was staggered suicide watching that we didn’t even plan to do, it just sort of happened because I was afraid to go to sleep and Julian was afraid to stay asleep.
I think a lot about our unintentional suicide watch and how not every family can do that with their loved ones because they’re older and they have more resources. The can’t do it because they don’t live together and they’re not the caregiver in a sense they can control the environment. Maybe one day we won’t be able to do that.
I always, always think about those families who can’t look at their loved ones when they hear or see a story like the story told today because they didn’t survive the darkest days. In the horrific days during the worst times in Gage’s story I couldn’t see him at age 13 and smiling and all I could do is try and wait. And hope. Try and wait.
Trying and waiting is the only thing we could do and I suspect that we can ever do. I hope that with maturity Gage understands there is a way out. I want to believe that he’ll remember he survived it once and can come out of the darkness again.
Tony Scott’s wonderful life and tragic death make me remember the dark days and the days Gage regained joy. It also brings out the PTSD that lives inside of me. Sometimes it is dormant. Sometimes I wonder how close we might be to an episode that could lead us down the dark path. Even in the days of joy that we experience quite a lot of today, the dark days loom because I know they are possible.
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