Merrium-Webster online

suicide (noun)
sui·cide | \ ˈsü-ə-ˌsīd
Definition of suicide (Entry 1 of 3)
: the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally
: ruin of one’s own interests
political suicide
: apoptosis
cell suicide
: one that commits or attempts suicide
suicide adjective
Definition of suicide (Entry 2 of 3)
: of or relating to suicide
especially : being or performing a deliberate act resulting in the voluntary death of the person who does it
a suicide mission
a suicide bomber


Ok, everybody knows that.

Except it isn’t true.

Yes, that is its definition. It nowhere near encompasses the scope. It is not one thing.

It is not a suicide. It is a chain of events which cannot be altered. It is the revolting torture of everyone who loves you. I know you do not care. The pain is stronger. So what. Too bad. You know that the worst part will subside. You want to end the pain more than you want to end your life. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Do it again. Shove your face in a pillow and scream. Hate. Hate all you want. Do not choose to act. You are not in any condition to act upon something important. Something that can never be repaired if you have made a mistake.

Don’t act. Reach out.

How can I say this? What is my right? What do I know?

You are right. We are all different. Some things are the same.

I will be 58 in a couple of months. I was diagnosed as having depression in my early teens. My father had told my mother that she was not to take me to see a psychologist. It was a sign of weakness. I would be fine. Pull yourself together. He wasn’t mean. He was born in 1923. Things were different then. He had fought through WWII. He was dealing with it. Except I heard him scream at night.

My mother took me anyway. She was a teacher. She had seen.

Years and years. Decades and decades. Oh, I wanted to die. Eventually, I wanted to kill myself. Sitting out in the middle of a field alone. Gun, overdose?

My body lying out in the field, where my sons might find it. My sons who loved me even though I was unloveable. It would crush them. Why had I done this? Didn’t I love them? Had I ever loved them? What now? What is life? What is there in life?

I am sure that some of you know the questions better than I.

I never tried. They would have known.

Are you seriously incapable of loving someone more than yourself? No one loves you and no one will care? I can guarantee that that is wrong. We all impact other people and there is someone who needs you. There is. There always is. Fine, don’t believe me, but act as though there were someone you would hurt because there really is. An aunt, a friend, a grandmother, another schoolmate who has been trying to hang on, too. Your mom, who carried you in her body as you grew. The person who loved you unconditionally before you were even born. Someone who went through agony so her precious child would exist.

Finally, in my 40’s they gave me some new diagnoses for which they medicated me. I was very lucky in that I had good doctors.

One of these was that I was bi-polar. A step toward stemming the constant flow of the need to die.

I loved someone more than myself. I was willing to do what I had to do. One of the definitions above talks about sacrificing yourself. I did. I sacrificed my happiness. No, more than that. I sacrificed my ability to escape from the horrendous feeling of needing to die. That’s a tough one.

Do it anyway. Be brave. Get help. Try a new doctor. A new med. Do it again. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

Not just for them. That single moment, not even a blip of time, could be the one that breath that makes it possible to try.

This is not where I planned for this to go at all. I was going to talk about the language we use to talk about one ending one’s life.




Over a year later

Kind people accidentally say, “Sometimes I wish it would all end,” then look completely horrified and apologize, multiple times. I told this kind woman multiple times that it was OK and to look at me to see if she had hurt me. She said, “Well, still.”


Someone I have barely met says, “Was it messy?’


There must be a middle ground between kindness, thoughtfulness, and compassion and I don’t give a fuck. I want to know.

What to put on Facebook.

We all know that something isn’t real, or true unless we see it on Facebook.

After I had talked to people who knew Chris, I made a public post so we would not be mobbed by stupidity.

Everyone respected it.

If you need it, here it is:

“I insist that you do not respond to this. I just want everyone to know what has happened. I don’t want to hear about your thoughts and prayers, please just give them if you are so inclined. I don’t want to hear the words everyone says at these times.

Please just respect my request not to comment or message me some platitudes.

My son, Chris, killed himself Tuesday night. He has fought the fight for 26 years and he just had enough. On his computer screen was information he was looking up about insurance, which would not cover his mental illness.

The system killed him.

What has happened is not a secret. We are not embarrassed. We are broken, now and forever.

Please. No comments. If you can do something to help, I have already contacted you, but I appreciate the many of you who would want to.”

It isn’t life.

Then something comes which is not a moment. It is a huge blot that obscures everything. What happens then is not a reaction. It is the swallowing of a stygian mass. Keep moving? What choice is there? I have become slower, thicker, and slow to react. Now that I have cheered you, I will be on my way. Hopefully, I will find a snorkel.

Much, Much Worse

I am in constant agony after the suicide of my son.


Having a missing child is beyond my ability to fathom.


I walked into my living room and found a dead body on the floor. It was my 26-year-old son’s body. He had killed himself and was either trying to get outside so that I would not find his dead body in our home or he was trying to get up the stairs to tell me because he had changed his mind. He had changed his mind before. Either way, his dead body was lying one floor down from my spot on my bed.

What do you do when you don’t know where he has gone? How do you deal with the anguish of a disappearance? Does he exist? Where is he? What has been done with him? Where can I find him?

I had my Chris. I knew where he was, what had happened to him, and why.

If you don’t, I can’t see how trying to breathe in and out would even work. The universe is a vacuum which has stolen your child. How can you breathe in that?




365 Days


August 22, 2018

Last year, at this time, my baby was alive. He may already have decided to kill himself. I don’t know. I was at work. Z was at work, T was in Salem.

He was home, alone, thinking. No one to talk to. Very few bothered. They would have had to go out of their way, taken time. Not even the doctor cared. No one bothered to call him back. He had an appointment for a phone call. No one called. He didn’t matter.

They would get to it later. Tomorrow.

Chris didn’t have a tomorrow.

I knew he was badly off, but he had said he would wait and try this new doctor. Another new doctor. New doctor number 7,822. I set it up. Everything was going to be OK. He promised to wait.

He didn’t promise to wait past the time that he was supposed to talk to the woman at Goodwin.

I came home sometime after 11:30pm. As was frequently the case, he was asleep in his chair in front of his computer.

His computer. His lifeline. When it had broken down, T spent $1000 to get it working again. It was all Chris had outside his family. He had had to stop working. It just made him want to die, even more, being out there, with them. He watched videos that made him happy and he would talk to his friends. I didn’t know that most of his “friends” had stopped talking to him. I don’t know who was left. His good friend was. He and his fiance. They always found some time. Chris had just been in their wedding.

When I saw the wedding pictures, later, I saw Chris all alone, even there. Apart. Standing on the outside wanting to be part. But the urge to die was much stronger. Again, there was no one there for him to be with. Bride and groom made time, on this chaotic day. But, he was still alone.

Your mommy and your brothers can only go so far.

Chris had a mommy who was crazy. That sure didn’t help.

I had gifted him with my bipolar disorder. My genes killed him. Probably my behavior over 26 years of his life. He loved me, but he didn’t like me. I annoyed him, mostly.

When he found pieces of my mother’s ring broken. He had taken it to the bride to see if he could get it fixed for me. He knew it was the most important thing I had. He came to me and told me he had found the pieces and it was going to be too expensive to fix. He had wanted to do something important for me.

I was keeping the pieces. He tried to make me happy; to show me that he loved me. He wasn’t likely to say it. He must have used all of his money to buy me a new one. I like it better than the one before. Prettier, given with love by one named on it.

He tried to make me happy; to show me that he loved me. He wasn’t likely to say it. A movie I had wanted to see but had missed came out. I really, really wanted to see it. He bought it for me and set me up in his ultra comfortable chair and played it on his widescreen TV for me.

A few years before, he had taken a lot of time and chosen 3 movies that I loved and he gave them to me for my birthday. I didn’t watch them for a while because it was difficult for me to use the DVD player.

Much too much later, it occurred to me that he didn’t know why and all that work he had done for me was thrown back at him. I didn’t care. He went, himself, to pick them out and buy them. Then he felt as if I didn’t care enough to watch them. T finally played one for me and the three of us sat together and watched it. I think then he understood.

Just in the year before he died, a game that I had played when they were little was coming out on Steam. A new version. He bought it for me and the controller to play it. He remembered and brought that forward to make me happy.

So, I came home from work and saw him sitting in his chair. I assumed he had been talking to his friends. I kissed the top of his head.

For the last time. I kissed the top of my baby’s head.

In the morning, I woke up late and ran/staggered, half asleep, to the car to get Z from work. We stopped and got him breakfast and then went home. He went upstairs. He passed the room in which his brother was lying dead on the floor. He didn’t look in. He assumed he would be up in the room they shared, asleep in his bed.

I backed out of the driveway to go get Chris some breakfast. He loved iced coffee. It was one of the few things we shared. I often brought them home for him or got one while we were out. I went to McDonald’s and got what he liked and drove home. I saw him on the floor, but he had a habit of sleeping in strange ways in strange places. I said to him, through the doorway, “I brought you breakfast!” He didn’t move. He slept soundly. I went in and said it again. There was something. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know what, so I poked him. His body moved. I shook him. He was totally stiff.

He couldn’t be dead. Z would be able to wake him up for me. I didn’t want to scare Z, so I called. Then I yelled. Then I screamed. Z ran. I asked him to wake Chris. I couldn’t wake him. Shake him for me. I just can’t wake him.

Neither could Z.

Sometime after I kissed him, he woke up and decided he was done. He took Klonopin and Seroquel and went to sleep. I think he was trying to get out of the house so I wouldn’t always have a picture of him dead in the house. OR he was trying to get upstairs to tell me because he had changed his mind. He had changed his mind before. Or I had found him before.

I am pretty sure that, even in those last moments, feeling, distraught, forgotten, and unloved. He thought about us and how he could make it easier for us by not being in the house.


Alone, forgotten, unloved.

He still loved us.

Last year, at this time, he still existed.

After midnight, that won’t be true.

This is an endpoint for me. Time will begin to loop without him. Last year he was here. In hours, not anymore.

There will begin to be more time that he has not existed.

I still breathe him every day.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

Shut the Fuck Up

Everyone “knows” that the worst thing that can happen to a parent is to lose a child. That is true. Everyone knows how destructive it is, yet some people, the loud minority, believe that they know what the right grieving period is, or what should happen during it. I find it appalling that anyone could believe that, after 5 or 6 months, one should begin to “get over it.”


Most of us carried the child longer than that. May we please mourn at least as long as we grew that child in our bodies? I think that is only fair.


I think you sharing your asinine opinions needs to stop completely.


If you know how to do this . . .  finding my 26-year-old child’s dead body on the floor . . . better than I do, please take it over. I would prefer to watch you than listen to your stupidity. In fact, I think it would be entertaining to watch how you deal with it because of your cruelty. Do you have a heart?


This isn’t ignorance. It isn’t someone trying to do what is right and “help you through it.”  This isn’t even stupidity. It is cruelty. It is brutality. It is a vicious assault on a helpless person. It is inhumane.


This is why my friends at work barred anyone from speaking to me about it at all. If I had something to say about it, I would do so. It was to keep people from doing and saying stupid things that would make me flip and verbally attack them. I can be horrendously cruel when I am angry.  My real friends knew what to do, and, as time has gone on, I have been able to talk about it a little at a time with them.


Then there are the people, who, after being told to leave me alone and not touch me, manhandled me because I didn’t really know what I needed. I needed affection. No, and not from someone I detest.


Someone actually asked me if he shot himself.


When I posted it on Facebook, where it would get to the people I hadn’t told face-to-face, I asked that there be no emoji or comments, and everyone did as I asked. I didn’t want to see a line of comments that all said the same thing. I know you feel sorry for us. Those who are moved to do so will give us all their prayers. I didn’t want to hear about it. Do it.


Did I want thoughts and prayers? Sure. We needed help and love and support. Saying “thoughts and prayers” does absolutely nothing.


Nikki had stood there with Zach and me as most of the horror had gone on. Then she drove me down to Salem to tell his older brother, who was like his twin, that his brother was dead. She stood there as he was bent over screaming and screaming and screaming. Who could possibly have given more? It is something that has probably scarred her for life, too. She is part of us. Becky made us tons of food and found out where we were and brought it to us. Her heart came with it. She ran a fundraiser to help us with expenses. She didn’t give only thoughts and prayers, although I am sure they were done. She helped us. She did it because she loved Chris and Zach. Kelsey and Karen brought food for after the service to feed the people who came. My friends from work came. Some of them surprised me completely.


People who loved Chris came. Strangers who felt moved to come after hearing about it also came. They had had similar losses. One lady even said that my son’s cat looked exactly like her son’s cat. I had left pictures at the back for anyone who wanted one and Jasmin was there because he loved her more than anyone else.


The minister said words which have made a difference to all of the people there. He truly has God standing with him. He didn’t know Chris, but he had seen what had killed him. He explained it to others. He told them to recognize that they need help, to believe that it was there, and to grab it while they could. Not simply to turn to God to solve all of their problems, but to get help where they could find it. God is in those things. They are there for you. You are loved.


Stupid Things People Say When Your Son Kills Himself

Here are some responses to other people’s insensitivity, stupidity, or disrespectful behavior. The list will grow.

“Didn’t you see it coming?”

“Yes, but I didn’t like him, so this was my chance to get rid of him.”

“How did he do it?”

“Want to come over and see?”

“Why can’t I see the body? I want to say goodbye.”

“During the autopsy, they had to cut off the top of his head and remove his brain. That is kind of hard to hide. I suppose we could put on a clown hat.”

“Where have you been? On vacation? Where did you go?” (For someone who doesn’t know you but passes by once in a while.)

“My son killed himself in my living room.”

“He’s in a better place.”

“Really? Did you know him well enough to say that?”

“Thoughts and prayers.”

“Thanks for thinking about it because I am trying not to, but your prayers are great, if you are going to do so and not just announce it to the world.”

“I just lost my cat.”

Quizzical look in return.

“I love my fur babies just like my own children.”

“Then you had better see a psychiatrist.”

More to come.

It happened. I think.

I am here because I am a very angry person, like so many others who spew their venom across the web. I, however, don’t want to call people names or say things that aren’t true.

I’m hoping I can make all of that work.
My 26-year-old son killed himself in my living room on August 23rd. That is what is forming most of my ideas, at present. I am sick and angry and bubbling emotions everywhere. I found him on our living room floor. I am pretty sure that he was trying to get outside so that we would not always have that picture of him tucked up, permanently sleeping on the floor. Of course, he also could have been trying to get upstairs to me because he had changed his mind. I will never know.
On his desk, in the corner, his computer was on. On the screen was the website of his insurance company. He couldn’t find the help he needed. Tucked under the edge of his mouse was a single Klonopin pill he had missed. I guess he took enough.
What do you do when you find your child dead on the floor? He was a man, but he was my child. It doesn’t make sense when you look at it. Your brain makes up a story. I thought he was sleeping and I had just gone out to get him breakfast. He loved iced coffee. I raised my voice, but he didn’t move. I put his food on the stairs and poked him. He didn’t move. I pushed his side. His whole body shifted, statue-like, to the side. I panicked. His younger brother was upstairs, so I screamed for him repeatedly, because, in my damaged mind, he would be able to wake him. He couldn’t.
We both started yelling at this point. His brother ran to get a phone. I told him not to run. He didn’t need to. My son was stone cold. His eyes were frozen over, open beneath his glasses. We put 911 on speaker. The call-taker insisted that we start chest compressions. I shouted that there was no point, he was hard as rock, he was dead. I’m over half a century old. I know what dead looks like. He was yelling at us, thinking we were panicking. We were, but not in an irrational way, if that can be the case. Our family member was dead on the floor.

He told us to get a pillow and turn him over and start chest compressions. We had to flip his body since he would not bend, and his face was flat where it had been pressed to the floor. He was dead. I tried to explain to the call-taker just how dead, dead was. He said that I couldn’t know.

No, I knew.

So I tried to do chest compressions on my unbreakable, unbendable son. Perhaps magic would work and the words of the automaton would make him soft again. No. It didn’t. I got tired of pressing on stone, so I asked his younger brother (22) to take over. He tried. He pushed a few times and said that he couldn’t do it and I started again, as he vomited. I kept repeating to him that his brother was dead, long gone, no longer living in there. He had been dead a while. His magic wouldn’t work either.
We live in a small town, on a dairy farm. We have one full-time police officer and a few part-timers who split their time in the surrounding towns. Fire and EMT are volunteers. Yes, volunteers. They came very quickly, under the circumstances. They care. They try. They couldn’t do any better. 10 minutes or so. The fire station is on the next street. Some of them must live nearby. We left the house to make room. I told them as they went in that he was cold-gone, but they were tearing packages open and opening gear as they went in.

The police officer crouched in front of us. I had gone to the car, right next to the room in which my son lat dead. EMT’s came right back out, tossing things on the porch as they left. The police officer was the father of a friend of this surviving son, so he asked how he was doing, “Really? You’re going to ask that now?” Yes, he is. It is a glimpse at normal. Something he can make sense of.
They were all very kind. They took time asking questions. They gave us breaks in between. I had called a friend since my sons’ other parent was away. I talked to his parent and said that there was no rush, but they needed to come home now. There were questions. I deflected. How do I tell the other parent that their son is gone? They must have known and the hour drive back must have been agony.
This goes on and on and on. It has no ending. There are more stories within the story. When the Victim’s, Inc. volunteer came, she called my surviving son by his dead brother’s name. I looked at her and said, “No. That’s the dead one.”  Can you manage to get that one little point right? There is so much. I am angry.