One year ago today my little brother died by suicide. I hope you noticed I didn’t say “committed suicide.” Saying he “committed” suicide is like saying you intentionally went into a diabetic shock from lack of insulin. It’s taboo to say your brain, another organ in your body which is susceptible to disease or illness, is sick.
That’s what I want to change. I said “died by suicide” because my brother had a mental illness. No one seems to care if you have a mental illness in this country. They call you names like “psycho” or “addict,” and they never look beyond that. My brother was the “victim” of a mental illness. He was a victim of a mind that turned against him. He was a victim of a system that couldn’t help him.
Today I pray for the day that death from suicide is grieved no differently from death by any other cause.
My heart goes out to all who suffer with mental illness and to those who have been called upon to endure the loss of a loved one due to a disease that is in the shadows, under rocks, and open season for the misinformed and cruel. May all whose inner landscape is a war zone, and all who love them unite in one chorus of heart changing voices.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
Thanks for listening and may you continue to stand strong and fight hard.