Thursday, October 20, 2016

Before Giving Up, Consider One Thing--Please: The Impact of Suicide on Family and Friends

by Beth Saadati

Suicide. I hate the word—hate hearing it spoken flippantly in conversation and mentioned casually in songs. Because, when you’ve lived through it, you know what it is.

Suicide is the real-life horror of That Night. Of facing the unexpected without time to prepare. Of the words no parent should have to hear: “Your daughter is dead. She took her own life.”

It’s waking up the next morning (if any rest came) and realizing the nightmare is here to stay.

It’s a dad who does all he can to protect his firstborn from harm. Then has to tell his children their adored older sibling won’t be coming back home.

It’s a ten-year-old girl who adopts her sister’s stuffed bunny and, for years to follow, clutches it tightly each night.

It’s a young boy who fears becoming a teen—“that’s when people bully and boy-girl things get confused”—because a sister he looked up to didn’t make it through.

It’s a mom who scrolls through her newsfeed and LIKEs others’ milestone events. Then swallows hard and wipes away tears, aware that, for one girl, those moments won’t exist.

Suicide is emptiness, abandonment, feeling alone. And the understatement of “I miss you” as time marches on.

It’s texts friends can’t send or receive when they have news to share. It’s the caller I.D. that isn’t going to appear. It’s wanting to simply say hello, to laugh together, to know she’s here.

It’s two Christmas stockings where once there were three. An unoccupied desk in a classroom. An empty chair at each meal.

It’s lack of closure, words unspoken, the goodbye no one got to give.

It’s a voice not heard, a face not seen. It’s discovering life’s “new normal” is an unattainable dream.

Suicide is replaying memories, asking answerless questions, wondering where things went wrong.

It’s the bittersweet reminder of what once was, followed by the cruel fading of recollection as years roll on.

It’s not God’s will. Not how it should be.

It’s a permanent choice that can’t be undone.

It’s clinging to hope—that someday the terrible silence of absence will end.

It’s the hug friends and family long to give, replaced by a quiet “I still love you” whispered into the wind.


  1. What a transparent view of suicide. I'm sorry you had the opportunity to share.Love and continue to pray for you, Beth.

    1. Thank you. I'm sorry that suicide loss impacts many people. I wish it were all so different. Much love to you, Robin.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. Blessings, Edie

    1. You're welcome, Edie. Thanks for reading it and continuing to encourage me. I'm grateful for you.

  3. I imagine these same feelings stem from the actions of our military members who don't receive support. With your blessings, I'd like to share this with a veteran community here in NY State.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if they did. Please feel free to share the post if you'd like to. Thank you, Warren, for thinking of this.

  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Mary. Thank you for taking a moment to read it!

  5. I love you Beth. Your heart, your words, and your precious soul. Press on my friend. Your reward is eternal.

    1. Thank you, Ellen. I'm truly sorry it's taken me so long to reply. Your words are so good though. They encouraged me today.