30 March 2017

A life is stilled.

No matter what anyone says that someone shouldn't feel guilt, it doesn't stop the feelings of guilt when you learn someone has attempted to take their own life.

Not only attempted, but succeeded.

I recognise that someone's decision isn't my fault.  I recognise that there have been no warning signs and that just as many others didn't, I didn't have any idea either. 

But, my goodness, when I was speaking with them in the very late hours of the night and into the early depths of yesterday morning. I quite simply had no idea, there was no inkling of their feelings, their intentions.  There was no suggestion that in a matter of less than 24 hours they'd be gone.

How could I not see it?  How could I not have known?  How could I not have heard the things that they didn't say?

We spoke of so many things, and yet, it would appear that so many things were left unspoken. 

Why didn't I see it? Hear it? Feel it? Why couldn't they share?

My mind is haunted by words that were never uttered, haunted by thoughts of could I have done more.  I have a deep sense of guilt deep within my heart.  My heart aches for them, that they were left feeling in life, that nothing was actually worth staying for, and right now, I am angry at myself for the fact that I didn't see it, didn't hear those feelings and didn't see what was going to happen a few hours later.

My mind has played over the conversation over and over again, looking for clues, did I miss an outstretched hand that they wanted me to take?  And yet, no matter how many times I play it over.  There is nothing. Nothing which could have suggested that they had reached the end.

I feel as if I've let them down in some monumental way.  I feel as if I've failed them, but also, so very sad that they were left in a place where nothing else was an option. 

Did I fail in being the friend to them that they needed?  Even though I was the person they reached out to, just as they've done before.  And yet still I didn't know, I didn't see it, I didn't feel it.  They didn't show it.

We talked, we even laughed, sometimes through tears, but we laughed.  How could I not have known?  How could I fail them so very badly?

And I have. 

I know this was their choice, THEIR decision because they couldn't cope with where life is, the things that are happening.  My rational mind even tells me it's not a reflection on me.  But, it does feel that way, somehow.

Why does it feel as if I've failed them?

Because it does feel that way and more.

I've lost a lot of people from life, my Mum, my brother, my grandparents, a cousin my age, a close friend.  I've even lost an uncle to suicide, and each of those losses carry their own feelings, they bring their own types of grief and pain.

But right now . . ?  Right now guilt and sadness and pain and loss and a deep sense of failure flows through me right now.  A sense of failure but more so, the heart-breaking realisation that they couldn't reach out enough, that they couldn't find the words.  Or was it us not hearing?

Oh how I wish I knew.

I feel anger towards myself that I didn't see it. Anger and guilt and pain and loss.  And a deep sadness that a life has ended in this way, that someone was filled with so much pain, filled with so much sadness, so much heartache that for them, there was no other option.

Did they feel as if they were not cared about? 

So many people showed them this wasn't the case, maybe they couldn't see it, or maybe we failed in showing it enough. 

Did we really fail?  Did we really let them down? 

Or was it just me.

The day is dark and my heart aches right now.

To my Friend

May you find the peace within your
heart that you were
not able to find here.
I hope your anguish
will now forever cease
And that your deep anxieties
will be replaced by endless peace.

I love you. Always.


  1. *footnote to anyone who may read*

    This post, does not relate to my earlier posting of the poem Terminal Velocity. This poem, written on the day this life was stilled does not relate to this sad loss.


  2. Kat,

    Im so sorry to hear this. Hugs.

    I know there probably isn't a lot I can do to make you feel any better but I'm here in any way I can be.

    Please don't blame yourself. I have been in that dark place where death looks like a relief more than a few times over the years. While every case is indeed unique I hope this can help in some way... it is easier to grieve without guilt.

    When someone reaches out at their lowest point to someone they know they rarely show it. If there is anything you could have done, they probably knew it would not have been fair of them to ask it of you. In that dark place it is also hard to show someone we know all of the pain. We already feel weak at that point and it makes us feel worse to feel like we are sad/pathetic/needy in the eyes of someone whose opinion matters to us. That is a choice and it is not your fault. Hugs.

    I am a suicide survivor and that is how I felt when in the midst of it all. I know this cannot fix anything, but I hope you are able to grieve the loss without being encumbered by the burden of guilt.

    It is not your fault. They made a choice to keep it within them. Do not blame yourself for what you did not know.

    Take care, Kat. If I was there I would offer a great big hug.

    1. Dear Fur,

      Thank you so much for not only reaching out, but sharing thoughts and experiences too. I appreciate it truly.

      I know in a rational mind that it isn't my fault and I am not to blame, I'm struggling to process how someone I was speaking with only hours before showed no sign of being in such a dark place.

      I wonder whether at that time they were already at peace with the decision they'd made. They've reached out before, I've always been there for them as I would be for any friend who needed me to lean on. I wouldn't of seen them as sad, pathetic or needy, there's been many times over the years when I've spent the night talking with them, but more so listening to them.
      I just can't process right now that I had no idea.

      So right now, I do feel guilt, and I know that is a common reaction along with the anger aimed at myself. I know that it comes from a place of loss and grief.

      But my mind is haunted by the conversation, and my mind drifts to how they chose to end their life and it's an image I can't seem to erase.

      I am glad that I was able to be there for them when they did call, that I wasn't out of reach or away with work, because then the guilt would have been a million times worse.

      My heart aches right now, I know that it will for a long while. Life at times seems to pass from one loss to another, and this is when I wish the heart wasn't capable of feeling so much.

      Thank you, for your words, for taking the time to post. This isn't something I could share with anyone here out of blogland, but I need to process it, the thoughts that I have so thank you for reaching out.

      Best, Kat

    2. You're very welcome, Kat.

      It is definitely a hard mindset to describe to others. I believe by the time people reach that point, they have already been beaten down in spirit and feel like they have been rejected by the world. Even when they are close they choose not to display it because their heart is too fragile to risk another rejection. If they chose to spend their last few hours in a better place, talking with you, you did everything that you could. By having a talk about unrelated things, it provides an outlet to get away from focusing on the bad feelings. I'm sure that provided them more comfort than you could imagine.

      I had four failed suicide attempts and almost 20 "fuck it, I don't care if this kills me" overdoses and alcohol poisonings by the time I was 18 years old. Four of my friends committed suicide when I was 17-19 as well. It deals with an ugly darkness of the heart that is hard for many to share.

      I know this won't do much, but if you hear it enough times maybe it will help in some way if the words take hold in your heart. You were a good friend. You were there for them. You did what you could have done and more. It's not your fault. They loved you enough to not want to burden you with the knowledge. That was their choice.

      Take care.

    3. Fur,

      Thank you so much for sharing, such personal experiences and feelings. You are right in that suicide deals with such a darkness. I know it was their choice, I know that I couldn't do anything, (well my rational thought does) but it doesn't stop me feeling the guilt that I couldn't.

      I know that too will take time.

      Thank you once again, truly.

      Best, Kat

  3. Dear Kat,

    I'm so sorry to hear of what's happened, I hope that you're getting support from people close to you?

    I lost a close friend to suicide, felt similar feelings to those you have right now. Don't be afraid to reach out to talk to people, even your new "whirlwind" as its times like these when you really find out someone's worth.

    If you want to chat, please let me know. Am happy to be a listening ear.

    Yours, as always A x

    1. A,

      Thank you, I appreciate it. There is no whirlwind, as quick as they come, they peter out the same way. they go just as quickly. It's also times like this, we discover how stupid we were to trust in words, in someone. But hey, that's life.

      Thank you for the offer of your ear.

      Best, Kat