Why do people self destruct?
My great-niece Mia was beautiful, talented, kind, generous and smart. Last week she took her own life.
She was 22 years old.
Why do people self destruct? Grief? Rage? Depression? Stress? Brain damage? Anxiety? No more optimism? No more hope? To end unbearable pain? Mental illness? Whatever the reasons, my family has had too many suicides. Aunts and uncles, my father, my brother — and now Mia.
This past week was a rollercoaster. I would be going along doing my usual activities and feeling my usual good humor. Then, at random moments I would suddenly feel like I was hit up side of the head by a 2×4, and stopped in my tracks.
I have come to the realization that the losses that have happened over my life accumulate. So even though I may feel great for awhile, when a new loss happens, it has a way of reopening old wounds.
Thus Mia’s death reignites a litany of past pain: My Dad’s suicide; my Mom’s death; my brother’s suicide; another brother that quit speaking to me; political strife in our country; Covid killing people and hurting others medically, mentally and financially. In addition, my autistic son has been having melt downs over two major disruptions to his carefully organized life: (1) Fear he’ll lose his job because of being quarantined while awaiting Covid test results that took over a week (he was negative); and (2) Finding someone used his credit card number to make unauthorized charges. I had to protest it with the bank and get his current card cancelled, leaving him without the debit card he uses for all of his transactions — especially food.
I looked up my last message conversation with Mia on Facebook. We were discussing the 3 parts of the piano piece “Moonlight Sonata”. She told me she thought “Moonlight” was a beautiful song, and how it has so much feeling in it. She told me another piano song she loved was “Swan”.
Why did she kill herself? One of her friends said she was talking a lot about depression and loneliness, and that she said she was sad and done with this life and ready to move on to whatever is next. Then the inevitable questions come. Was there something I should have done? When I heard she was depressed, would it have helped if I had immediately reached out to her? Could I have offered anything that her surrounding parents, family and friends hadn’t?
And what can I do for myself when I am feeling the pain of another loss?
- My piano teacher suggested sitting at the piano and just playing with my heart in it to relieve stress and depression.
- I can count my blessings. It is Thanksgiving week. I have a lot to be thankful for: A good home, plenty of food, my laptop computer, my health, our bird feeders, our backyard water fall, time and resources to do my dream job, friends and family.
- I can write my feelings down in a Friday blog post.
- I can watch a comforting YouTube video. Here is a video of jellyfish swimming. Somehow it makes my heart feel a little soothed to stop thinking for a few minutes and just enjoy the simple beauty.
LESSON LEARNED (same lesson as last blog post): Never take loved ones for granted. They can leave for heaven in an instant.
LESSON LEARNED: When feeling down over the seeming complexities of life, take a moment to look up: reminders of beauty and peace may be all around me.
LESSON LEARNED: If someone is sad, hurting, or lonely, reach out to see if I can help, or at least to let them know I care.
LESSON LEARNED: Realize the pain of loss never fully goes away. Life is hard sometimes; just do the best I can.
Games and YouTube Videos
Here are the links to my signing and cueing YouTube “Word Of The Day” channels. I post a new word every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check it out and I would love to know what you think of them!
Also, Check out my Adventure Games in the App Stores
Please join me for my new blog posts each Friday. Have fun with your ASL and/or Cued Speech Adventures!