Suicide Victims Deserve Our Forgiveness And Nothing Less

Suicide Victims Deserve Our Forgiveness And Nothing Less

Blaming the person who is depressed is irresponsible and offensive
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I'm about to tell you, reader, about the hardest moment of my life.

It was a Sunday night, just before exam week, and almost midnight.

Now, I should preface this next part by telling you that during this time, my closest friend in the entire world was struggling mightily with depression and suicidal thoughts, and they had been for a while.

Trying to balance the impossible pressure, anxiety, and fear of being the closest person to someone going through this, the person to whom they turned, the person to whom they divulged their most negative thoughts and emotions put an immense strain on me and my own emotional state.

But this particular night, just as I was about to get into bed, I got a text from this friend.

“Would you forgive me if I killed myself?”

I was completely and totally floored and emotionally devastated. I didn’t know what to do or what to say, because what the fuck are you supposed to say to something like that?

I can’t remember exactly what I ended up saying, but I managed to pull myself together enough to text back something along the lines of “Why are you asking? What is going on? Are you OK?” I did this even knowing full well they were not, by any typical definition of the word, “OK."

I was in a panic, wondering if all the suicidal desires they had told me about were about to come to fruition and play themselves out in real life. I wondered if my friend was trying to get some closure or some assurance that I would forgive him. I was so, so scared that this was it.

Their response back to me didn’t come in until several long minutes later. It was just a general question; they were just curious. They weren’t killing themselves.

The question, “Would you forgive me if I killed myself?” still haunts me to this day, and not just because of all my pain and panic surrounding it. I’m still not entirely sure how to answer it.

Would I have forgiven them, my friend, if they had killed themselves? Could I have?

Had they gone through with it, had they swallowed pills or put a gun to their head or wrapped a belt around their neck and snapped it, the pain they would have caused would have been immeasurable.

It would have been immeasurable just inside of me, but also compounded throughout each and every one of the people whose lives they had touched. Their death would have been catastrophic.

And yet, I think the answer is that I would have forgiven them. I would have had no other choice.

The thing is--and this is what Lesly Salazar fails to realize in her article--suicide, suicidal thoughts, and depression aren’t things a person chooses; they aren’t something someone can control. They aren’t things for which those affected should be blamed for.

The truth is, if my friend were to kill themselves tomorrow, I would be unbelievably sad, grief-stricken, upset, hurt, and, yes, angry. But I wouldn’t blame them.

I would blame our society’s unwillingness to engage in serious dialogue about suicide and depression. I would blame our culture’s insistence that sharing emotions makes someone weak and that we should instead keep things bottled up.

I would blame our country’s paltry mental health care. I would blame just about everything else except the person who had been driven to such a state that they thought suicide was their only option. And, as unfair as it would be, I would blame myself.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?

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Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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