A deputy I knew and worked with committed suicide. I don’t know why, but this has hit me incredibly hard. I spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday crying. I wasn’t sure I would attend the funeral because I didn’t think I could hold myself together. I’ve still got that memory in my head where my mother yells at me to stop crying. Didn’t take me long to learn I needed to keep my feelings to myself.
I ironed my funeral clothes and figured that was a sign I should go to the funeral. The visitation was before the funeral and I arrived at the start of the visitation. Fortunately, or probably as a practical matter, the casket was closed. A US flag covered the casket. I had planned on having a private chat with the late deputy. Most of the chat took place in the car while I was waiting for the viewing to start. I said things in my head that I couldn’t say aloud. Things from deep inside of me. So deep light rarely reaches them.
When I got up to the casket, I put my hand on the casket and gave a silent wish…. Shalom. It’s a Hebrew word that means peace. Not just the absence of war, but an all encompassing peace that reaches to the depths of your soul. I had tried a couple times the days before the funeral to say kaddish. I couldn’t get through the prayer.
A cruel cosmic joke would be that after suicide, we’re just as depressed and hurting as before we pulled the trigger.
I patted the casket and heard a clank. Metal casket and I must have brought my hand down too hard. Per the obit, he’s going to be cremated. I hope that casket was a rental because buying a casket for someone who is to be cremated is silly.
I wonder if the casket is empty. Just for show and the body is about to be cremated.
As we waited for the funeral to begin, we could watch a montage of photographs of his life. One photo was of a younger version of him with his very young daughter. The love he had for her was obvious.
You had the world by the ass. You obviously loved your daughter and granddaughter. You had friends. You had a life outside of work. You had work you loved. Why did you kill yourself?
So many smiles in the photos. Every time I saw him, he was smiling. He was always so nice to me.
Why didn’t you let one of us know you were hurting?
Actually, I know why he didn’t let anyone know.
Or did you leave me a clue when you asked me, “Don’t you just love our fucking society?” I’m so sorry; I never understood it was a clue. Please come back and let me make it up to you.
Suicide, when you’re that depressed, seems rational. Why ask for help with a rational decision?
I could have helped you. I’ve danced on the same road. It hurts so much knowing I could have helped you and I never had the chance.
I held myself together through the funeral. I fell apart during the last radio call.
Goddamn it! Why did you do this?
The piper, who played the bagpipes particularly well, played Amazing Grace and I composed myself. Kind of like composing a song only different. I was fine until deputies started hugging me and I started crying again.
If you’re reading this and thinking suicide is a rational option, please do a favor for the people who know and love you: TELL SOMEONE. Thinking death is a good idea means something is very wrong. Go to the hospital. If no one offers to take you, go by yourself. Proper medication gave me back my life. Proper medication will do the same for you.
I’m linking with Nina Marie http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com