Something terrible happened. I feel so helpless.

in #life4 years ago
Last Friday I went to meet my friend for fish and chips at lunch time. Instantly I knew something was wrong. The look on her face, her pallor, said it all. She burst into tears.


One of her good friends had been missing since Monday. For 4 days. And she hadn’t said anything. I felt so awful she had been going sick with worry, and I didn’t know, hadn’t seen her, couldn’t help. I still couldn’t help when I knew, but at least she could talk and get it off her chest. I gave her a hug and some tissues, it seemed like a feeble thing to do. I managed to get some food inside her and bring a smile to her face, for an hour at least.

Later on in the day she came to me and said that was it. Police had found a body washed up in a river and it was her friend. There was a witness that had seen him jump off a bridge. The floodgates opened, and once again all I could do was give her hugs and tissues. She was distraught, I felt so sad.

For once words failed me. But I realise now that it didn’t matter really, because there was nothing I could say. Nothing would make that awful shock better. But by being there with a supportive shoulder and listening ear, and a packet of tissues, I did help her in some small way.

It seemed worse than a ‘normal’ bereavement. Even one that was unexpected, because he took his own life. Nobody knew he was feeling that way, he’d not shown any signs, it just happened. Family and friends think ‘if only…’. They never had a chance to help, never mind a chance to say goodbye.

It made me realise that suicide is a much wider spread than I knew. I had never stopped to think about it before. And while I have not been close to anyone who has taken their own life, I do know of four people that have. All were men, all between 25 and 40 years of age.

Food for thought.


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