It was never my intention to write about serious subjects. My blog was intended to be uplifting and informative; to report news about books and publishing, to chat about lighthearted topics, and funny, quirky things. Then Suicide Prevention Day came and suddenly I’m lighting a candle and remembering Grandma Dorothy.
I don’t talk about her often. I guess it’s because I didn’t know her very well. I was young—too young to completely comprehend the tragedy that enveloped her and our family. Even at age six, I knew she was sad. She never smiled, never laughed. She never baked cookies or read me a book. She was quiet, organized, and maintained a professionally decorated, pristine home.
Grandma’s photo albums had pages filled with images of our family. In each picture, however, her face was cut out. Holes existed in each image, in book after book, page after page, where Grandma’s face should have been. I never knew when she took the time to meticulously cut circles in each Polaroid, but she did. Looking back, I often wonder—should we have known? Did she give us signs that we overlooked, or misread?
Many people considering suicide show signs. Some talk about suicide, or having no reason to live. They feel trapped or express unbearable pain. Others behave differently—sleeping more or less, withdrawing from activities, or simply acting recklessly.
So what should you do, if someone exhibits suicidal signs? Get help. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, seek help. Take them to a doctor, mental health professional, or hospital emergency room. Call 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Suicide is serious. Let’s work together to prevent it, so next year we are lighting fewer candles...