Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Listening to suicide

Not mine, or any thoughts thereof... but reflecting on a very interesting interview on suicide on The Current. The story is around our new right to die legislation, and whether those with mental illness should be given this option. I sat in my car to listen to the end of an interview with Graeme Bayless, a rather brilliant twentysomething young man with clinical depression arguing for this option.
All this while Canada is reeling from the surge in First Nations teen suicides (the Attawapiskat suicide emergency), such a tragic situation. The panel discussing the interview, and putting it in context, offered some interesting perspectives.

What's on my mind as I am listening is my friends who have been suicidal - including what it's like to be on the other end of the phone when a friend is suicidal. I've learnt the textbook things to say, but they sound so hollow at the time, and one feels so helpless. I won't say more here, but I am thinking about these people. I was also thinking about friends and acquaintances who have taken their lives.
And the evening I supported a friend whose brother had just taken his own life. And who have I impacted, positively or negatively, when they were in such a state, unbeknownst to me.

Heavy stuff, and not what I am normally reflecting on, but it's all part of this world we live in. A reminder that we never know what is going on for someone, what their private pain is, and the difference one can play in just being there, or how we respond.

I will continue to listen to these debates and explorations, I am learning a lot, from different perspectives.

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