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Up close with suicide

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September serves as suicide prevention and awareness month. The 10th of September is the world-wide suicide prevention day. This day weighs heavy on some, either because of having experienced a loved one commit suicide or people who struggle themselves. This day is a day I hold dear. The bright light that shines on this issue is scary yet necessary. Suicide is not pretty, nor is it mysterious.

Eleven years ago, I experienced a horrific cry. The cry was from a young girl, maybe 20. She was bright in appearance, bubbly and full of excitement. We had all just arrived at basic training for the army. The environment was unsettling; the yelling, the rushing and all the new faces, overwhelmed us all. The first week, referred as “red phase”, was in full swing. Three days, that’s all it took for her glow to deplete.

In the first couple of days of arriving her demeanor had darkened; she became quiet and emotionless. Sadly, out of the almost two hundred people, no one noticed. Not a single person tried to talk to her or inform anyone of her abrupt change. I guess we were all engulfed with our own emotions. She seemed to just drift in the shadows.

She took her own life.

The horrific act took just one hour. Twenty years of life, gone. She had not left a note. She is gone without an explanation or apparent reason.

Could I have prevented her from taking her own life? This question haunts me. Eleven years of nightmares and overthinking have brought me to a somber realization. She slipped through the cracks; she was not saved. I can only bring awareness from the perspective she gave me.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact a crisis hotline:

 Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

 Crisis/Depression Text-Line

Text “CONNECT” to 741741 “or” go to the Crisis Text Line

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