To die by suicide…
En nära vän till mig gick bort igår… Jag har skrivit ett öppet brev, på engelska, det språket vi hade tillsammans… Just nu känns som jag drunknar av sorg och tårar. Jag vill ändå lyfta fram att det finns forskning om hur självmord kan förhindras. Kunskaperna behöver implementeras, innan det händer.
Suicide zero är en organisation som jobbar aktivt med ämnet: Suicide Zero arbetar för att nå dit!
To My Friend Who Died By Suicide
I have read about various groups of suicide prevention, and I must admit it always felt that ‘it’s far away from my world’, until now.
When we were teenagers, my best friend Estelle’s sister died by suicide. We dealt with it as best friends would, not really understanding. That was way back in the 80’s! Suicide was a taboo subject, and nothing to be spoken about out loud. So we bonded and dealt with it together, as best we could, Estelle moved in with us for a few months…
Since then, suicide has not crossed my path, until yesterday. The same friend since 35 years back, Estelle, died by suicide.
The Estelle I know would not commit suicide, leaving behind her beautiful son and a life which was just starting with new beginnings.
I read an article about dying by suicide and thought that that explains it all. “Committed” suicide is like saying you make a deliberate choice in a clear state of mind.
Estelle was a victim of suicide. She was a victim of her own mind and of a system that could not help her.
To my beautiful friend, Estelle
Estelle you were extremely beautiful, both inside and out. We became friends from the first day we met in junior school. And we were inseparable for many many years, at least until the age of 18. When I moved overseas… and you wanted to wait with such a big step in life.
You were full of energy, did not shut up for anyone and spoke your mind. On the outside you were tough chick, on the inside not so much. You started to battle depression at a young age, but somehow always got through the low bouts, many times. It almost became routine. It should never have…
I have so many memories, one of them was us tanning on the beach, being brown was one of our main teenage focuses. You poured coca-cola all over your body as you had read that would increase your tan. I remember how the sand stuck to your body, like ALL over and how we could not stop laughing…
I also remember us playing tennis for hours under the bridge near your house, and how pissed off I got co’s you always beat me, and you told me I just needed to practice more.
How we used to make up choreography steps for dances and would perform for our moms.
I remember how irritated I got with your yapping dog Tammy, and how sad you were when Tammy got knocked over by a car and died. AND talking of Tammy, how we threw an egg at a guy that told her to stop barking!
Another memory is of your-difficult-to-spell surname. Whenever we had to say our full names, like when renting videos (how many times did we not see Grease???), anyway… we answered in chorus, and spelt it out
S C H W A R Z E R, I can still spell it faster than my own name!
I remember when 7 years ago we had a wonderful braai (bbq) at your house, me with my 4 year old and you with your 3 year old. How we re-bonded and spoke about being mothers, and all the worries of upbringing that motherhood entailed. You spoke about your post-pregnant depression and that you had seeked help.
I remember how over the later years we have lost touch. Just the odd message here and there. My biggest mistake!
Just a few weeks ago we chatted, you were happy and excited about life taking a new and positive turn after a long and tough period. We would stay in touch we promised…
I am so angry at myself for being complacent. I could not imagine suicide was going to be the final curtain of your life, even knowing your state of mind throughout the years.
I just wish I could have told you: YOU ARE IMPORTANT!
I wish I had heard your cry for help, and that I could have told you that I would help you.
I just want to say, YOU ARE IMPORTANT Estelle… And I know you are listening to music and dancing on the clouds, with or without coca cola, I don’t think you would want the clouds to get all sticky on you!
I love you! And will always miss you ❤️
Dying by suicide needs to be brought forward! Awareness is of the essence! It’s not selfish, it’s the only way out for that person at that time.