July 11, 2011
i came face to face with a suicidal person
I was tempted to shy away from "the question" but i didn't want to sit and have that difficult silence set in so I always just dive right in with tact of course and I asked him. " Are you in the chair as the result of an accident or an illness if you don't mind me asking," he replied "illness the mentioned a name of the horrible illness I couldn't quite frankly pronounce and is not familiar to me. Then he went on to tell me he woke up at forty one with a back ache a few days later he was in so much pain that could not be managed, he eventually due to this condition went down to Duke University Hospital and had his spinal cord severed. (to relieve the pain) OMG how terrible is that.
Then he started to talk about wanting to go to heaven to see the baby brother who died at one day old but not in the context that was comfortable, there was an urgency to get there. I know for instance as a Catholic my faith tells me that I will see my children one day, but this man wants to go to heaven and he wants to go tomorrow; he said so. I on the other hand look forward being reunited with my children one day but am in no rush to do so. He said some other things regarding death that frankly made me more than a little concerned. He then turned the conversation to how he's been on medication for years for depression and they don't help one bit.
I have never been face to face with a suicidal person before but I knew for sure he was, he was so sad just drained of all life. This man's spirit was broken and he was crying out for help.
I'm not sure why but my heart just told me to speak to him to tell him how I had found hope so I spoke. I told him how my kids died together and how terribly horrible I felt afterwards. (For the record I was never suicidal but I remember wanting to go to sleep and wishing to stay that way because being awake meant pain.) I explained that I went to a doctor and talked about my loss and how it affected my life and it took years, many years for me to make peace to remake my life after they died. Then I told him, my doctor was a man who didn't have children and regardless of the fact or that he had never dealt with my type of loss he was still very capable of tremendous understanding and empathy and he helped me very much. And that I sincerely hoped that he'd consider finding someone to talk to.
Then I reported him to the medical staff.
Said a prayer for him too.
Has anyone had any experience with a suicidal person or have any thoughts on my experience with him?