Dear Loved One,
I, your mortician, will be the last one to see you. I will close your bullet wounds and cover up the rope marks. I will try my hardest to give your family a pleasant way to say goodbye. I really wish I didn’t have to though.
I’m writing to you today because I just finished meeting with your family to plan your funeral. They didn’t really know where to begin. I want you to know how mad and hurt they are. I want you to know how crippled their hearts are and how much they blame themselves. I want you to know that nobody is rejoicing, that nobody wanted you to die. Nobody wanted you to be gone forever, nobody is better off without you. They miss you so much already.
The person who found you? They can’t even speak to me. They can’t even speak to anyone right now. I can barely even speak to them either, for I am truly at a loss for words.
I don’t need to know why you did it, and I have no idea what that must have felt like. I do not know your story, your struggles, or your reasons. But if you were here right now, I would listen. I would hug you. I would tell you how worthy you are of life.
Even though you’re gone, the world still needs you.
You deserved to live. You deserved to take annual vacations with your spouse. You deserved to see your baby girl grow up and walk her down the aisle. You deserved to hold your grandson in your arms and lullaby him to sleep. You deserved to give yourself the help you needed to enjoy your life once more.
I hope you are no longer suffering. I hope you no longer feel pain. I hope you found the paradise you were looking for. I hope that what you found is better than what you had. I hope you’re able to watch over your family and protect them from above. And I secretly hope you regret your decision to leave your beautiful family as you watch them gather at the cemetery year after year on this day, as you watch them grow old without you.
I hope you understand that your loved ones have huge you-shaped holes in their hearts. I hope you understand that no amount of time can ever fully close those holes. I hope you understand how much you meant to the world. I hope you understand how much you were loved.
All over the world, all over the news, and even in our own little communities, suicide has become more and more common. In the last 15 years, the national suicide rate has increased 24%. In 2009, suicide was the seventh leading cause of death for males and the sixteenth leading cause of death for females. According to the CDC, Wyoming has the highest suicide rate in the nation, 30 per 100,00 people—more than double that of Minnesota (13 per 100,000 people). Suicide affects any age group and is strongly correlated with poor mental health.
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Call 1-800-273-8255.
Your local funeral home has resources for help available as well. Give them a call. Get the help you deserve.