Clearly, he didn’t have to take his own life, I wish he knew living with HIV is not a death sentence. However, living with stigma and discrimination is. Maybe that’s why he did it, took the easy way out. But is suicide the easy way out? A healthy diet, adherence to medicine and a great support system is all it takes to enable one to live a fulfilling life regardless of their HIV status.
So what is suicide? What does it look like? And what causes it?
Suicide is the result of depression, Depression being a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and act. Fortunately, it is containable.
Some of the signs are easily detectable and sometimes very subtle. We can observe the common warning signs from the people we love.
I remember Hilary would wake up and tell me what if one day he was gone. That his family would wake up one day and find him dead. He smiled gimmicky as if this was funny to him. He talked about death and his funeral. “I want people to be silent. I don’t like how folks pretend to love and care for the deceased. They never did care for me to begin with. I don’t want the pretenders to attend.”
He always seemed to take a deep breath after saying this. It was almost like it gave him peace just thinking about it. He never cried nor expressed any emotion. That was the way he felt and how he handled problems. The lack of desire to live, his change of behavior, isolation and withdrawal. We should never ignore even the slightest of indirect reference to death or suicide. Now I know. Now I am aware. If you feel or see someone considering suicide, remember It is better to be safe than sorry. Reach out to them and offer assistance. Suicide is traumatic for individuals and the people who care about them. I can only imagine how he felt before taking away his own life. I certainly know what I feel, and pain and guilt are certainly understatements. We do not want to have unwanted vacancies, filling them isn’t any fun. Especially for those that held special places within our hearts.