She was 49 years old when she committed suicide. Her husband and 16 year old son had gone to church and knowing she’d have a couple of hours alone, she took the pills. She was found on the floor in the hallway just outside her bedroom door. The doctors suspect that at in the last minutes of her life she may have tried to reach a phone and call for help. There had been another attempt a few years before, but on this particular Sunday, she was successful.
The first time she had attempted suicide, I sat down and talked to her about it. I wanted to know how she felt. What were those moments like when she had made the decision to end her life? Was she frightened, sad, lonely…what went through her mind? Her response to me was chilling. She said she did not feel a thing. Nothing. And that was probably the scariest thing of all. She told me that her doctor was helping somewhat but that she found mornings difficult. She’d wake up at 5:00 am and had to keep herself busy. Writing, reading, clipping newspaper articles about anything and everything that she thought would be of interest to someone. Her own thoughts scared her. She was surrounded by love, in a safe and comfortable home yet she did not know calm. She could not escape the pain, the shame, the darkness that settled around her daily.
What was the root cause of her angst? Why was this gifted pianist, intelligent, generous and beautiful woman so tormented?
She had been sexually abused as a child.
25 years ago today I got the phone call informing me of her death.
25 years ago today, I lost my step-mother.
She is one of many reasons I started Voice Found. She is one of 3 family members I have lost to suicide.
Suicide and suicidal thoughts are one of the many consequences of childhood sexual abuse. For more information or to donate funds to help us raise awareness and educate adults on how to prevent children from being sexually abused, visit www.voicefound.ca