I wanted to bring up the topic of suicide because it’s become an important issue for Baby Boomers. It’s not something I’ve had direct experience with. I haven’t been a family member who has had to clean up the bloody mess, but I know others who have. The death of Anthony Bourdain kicked me in the butt. It ruined my day and now I’m trying to understand it.
A dear friend’s son died from suicide. Then, several years later another one of her sons was murdered randomly by thugs while he sat in a car. How can a person who is beyond sweet and kind be fated to endure that kind of pain? It’s a mystery and is beyond devastating.
My best friend from high school’s dad shot himself in their garage when she was in her twenties. From what I heard, he found out he was ill and didn’t want to deal with it. I’m sure my friend and her mother did, though and had to wipe up all the clotted blood off the floor. She still lives in the same house alone now that her mother is gone.
I know that people kill themselves because they are experiencing deep and intense pain that supersedes the fact they may have children, parents, or other loved ones that will be left behind. It’s hard to imagine why someone would do that but when pain is that overwhelming they see it as the only way out. Many who are severely depressed are afraid to reach out for help, don’t know how, or think they can’t afford it.
Help is there, for everyone, no matter what your situation is
I will miss Bourdain’s unique perspective on food and travel, and his ability to bring a better understanding of people and cultures to his audience. We need more people like that who aren’t afraid to venture into Parts Unknown to see the beauty of our diverse world. I ache for his daughter, girlfriend, and friends. I also ache for his fans who will miss his thought-provoking and beautifully produced shows, poetry, and insight. It sucks, and I wish it was all a bad dream.
Baby Boomers and suicide
According to the National Suicide Resource Center, Baby Boomers have the highest rate of suicide. Things to look for in a loved one who may be at risk are:
- Substance abuse
- Speaking or feeling like a burden
It may also be due to:
- Mental or physical health
- Interpersonal (divorce, relationship issues)
- External circumstances (economic or political) – Being concerned that we have enough money to retire on.
Undiagnosed depression and loneliness can be worsened by the loss of a spouse, financial stress or chronic illness. Men, in particular, are less likely to seek help because they may feel it is unmanly to express sadness and pain. This is even more true of white men, who have the highest rate of suicide.
If you or someone you know needs help, CALL the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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