How Could They?

This is the question that people who do not truly understand how isolating depression can be chooses to ask when they hear of someone’s suicide. They say that it is cowardly and they should have considered the lives they were leaving behind. Ironically, they are often thinking of the lives left behind and for some reason, they believe that everyone would be better if they were gone. Devastating. Devastating. I felt a guttural sickness to my stomach when I heard about Kalif Browder’s suicide because I’d been following his story since I’d become aware of it. Hearing that he killed himself made me sob, and watching the documentary about his life on Netflix made me feel more connected to him on a much deeper level. Kalif’s story was beyond unfair, it was unjust and it was absolutely soul crushing. He was a tortured and troubled soul and NYC failed him miserably. Kalif could not out think, out run nor outlive his demons. He needed silence. He made sure he got silence. Finally.

Anthony Bourdain’s life was far different than Kalif’s purely on a materialistic level. They were socioeconomically worlds apart, different races, different worlds all together but they are now a part of a fraternity that you never get out of in this life. Like the amazing Kate Spade, and my favorite funny man, Robin Williams, the four aforementioned people have committed suicide much to the surprise or maybe not so surprise of their friends and family. People are wondering how they could do such a thing? Wondering why they would do such a thing?  Truly, honestly, if you’ve never been at the bottom of your life, you’d never get why. Suicide is a thing because that is someone’s last resort because nothing or anyone in this world could take the pain away. People who commit suicide believe that the world would function far better if they were gone. They believe that their pain was too unbearable and they couldn’t stay a moment longer to deal with their pain. I understand. I get it. I know the feeling. It is extremely difficult to get past that thought and feeling AND sadly, this is the reason for suicide. It hurts.

These days many young people are killing themselves because their little hearts cannot deal with the words that are being thrown at them and the relentless and merciless teasing by their peers. That shit is wack. Children are more impressionable and if they feel like there’s nothing else left of their life, I could understand why suicide would be an option for them. To be that young, and that full of despair stems from a lack of knowing things will get better and that is an absolute tragedy. At 13, when I first came to this country, I took a bunch of pills because I wanted to die and I was far too out of touch with anyone around me. The pills were Advil or some over the counter shit that didn’t kill me and wasn’t going to kill me BUT had I had to access to the right pills, that put you to sleep forever, I would have taken 100 or as many as possible and I would have gone to sleep forever. I wanted to. I literally tried because at 13, I saw no real concept of anything getting better and I couldn’t deal with being on this earth for one more moment. Some people probably would have asked, how I could have done that to my mom, but I would have told them that she should have listened instead of just talking all the time. They would have wondered why, but if they had read any of my poetry or leaned in and asked questions, no one would question my actions BECAUSE they would have gotten that i has actually felt very hopeless. Suicide was my answer because that’s all that made sense.

I would imagine that the concept behind suicide is the same when you’re wealthy and talented as well. You are so sad, so devastated, so crushed that you need to leave the earth. Death by hanging is such a violent, harsh, fucked up way to kill yourself and really fucked up for the person who finds you. It is something that leaves behind such a traumatic memory for the person in the their afterlife and for the person finding them. I think that is a terribly tragic way to go, and it shows the level of sadness, pain and devastation that a person must be in to commit an act so incredibly heinous and gruesome. The hurt in ones heart and soul to commit suicide is one that is incomprehensible and inexplicable. It is a feeling that you’ve either felt before or one that you haven’t. Anyone who has ever felt it, will never ask, how could they? Because we know that it is a matter of just simply wanting the pain and this life to end. Those of us who have wanted to die, and took pills, or cut ourselves or tried other ways and failed know what it is like to be at rock bottom. It’s a lonely, dark and soul crushing space that people don’t get because they wouldn’t have to ask, how could they? Check on the people who are strong, who are givers, who are pillars and who are always fine because those are the ones who need the light. Those people do so much for others and will continue to do so, right up until they say goodnight for the last time. They will smile and give their best face, one last time before they go back into their space, into their head, into their minds and they go dark, forever.  The voices tell them that this life is over and nothing is left, they tell them that the pain is too much and this world is too much, and that death is better than bondage on earth. How could they withstand the pain? They couldn’t. They could not.

National Suicide Hotline


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