Monday, August 11

A New Word and a Sad Story

Thursday, the day  her toddler son died,  Kayelisa Martin  committed suicide  in Canton, Ohio
Thursday, the day her toddler
son died, Kayelisa Martin
committed suicide
in Canton, Ohio
A sad week just got more sad.

Much of the past month I've spent training for my new position at the Crisis Clinic in Seattle. Monday we spent a full day training to work with people considering ending their own lives.

Coincidentally, my current MFT coursework is covering some of the same ground. Suicide is tough topic.

And I've learned a new word.

When you live long enough, your life will be touched -- wounded -- by someone's suicide or suicide attempt. It's a tragic, painful event, one that I've had more than a passing acquaintance with. I've managed to stop three suicides by physically delivering three different individuals to hospitals -- one, on a helicopter -- after they'd swallowed pills. Those three, I cried over, but they survived, and have gone on to have more or less happy outcomes. Another two people in my life were saved by other people -- sometimes more than once -- and with a lot of therapy, learned ways to manage their lives post-suicide-attempt that brought at least a measure of joy.
Robin Williams commits suicide, 11 Aug 2014
And now, this.
He won't be the last.

Two other individuals were not so fortunate. Their "successful" suicides (How is it possible to use the word "successful" and "suicide" in the same phrase?) tore apart the lives of their families, friends, and every person they'd ever known in their too-short lives. Suicide devastates.

Today a story appeared in the news that tears my heart out -- and here's that new word: Psychache. It's pronounced syk-ak, but it means just what it looks like: The psychological ache that hurts so badly, suicide feels like the only way to end it. Psychache.

Thursday morning, Kayelisa Martin had a car accident. Possibly from the effects of that accident, Thursday afternoon, her son died. And Thursday evening, Kayelisa Martin took her own life.

The autopsies aren't back yet, but I'm looking at that photo, and thinking Kayelisa Martin died. Psychache was the cause of death. If only someone could have known her pain and helped her get past that moment. If only she'd turned to someone -- anyone -- for help. 

Now everyone Kayelisa has ever known is suffering. Psychache is a deadly virus.

Update: Minutes after posting this entry, breaking news: Actor-Comedian Robin Williams has taken his own life.  

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