Below, is a personal account of someone who suffered the aftermath of suicide. I just want to take a moment to thank Jacob for opening up to the students at OSU by telling his very personal story.
Hi everybody, I am glad to see that you are so interested in the education and prevention of suicide. Suicide is not an easy subject to talk about, however, we must work to help one another through the good and the bad times in order to accomplish our goal. Whether it be a candle lit in memory of a loved one, a touching story, or a university wide event, we are all here to support each other.
I would like to share with you my personal story of suicide. It is just one of many, however, it motivates me to better myself every single day. It forces me to live my life twice as well as I think I could, once for myself of course, and once for the man I have always considered my hero.
In remembrance of all those who have died, in support of all those who have survived, and in dedication to all those involved, this is my story...
Four weeks prior to August 1, 2008 I had walked down the steps of my brother's house in University Heights. Looking back as he yelled something dumb at me like he usually did, I remember his shining face smiling down at me as it had for all 17 years of my life.
"Later, Juice," he said, citing his all so famous nickname for me! If you asked me where he got it from I really couldn't tell you, but I had always liked it.
My cousins and I, who had spent the day at my brother's house had just left after eating dinner with him and were on our way back home. It was just like any other day, or so I thought.
He had planned on moving to Florida on August 28, 2008, just one day after his twenty-sixth birthday. He was getting a new job down there, working at a restaurant, and he seemed to be happy about it. Of course the rest of us were a bit stressed because we all know what its like when family members move away, inconvenient to say the least.
Two weeks before August 1, my Mom had pulled me aside and given me the news that he was moving. She told me "Jake, I'm worried about your brother moving, how about you give him a call and see what he is up to...maybe go out to eat lunch one day this week."
Now, you must understand that my Mom said things like this all the time. My brother had always been a bit troubled in his youth and she had always worried about him. The problem was, I didn't really have that much time. I was starting varsity golf practice in a few days and needed to get out and work on my game. I blew her off, I forgot to call him.
Two days later, on Thursday the 31st, I finally remembered to give him a call. I glanced at my phone surprised to find a voicemail. It turns out that my brother had actually called me on Tuesday to see if I wanted to go out to lunch, I just never heard it until then.
Friday morning, was the worst day of my life. I woke up to my Mom walking into my room crying. Knowing that my pet bunny, Snowball, had been sick for a few weeks by then, I figured that she had finally gone to Heaven.
I sat in my bed shaking, unable to talk or move for thirty minutes when my Mom told me what actually happened.
"Your brother Mark took his life last night," she cried.
How am I supposed to respond to that? Why did this happen to our family? How could he have ever done such a thing?
To be honest with you, I still do not know the answers to those questions. It turns out that Mark took his life in the late hours of Thursday night into Friday morning. He did so with a firearm he had gotten from his friend and took his final resting place in his apartment. The same apartment that I had last seen him at with my cousins four weeks earlier. He had been fighting with his girlfriend, as well as my other older brother, Nick, who had tried to stop him from getting into trouble like he had been with drugs the last few months.
It has since been almost a year and a half, yet I can remember that terrible day as if it were yesterday.
Thankfully, with the help of my friends and my family, I have begun to make light of our situation, at least in such a way that I can show my love and remembrance of my brother Mark by working to prevent suicide in the future, and working hard to succeed throughout my life. He has given me so much to write about, not to mention, he has allowed me to grow up so much whereas I value my life and care about others so much more than I ever could have imagined before.
I do not look for sympathy or condolences in writing about my brother, rather, I do so in an attempt to inspire other people, just as I have become inspired to dedicate what I do, for the rest of my life, in honor of all of those who have dealt with suicide.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
here's a little something to get you started. an article i found that really hits home. how suicide affects everyone.