OK, so no one is interested in college (previous post).
I've been on kind of a tear the last few days re: suicide, though I haven't been posting it here. I don't know why. People call me and ask if it's ok to give my number to someone else whose young adult child has died, via suicide or otherwise. I always say, "Of course," and then I hang up and think, "As if there were anything I could do. Or anyone else."
Sometimes the parents call me. Or someone else does. Or they leave comments on old blog posts. Sometimes they don't. There's nothing I can do, in any case. I mean, I can listen. But I can't do the only thing we all want. My Glinda wand is all smashed up and broken.
Lately I've begun to realize that acceptance is simply not a tolerable step to take. I think that if I realized, for more than an occasional few seconds, that Josh were really never coming back . . . well, I can't go there.
It's easier just to post FB links to the articles people have been sending me.
This one is an excellent, albeit long, overview of the prevalence of suicide. I don't believe, as a couple of people quoted do, that suicide is a selfish act. I think that most people who die of suicide are too ill to be intentionally selfish. On the other hand, I do think there is a time, probably well before death, when a person might be behaving selfishly by not seeking help. That's why I went back to therapy a few months ago. On the other hand (there are always expletive deleted other hands where suicide is concerned), people contending with depression often do not realize that their thought process and emotions differ from the more usual ones; that they are, in fact, susceptible to death; and that they could, possibly, be helped away from that end.
This is about one of those studies regarding which you wish they had just given you all the money they spent discovering the obvious. I could write the book on physical decline as an effect of parental grief. I do recall when it was not obvious to me, and when I was writing about how surprised I was by my internist's reaction when I eventually went to see her, some months after Josh had died. "Oh, my GOD! Oh, MY GOD! Oh, that's AWFUL!" I believe that the more appropriate and perhaps helpful responses would have been questions about and referrals to a therapist, a yoga instructor, a gym, a nutritionist, a support group.
Today I had a long conversation with a good friend about The Future. But I don't know. Maybe I need to start some form of ministry that is all about parental grief.
Pretending, I guess, that there is something to be done.
I am starting a sermons series on Job on Sunday. Which only goes to show, I guess, that I am a complete idiot. You know how it ends? Not the smarmy, fake, everything-is-all-wonderful pretend ending. The real one?
It's a mystery.