As an intuitive healer and medium I have met people on all sides of the suicide experience. I have met family who has lost someone due to suicide and I have met their loved ones who committed suicide and are trying desperatly to reach out and apologize to the ones they have left behind.
There are so many situations that cause people to take their own lives, but there is one main reason - they want to put an end to pain.
What I know from the people who have ended their lives is that they never feel it was a success. They have never succeeded in ending their suffering, just as those who are left without them will never live a day without feeling the loss of their loved one.
Typically when people pass, they cross over and reunite with loved ones on the other side. In cases of sudden death, the soul may be confused and need a bit of direction. I always suggest that loved ones light candles for them and tell them to follow the light to heaven.
If a person feels guilty when they pass, they often get stuck in purgatory. This looks like a waiting room. They could be in purgatory until someone comes to talk to them. In my case, a client comes to me and I mediate between the two realms. It often takes more than one session to help the deceased see their way to self forgiveness. Sometimes I’ve seen other loved ones pass and find the person who committed
suicide and help them out. In either case, it’s talking that alleviates the suffering.
Memorials, funerals or celebrations of life are very important for helping a person come to terms with their passing. In some churches, services are refused for those who’ve committed suicide. If you belong to a faith tradition like this you can have your own memorial for your loved one. Tell them you forgive them and that God loves them and they can follow the light to heaven. Light a candle and bless them with the ability to accept and love themselves.
I suppose that many people don’t really know that there is no such thing as death. Sure, the body dies, but the soul is eternal. This means that whatever you experience in life is remembered by your soul after you die. So, the pain you were struggling with is remembered after you pass and you’re able to see that if you would have dealt with it you’d have surpassed it and come to a place of happiness again. The thing is, when you take your own life, you no longer have the chance to work through your challenges and now you have the additional pain of witnessing the loved ones you’ve left behind struggle with your violent passing. Your loved ones struggle with the agony of blaming themselves for your death and the grief of your loss. The grief of losing someone to suicide far exceeds that of losing someone to natural causes because of the self blame.
As a medium, I do not just talk to the deceased once. I often counsel them for several years - yes, years. Often, the conversations I have with the deceased could have been had while they were living. The main way to prevent suicide is to talk about it. Suicidal thoughts are just thoughts. They are not something you need to feel ashamed of. They are not uncommon in tremendously difficult situations. The thing that makes them unmanageable is trying to deal with them alone. Often, the loved one who is coming to me for the reading feels so guilty. They say there were signs, but they didn’t take them seriously. If you think someone is struggling, ask.
There is no harm or shame in addressing emotional struggles. They are a normal part of human life.
Dark thoughts can fester and morph into monsters that we can not fight on our own. Not mentioning our darkest thoughts and feelings does not make them go away, it helps them grow. So the first step in preventing suicide is to talk about how you are feeling, share your fears, share your pain with someone you can trust. If you don’t know who you can trust, look up your local suicide help line number. There are people who are trained to help you unravel your darkest thoughts. Once you dissolve the crisis of wanting to take your own life, you can begin to work on practices that can shift the way you feel and think about yourself more permanently.
I want to share a couple of the experiences I have had as a medium with you:
My first experience with someone who committed suicide was initiated by his brother. He phoned me and simply said I miss my brother so much. I stepped out of my house so I could have quiet and privacy. I could hear the sorrow in the young man’s voice. I knew that he needed my full attention. As I stepped into the cool, dark, night air I saw a body swaying from my neighbour's tree. I gasped and then realized it was a spirit, not an actual person. I asked the young man if his brother hung himself. He replied that he had. I took a moment to catch my breath. It was very sad to see the condition of the young man hanging there. I asked him if he felt ready to talk to his brother and told him he could come down. ”I don’t deserve to come down. I should have never done this.” he replied. “I have devastated my entire family. My mom can talk about it to other people, but my brother and sister have no one. My mom is drinking and taking drugs and the kids are on their own because I did this. As an empath, I can feel his guilt and regret as if they are my own. I would say this is the worst feeling a person can have - the heavy regret and remorse. It took me an hour to coax the young man to remove the noose and another hour to give both young men closure. The one who hung himself apologized over and over for leaving his siblings behind. Of course this apology didn’t change the fact that a family was left devastated in the wake of this young man's death. He said he hung himself because he couldn’t deal with his anxiety over being bullied in school anymore and wished he would have just told someone.
Another young man I met had hung himself ten years previous to his friend coming for a session with me. She asked me about him just as we were wrapping up. I had seen a body swinging the entire time she was sitting with me so was relieved to finally understand why I could hear the creek of a ceiling joist as I watched a young man swaying on a noose. She informed me that he had just broken up with his girlfriend and couldn’t handle the pain. He went straight home without calling anyone and killed himself. His mother found him and had to cut his body down. He had come through all these years later devastated at how his kids were struggling without him. It took me an hour to listen to him tell me why he did it. After that hour, he still couldn’t take the noose off his neck. His face was in awful shape due to the hanging. He came to me three more times on his own and finally, when he was able to forgive himself, he sent his friend back for a session. She gave him hell for the choice he had made and told him how everyone was impacted by his choice. He listened and nodded and said he could not blame anyone for his death. He just couldn’t imagine life without his girlfriend and took his own life without thinking of the fallout.
In both of these cases, both men knew after the fact that talking would have prevented this agony.
If you struggle with dark dark thoughts or are going through a hard time, reach out for help. If you know somebody is going through a rough patch extend an invitation to talk about it.
There are usually causes for suicidal thoughts, most of them can be dealt with or treated. Some of them include:
Undiagnosed mental illness such as bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, anxiety
Diagnosis of terminal illness
Loss of a pet or loved one
A critical incident like rape or loss of empoyment or break up
As a society, we are trained not to get too personal with people. It’s become taboo to talk about deep feelings. This is even more true for men than it is for women. It’s important to know that if you see someone struggling it won’t make them suicidal to ask them if they are ok or thinking about suicide. If they aren’t, asking them won’t make them suddenly suicidal. There are often signs that a person is suicidal. They include:
Weight loss or gain - a change in their relationship with food
Inability to focus
If you notice someone struggling with any of these things, tell them you notice that they are struggling and ask if they need help and would like to talk about it.
If you know that someone has suffered a critical incident, tell them that you are there for them to talk to.
Most of the people I have met who have taken their own lives exhibited these signs but did not feel they should burden anyone with their feelings. It’s a common thread with all of the people I have spoken to on the other side that they wish they would have talked to someone instead of acting on their suicidal thoughts. All of them knew that they had loved ones, but most of them just felt that they could not talk about how they were feeling. If you feel like you are isolated in your own agony, just know that people might not ask you how you are feeling even though they care, because they may feel it’s intrusive to do so.
If you’re in pain or confused about how to manage your life, please reach out for help. If you know somebody who looks like they’re struggling, please reach out. If somebody looks like they’re struggling, they likely are, sometimes all it takes to shift how a person feels is knowing that someone noticed and cared enough to reach out. Talking about difficulties with another person helps us find solutions we could not find on our own.
We as a society need to heal the stigma of being real about how we feel. We need to heal the stigma associated with mental illness. We need to be more open with each other about our feelings and feel more free to ask for help. This Is something we need to teach our children.
Teaching our children to talk about how they feel and give them techniques to use when they are feeling out of sorts can help them recognize, name and manage the visitations of their thoughts and feelings. I have noticed that teaching children simple techniques helps them self regulate as they grow and meet life’s challenges.
As a yoga and meditation teacher, I have worked with people in crisis or living in high risk situations. I have seen how very simple mindfulness practices have helped them navigate very difficult situations. If we as a society begin to implement these simple techniques, we will be far more empathic and able to sense when others need support and we will be far more able to navigate difficult situations when they arise in our lives. Mental and emotional health need to be fostered, just as physical health is fostered with exercise and nutrition. We are taught in school how to eat and we are mandated to take gym class, but there is less focus on mental and emotional nourishment. I would love to see more schools teaching kids about their thoughts and feelings and how to keep themselves emotionally fit and mentally strong and healthy!.
!. Make kids aware of the different emotions
I was amazed to learn from a loved one that they did not know how they felt. They found a list of different emotions in a self help book and would read them to help her understand how she was feeling so that she could manage her emotional state. When a person can say I am lonely they know that the healing they need is to be connected to others. When they know they are sad, they know the remedy is to seek things that help them feel happy. Knowing how you feel informs you of what type of healing you need to create a shift. Teach them that all human emotions are ok and that they do not need to feel ashamed of any feeling.
2. Teach children how to hold space for others.
It can be really awkward to ask someone if they need help. This is partially because that we might not know how to support someone if they tell us they are sad or scared or suicidal. Sometimes all we need to do is sit and listen with our heart and mind open. Once the person shares their feelings, they often feel better.
3. Teach kids that it takes a community to create support.
Making kids aware that society is a whole that takes care of each other can help them feel less afraid to share their feelings and more safe in doing so. It will also empower them to be a safe person for a friend who is struggling. Teach them that if they come across an adult who is not supportive, they can tell someone else until they find the support they need. Make them aware that there are special help lines they can call if they or a friend needs help.
4. Teach kids about random acts of kindness.
As a society we are pretty withdrawn. We don’t make eye contact or greet each other. So many people are lonely. Teaching kids that it’s ok to compliment people, hold doors open for people, feed people who are hungry, smile at people who are sitting alone will help build a society that noticess and cares for one another.
There are also daily practices we can do to keep us tapped into the support of Spirit
Keep a gratitude journal - write down five things everyday that you love about life
Keep a self love journal - write down five things each day that you love about you or five accomplishments you’re proud of. They don’t need to be huge - I love myself for being kind - I love myself for picking up trash on the street…
Note when difficult feelings arise, address it, don’t suppress it. If you need to talk to someone to figure it out do so, if you need to punch a pillow, do so, but be sure to resolve stuff as it arises so that it doesn’t build up.
If you don’t know how to deal with a crisis situation, share it with someone.
These techniques help you cultivate a positive attitude and help you note your blessings. They help you see the good things in yourself. They help you stay on top of your feelings so that stress doesn’t pile up. They help you create a community of support so that when life is challenging, you have people to depend on.
When we take care of our mental and emotional well being, we become an example of emotional health for others and that’s how we bring social change!