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Suicide Attempt

Found out last week that my uncle was in the hospital. Very odd circumstances that never made any sense. He was found lying in a field and a teenager who walked by called the police. This was not far from his home. Then bits and pieces of the story came out. Heard something about him being dead for 22 minutes and then brought back to life. Other news about his body needing to be flushed out....

Yesterday, I went over to the hospital to pay him a visit. While a bit of a smaller guy, he seemed to be almost 50 pounds underweight. Almost wanted to cry. Of all the family members on that side of the family, he's the only one I could say I truly have respect for. I think he was tired of all the visitors, all the crying .. unsure of what to do.

As I arrived, he was finishing up with one of the psychiatrists. My uncle was candid with me, that it was a suicide attempt, and he had swallowed over 80 sleeping pills. My heart just sank. He told me how precious life was and how he didn't want us to worry, or to visit and see him in this state. I honestly think, it was grandma looking out for my uncle. Over the last six years of grandma's life, uncle was her primary caregiver. He mentioned it was these thoughts, that he missed grandma.

I walked out of the hospital, and was in shock. Working at a crisis centre, I felt even more helpless, seeing the stages. Anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness.. I still think I am in shock, and still trying to process it. I am hopeful for the future, but I can't help wonder if there is anything left that he's hiding. Hiding in plain sight... I know its something I am particular good at. To see him talk as candidly about suicide and how much he loved us, was something I've never seen from him before, and I am hoping and praying its more of a fresh start.

Mom called last night, and said that when he is out of the hospital, he'll be staying with us for a while, until he gets his feet grounded again. This is what we seem to do well in our family. We take things on, and fix things... I know for me, I've got a lot more on my plate than I care for, and I hope I can still be there... There's going to be parts I dread, such as seeing the other family members on that side of the family (we are not close..), but maybe there's an opportunity here... Part of this kills me though, wondering how many years he shaved off his life with this attempt, how many years he won't get to share in his children's future. But its something I have to let go. Because maybe .. just maybe, its quality time that matters... I know it is.

Yesterday, I spent the morning coaching a new volunteer on the crisis lines. It was their second shift, their life experience showed that they were a lot more ready than usual. In order to get them out at a reasonable time, I took a few extra calls at the end of the shift. One of those calls was to someone who we saved their life. I can't get into details, but hopelessness is the corner of the room, where everything is dark, and no light can get in. Its where we struggle to find meaning, to find something or someone to hold on to. While I know we made a difference here, I wonder if this call was meant for me, as preparation or karmic balance for my uncle. So this is what makes it so much harder, so much more challenging...not everything is as it seems....

Keep fighting. Life is precious and worth every single moment.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
I just scrambled onto your page.. new to live journal but I really wish the best for your uncle and that he can truly find the value in life.

I work in the hospital and started off in ER. Though I never had much direct patient contact except for identifying them, I can somewhat relate to how you feel when you work at a crisis centre and feeling helpless when something happens in your life.

Take one step at a time. There is a light at the end of every tunnel and the answer will present itself then. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Best wishes.
Jul. 21st, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
Thanks. Means a lot. I know it only took a few days to process and get through it, but sometimes just working through the pain is the most important part.

He's doing better. --Ray
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )