Recently, one of my best friends had a very serious emotional trauma. Her ex-boyfriend (I will call Mike), which she dated for almost three years, committed suicide. The reason: she did not feel she could be in their relationship any longer. She wanted to move on and enjoy being a high school student. It was both her and his senior year.
She has lost a vibrant and beautiful part of herself. From now on, she will be hurt and the pain that he caused her will stay with her for the rest of her life. Why? Because he wanted her to be hurt as bad as he was. Her current relationship is struggling to escape the torment she is feeling. She blames herself for his death. In this type of tragedy, she asks herself questions. Why did I break up with him? If I would have stayed with him, would he still be alive? Am I fit to be with anyone?
These questions are making her hesitant to fall in love, to care about someone, to have a family. Mike has ruined her livelihood, her passion for life, and her ability to care. With Christmas coming, his family and friends will have one less present to buy, one less seat at the table, and one less person in the family portrait. My friend will never be able to go through a Thanksgiving, which is the holiday he chose to kill himself, without thinking about Mike and feeling guilty for his death.
If Mike had let go of her, he wouldn’t have been hurt when she started dating again. If Mike had truly loved her, he would have wanted her to be happy. If Mike had truly cared, no one would be crying.
Out of all of this I have learned one simple thing: suicide is the coward’s way out.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.