You never know what the next person is going through. It may look like they have everything together. You may ask them if everything is ok and they tell you they are fine, but deep down they’re struggling with something that you will never understand. The loss of something or someone could bring them to this point. They could feel like they aren’t needed or like they failed at something, or they may feel inadequate. What ever it is thoughts of hoplessness consume them until they feel like the only way to stop the pain of these feelings is to end life. My dad committed suicide when I was 7. I remember like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful day I was at my grandparents and my mom came in the back yard where my little sister and I were playing. She calls me over to her and I could tell she was crying. She sat down next to me and said “Matthew, I have to tell you something…….its about your dad” I could tell it was very hard for her she is a strong woman and she was struggling. Its like I knew I said “is my dad dead” and she just pulled me to her held me tight and we cried together . I was told it was an accident he was cleaning his gun and it went off. I didnt really understand though. From that point I developed a coping mechanism where I pushed my feelings deep down so I didn’t have to deal with them. I detached myself from everything . This made me depressed. I didn’t care about anything. I spent a lot of time with doctors and therapists. I didn’t give them anything . My mom got me the best help but I was not going to bring that shit to the surface and “talk about it” with them or anyone else. It hurt to bad. So I acted out got bad grades. I was rebellious. As I grew older there have been several times when I’ve found myself lost and hopeless. Something always stoped me whether it be divine intervention or the fact that I know what it would do to everyone that loves me . I remember the pain it caused my family. Even to this day the effects are still present. I don’t know what my dad was thinking when he decided to end his life but I’m sure it didn’t include causing us all this pain. Thankfully now I’ve got my mental health under control. Its been a battle that I’ve come so close to losing. This was really hard for me to share without breaking down. If you or anyone you know may be struggling with something even if you think its small talk to someone , anyone about it. Hell you can reach out to me. Hold on things will get better. Think about those you love, they need you. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I was inspired to write this by a song from Chord Overstreet titled “Hold on” and obviously my own story. I hope this will help someone hold on. Please share this if you think it could help.
Rest in peace Dad. You are loved and missed more than you could ever know.
Categories: Matthew Shepherd
Thanks for sharing your story!
What a beautiful post as it stirred many emotions within me. I am experiencing a different kind of loss in my life so I can relate to some of your feelings. Especially after reading the lyrics to “Hold On”. I am so sorry for your sorrow, loss and your struggles. The comment written by lostinthelight said what was in my heart as well. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you continue this journey toward complete healing. God bless you.
Wow. I can say I relate. And that’s really good to me because I thought I was always alone. I understand the feeling of repressing the emotions we don’t want to feel and closing ourselves off. I rebelled. I did all that. My parents split up when I was 12-13. It was still traumatic for me. I’m not undermining what you went through by any means. Trauma comes in many forms, but it’s really nice knowing I’m not alone or wasn’t alone. I will be praying for you. Praying for healing.
Matthew, this is beautifully written. The pain of suicide has touched my family too- I have seen the absolute devastation that it leaves behind. I agree, I cant imagine that the person who takes their own life ever means to hurt you. The way they are thinking at the time, they often feel so bad about themselves and life that they actually think they are doing the ‘right’ or the ‘only’ thing. I know in my family, it was the children who took it the hardest. Maybe it takes being an adult and understanding life more to really get to grips with suicide. It’s a concept almost beyond the mind of a child. Thank you and bless you for sharing this. Hope you continue to heal from your loss, and have a really bright future!