When I wrote 10 Things You Should Know Before You Kill Yourself, I spoke from the only perspective I know — my experience as the wife of a man who took his own life. A lot of people respond negatively to that post claiming their situation is different because they are alone and will be forever. Somehow, they argue, this is a good enough reason to end their lives.
What they fail to understand, and what is not obvious in my post is that my husband was technically alone too. We were separated and had been estranged for a long time. I wasn’t the loving embodiment of a perfect wife. We had no children and his parents lived in another state with little contact.
So on paper it would be fair to assume no one would miss him much. But I can tell you that’s not true.
Even if you’re not in a loving, intimate, romantic relationship, even if you have no family, even if you go days without speaking to another person, if you die, you will be missed.
When the news of my husband’s suicide became known, my phone didn’t stop ringing. Everyone had the same message — we’re shocked, saddened and distressed.
I wish I had done more, talked more, paid attention and listened. He was great, I liked him, he helped me out.
When I went to the store, the shopkeeper had tears in his eyes; when I ended the lease on the house the real estate agent’s voice cracked with emotion; and online, a forum blew up with tributes and memories of my husband’s life.
Please don’t tell me you want to kill yourself because no one loves you — such deep, tangible love is rarely felt by anyone. The kind of love that surrounds you is silent and shy, reluctant to express itself until it is too late.
I didn’t love my husband but his suicide affected me profoundly. The same words echo in my head — I wish I had done more, paid attention, listened. I wish he had paused for a moment to consider the gaping hole he would leave in so many lives. I wish he had asked one of the scores of people who cared about him for help.
And I wish he was still here. I wish I could bring him back. But I can’t.
All I can do is perhaps convince you to stay.
Nobody loves me isn’t a good enough reason to kill yourself because no matter who you are, people care about you. We are here, listening, paying attention, holding our hands out to help. At least give us a chance to try.
If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide contact
beyondblue 1300 22 46 36, Lifeline 13 11 14 or Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22.
For those who may be reading this in the US, the number to call is 1 (800) 273-8255
49 thoughts on “Suicide • Why Nobody Loves Me Isn’t a Good Enough Reason to Kill Yourself”
You have a beautiful heart and I admire your dedication to raising awareness. The world needs more people like you, <3
Thank you Christina x
For those who may be reading this from the US, the number to call is 1 (800) 273-8255
Thanks Jennifer, I added it to the post.
All I can do is perhaps convince you to stay…. This sentence resonated the most with me!
In all my years in law enforcement and dealing with death first hand, suicide might be the emotional most violent form…
Thank you for the work you did/do. It must be especially tough on the people in emergency services.
No. There is no longer a reason. I have. Been everywhere now I’m home. Wife left tired of the pain. Wishing there was another way only to find one. My history my secrets all go away forever.
I am truly sorry about your husband, Katie. I can’t imagine…
Beautiful post and an important one. Thanks for writing it. If we could only help people get through that one bad moment and convince them life is worth living…
Thank you for reading and commenting, Cathy.
It’s amazing how some dates can take you right back to that dark time in our lives. I wrote a similar post today about my own experiences with suicide. So glad you are out there spreading awareness. Terrific piece Katie!
I’m sorry for your loss, Rena. It’s tough.
Thank you for writing this, Kathy, and for constantly getting the message out there!
Thank you for your support, Corinne
Hi Katie – I admire you for being able to write about this. I still can’t go there after all these years. If you save one life it will spare many people from the unbearable pain it leaves.
Thanks Gilly. I try not to “go there” too often myself.
This year is the 10th anniversary of my father in law’s suicide. It’s a hard road for the survivors. Even 10 years later we are all still coping with the aftermath.
It’s probably a wound that will never heal entirely. Thank you for sharing your story.
Your candor and heart shines through this post, and every other I’ve read by you.
Thank you, Susan.
I really wish to write on this topic but since it concerns a family member, I feel like I would violate her privacy, even though my blog is anonymous. Thank you for doing so much to spread awareness and understanding!
I upset my husband’s family by writing about what happened so I understand your desire/need for privacy.
This is another reason why I find it hard to contemplate writing about it. My husband was the third suicide in his family. The father went first, then then the youngest son, then my husband. The mother then died of natural causes and the one surviving family member, my former sister-in-law was left with a life in shreds. My pain is hard to bear but hers is beyond what any human can be expected to deal with and it keeps mine stuffed down in the dark somewhere. The story is unbelievably tragic but it isn’t mine to tell.
I loved the gentleness of this post. I hope someone in need reads it and hears it too.
Thank you for your support, Meg.
Suicide is a national problem. As a teacher, I take threats from students to harm themselves very seriously. It occurred recently. Of course, I reported it. Thanks for raising awareness. #midlifeluv
It’s especially horrific when teenagers kill themselves. One of my friends lost her 19 year old daughter to suicide this week. I can’t imagine that kind of pain.
I can’t either.
Hi again – just saying hello from the MidLife Luv Linky party. As I commented earlier in the week I will just say…hope you have a great weekend!
Hi again, Miss Gilly x
You address this oh-so-painful topic with such sensitivity and grace. I admire your willingness to speak out.
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Roxanne. It means a lot.
I know you are reaching people. And I know you are helping them. Such a generous thing to do. I share these often.
Thank you for sharing, Laura. I do hope you’re right about it helping.
I admire your courage to say this so bluntly, yet so eloquently. Your brand of honesty is refreshing. This is one of many of your posts that have touched me deeply and reminded me that even a truth you don’t want to say (or hear) is always best. Thank you.
I’m happy you have found something in my stories that resonates with you. Thank you for taking the time to comment x
Passing this along to someone who I hope will heed your message. Thank you for your plea.
I truly hope it helps.
Suicide is a terrible thing and it leaves a huge wake… My mom’s first husband committed suicide, leaving her – a young woman still in her twenties – to care for their children – my half brother and sister (ages 1 and 4 at the time) alone. Was he thinking of the potential long term consequences to them when contemplating his decision to try to end his own life? I doubt it, but it did end up having consequences nonetheless – for himself, first and foremost: i.e. He didn’t just remove the chance of life getting any worse, he eliminated the possibility of it ever getting better, but he also affected lots of other people as well, like my mom and siblings, and even me since I saw how it impacted them. Like I said, suicide is a terrible thing, and the leaves a huge wake.
Thank you for sharing your personal story, Paula. It’s so difficult for those left behind.
Today is sunnier and sunnier. Never read you. So nice to find you! Indeed! Grateful to be here surrounded by loving souls also warmed by all the light you bring.:)
My heart is still quite furious from my step fathers suicide. It’s been difficult to look at people and answer WTF he did it.
I got to telling people, obviously(?) he was just too delicate for this world and went to sleep to avoid suffering. (BTW he was a poet/writer.)
Oh hell no! I don’t share in his “romanticized” view of death. This isn’t some book, this is/was “our” life. This is the suck part of it all. For sure.
I couldn’t have talked him down from his suicide. Believe me, you, how I tried.
He had plenty of good in his life. His will to live life should have been a no brainer. Especially with the large networks of light he received through all the tiny connections of the love that surrounded him. No one will ever know why he still choose to feel alone.
We feel alone when we can’t tell that the world is full of love. All hearts feel pain, suffering, and weakness. I suppose some of us learn to tolerate it better than others. That said, never assume people know you love them. Some people are too thick to get the message!! (Grrrrrr.) Put yourself out there and gracefully go ahead and embarrass yourself! Go! Tell them! Give that compliment, ask someone sitting alone if they’d like to join you etc.. After all, we’re all in this together!
Peace to all.
What happens if there is nothing left? What if I can’t conjure up the person I am or at least used to be. Just memories. Memories that make everything more difficult.
I am not an expert. You need to talk to one of those.
Call one of the suicide hotlines. They will help you.
I always wonder.. How can you do your best to show this quiet love you talk about with those around you? Maybe it’s not as vocal, but so that someone sees that may need to see it. How do you do what you can to show it?
I think this post (not to mention others) saved me. It encouraged me to voice what I was feeling at the time.
I guess we have to go to sleep every day, get up in the morning, and keep breathing. And repeat.
It may never get easier. That period left a scar on my heart. But I try to wear it with pride, because I am that and I got through that time. It’s part of me now, and realizing that other people care is also part of me. It’s in the small stuff. The little laughs, slight smiles, all the times with friends. I look back on this now and think, those were the big things.
And I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
Thank you for your comment, Sierra. I am so pleased you found your way through the nightmare x
I hope this isn’t a double post my first one apparently didn’t go through if it is a double post so I’m sorry I’ll be short I don’t know my my wife is not dead she did however walk on 27 years of marriage that is left pretty big hole in my life it’s not all her fault and I’m not taking all the blame myself I found your post when I was in a really dark place reading it made me cry yes some men do but it probably kept me alive even when I didn’t want to be I’m sorry for your loss thank you for sharing and you helped me thank you
I find this post incredibly insensitive. Living a life without love, especially for years on end, is one of the most horrific things a person can be forced to deal with. We’re social animals. We need love with the same urgency and necessity as we need food, water, and oxygen. Not having love sucks all of the joy, meaning, pleasure, and colour out of everything. Without love, everything is meaningless, empty, and grey.
How many times have you seen a family on the news who lost their home in a fire or flood but they know they’ll be okay because they still have each other? But when the reverse is true, when the person loses their entire family but the house is still standing, the person is inconsolable. Exactly.
Maybe we do make people smile in the grocery store and maybe we do have people who will miss us when we’re gone, but that’s not enough; that’s not nearly enough. Care and love are not the same thing. Care is nice, but it’s not enough.
I have been blessed to work with first responders and to share in the pain they experience dealing with the many tragedies they face each day. I am writing an article titled,
“When living hurts so bad that suicide becomes the only option, we as a society have failed our brothers and sisters”. I would like to add the 10 Things you should know before you kill yourself” With your permission can I cite you as the author and include this powerful and profound statement?
You are welcome to link to my article. Please go right ahead.
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