Ode to the Suicidal

“He came from an island
 And he died from the street
 He hurt so bad like a soul breaking
But he never said nothing to me
 So say hello to heaven”

-Chris Cornell, ‘Temple of the Dog’ - “Say Hello to Heaven”

When the immensity of pain frames death as your best and only solution,

When your broken heart can only find solace in the promises of life after death,

When the lies of shame feel truer than reality itself,

When life seems sour and death seems sweet…

To the desperate and despairing, I don’t know what got you here, but I know it must have been awful.


To those who’ve lost their parent, sibling, friend, mentor, child or grandchild to suicide, my heart weeps for you.

To those who’ve held the gun, pill, knife or cord, groping in the dark for a reason to live, my soul groans with you.

To the kid who is so bullied, beaten down or abused, whose only sure friend seems to be the silence of death, my spirit aches for you.


I wish I had a simple solution to offer, a number to call, a friendly ear to offer, but the reality is, when suicide seems to be your only remaining hope, there’s little anyone can do to fix what arrived you at this point. Instead, I can tell you that you’re not the only one. Many have washed down their pain with a jar of pills and survived. Many have held the cold steel of a pistol between their teeth and felt grief after not pulling the trigger. Others have gone through with it, others have not.

If I tell you someone out there loves you and needs you to keep fighting, I know it’s beyond what you feel you can bear or believe. The same goes for promises of healing and moving forward, which I’m sure you’ve heard before, maybe even worked towards. I may not be able to convince you it’s not your best option, but I would like to offer you that it’s not your only option. There are other ways to get to the other side of the pain that makes death seem better than life.

If your hope is running on empty, borrow mine for a time. Maybe you just need it for the next two minutes, maybe longer. Whatever it takes, try to take the next breath, make the next call, ask someone else for help, get through the next few moments. Losing you will leave an unfillable hole in countless people’s lives. Your value, though obscured and dimmed by pain, is beyond measure.