A Father's Plea
Was it recent? No, was it a lifetime go? Sometimes it seems like one or the other. But no, it was 10 years ago that we lost our son Jonathan to suicide at the age of 24. Jonathan was a very intelligent young man who unfortunately was plagued with depression for several years prior to his death.
Roxie and I tried very hard to get Jonathan the help he needed without hovering so he could have his personal space. He received counseling and a regimen of medications. He enjoyed his University of Maine in Farmington years, although they were a challenge due to his depression.
Following graduation his first job took him to Southern Maine. We remained in communication with Jonathan while at the University and while he was working by way of visits and phone calls. He also found joy in life and was very compassionate. It was not all “gloom and doom”.
We do the best we can for our children, but we can’t live their lives for them. We can guide them and let them know that they can always come to us for any reason for advice and support. Our experience with Jonathan’s suicide taught us that there is a level of depression when an individual reaches a certain point that they feel there is only one way to stop the pain regardless of how it will affect their family, loved ones and friends. Jonathan’s way of finding peace was to travel over the rainbow.
It seems like in this day and age a week doesn’t go by without the general and social media indicating or posting another suicide. It is vital that family and friends of loved ones be alert to any signs of contemplating suicide.
There are many signs: ideation, changes in behavior, not sleeping well, purchasing suspicious items, depression, irritability, withdrawn and the list goes on. Know that there are crisis hotlines available as well as organizations like the JD Foundation we are supporting today.