I am a mother of two boys; a wife, a sister, an aunt and, most of all, I consider myself a woman of God.
It hurts my heart every time I see a young life go down the drain, whether it be through sexual abuse, physical abuse, drugs or, as we’ve recently seen, suicide.
I got up to news last week that a young woman had committed suicide. I looked at her picture and read her last words to her family and “fake friends” and I wondered about her life. What were the struggles she had been faced with? Where was her support system? Her parents?
I suppose now isn’t the time to play the blame game; we already know that parents can’t be around 24/7 due to work – another obligation in times that are increasingly more demanding. On a more general scope, there are far too many single parent families, which makes things even more difficult.
I started thinking about the environment where she would have spent most of her time – at school. Did the teachers see the signs? Are they even trained to see it or were they too busy writing on the blackboard? Had her “fake friends” noticed a change in her? Did anyone notice anything at all?
So much went through my mind, even while writing this piece. I didn’t know this young lady personally, but somehow the news of her dying compelled me to write.
I see myself as a role model for my children. With two boys at home, I watch what I say, what I wear, the company I keep, even how I speak with my husband. Our children learn from us. When you think they’re not watching or listening, think again.
Parents and teachers, we have to set the example for our children. We must teach them how to pray, pray with them, tell them how much they mean to us, how much we love them… We need to let them know that we will be there for them anytime they need support. Unfortunately, some of our kids don’t hear these encouraging words often enough from the right people.
September 10th was International Suicide Prevention Day. Was enough done through advertising, the media or the relevant authorities to focus on this special calendar date? Other than organisations like the Caribbean Women Honours and Empowerment, who embarked on a mission to put suicide prevention in the spotlight throughout this month, there was much to be desired as it related to the level of priority for the issue that continues to plague our society.
As I wrote this piece, I was saddened to learn that two more lives on this island had been lost in the space of ten days at the hand of suicide. I pray that the families of victims will soon find peace.
If anyone reading this is contemplating suicide, please seek help. Don’t do it. You are beautiful, you are special, you might not see it or know it but you are a child of a King, which means you are a prince or princess.
Hold on, and please don’t let go. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will send you my number. Please don’t take your beautiful life away.
— Sally Elwin