Yesterday a woman with whom I had recently become friends with on FaceBook, wrote a post that she was saying goodbye and she was committing suicide. And I did not take her seriously because she had written just a couple of weeks ago that she had taken 70 pills and had called for help and had been in the hospital for however long you have to stay after trying to kill yourself and it did not seem like a big deal to her and so I was left wondering if it were even true. And she would post rants about her children (grown) and then post more uplifting things so I knew she was a troubled woman but felt that much of her postings were to gain attention from her kids.
In the comments left by friends and family about the suicide post, someone had called 911 and another person had said that she left directions to where she was so I felt that it was just another attempt to get her kids attention.
Today her daughter-in-law posted a tribute to her. She was successful in her suicide. Did she mean to be? Was she hoping to be found before she really died? I do not know this woman at all. She was a friend of a friend and seemed like a kindred spirit, which she was… when she was in a good mental condition, but so often she would post her hurt at what family members had done to her, and for those of us who knew her not, it was rather disturbing because you did not know how much was pure emotion for the moment and how much was truth.
So yesterday when I read what she had wrote, I dismissed it as “here we go again” and rolled my eyes.
Now I feel horrid.
And kinda mad.
This is where I break into two camps about Facebook. I so understand the need to share personal pain but when we do, it affects not only us but everyone who reads what we write. And when we are “friends” with strangers, we have no filters to judge what they are saying by. So we make snap judgements based on other postings by them. And we can fall into labeling them as kooks or drama queens or braggarts or whatever because we only see on the surface of what they say.
I am feeling very guilty today. Guilty that I “poo~pooed” her goodby as just a ploy for attention. I don’t feel I could have done anything since I did not even know where she lived….but I could have earnestly prayed for her, that they would find her in time to be saved. What gave me the right to judge her post as “trivial” and not the SCREAM for help it was.
And this is why I am kinda mad. What gives any of us the right to say we are going to kill ourselves on a public forum? Why does her decision to end her life and to broadcast it, override my right to not have to feel guilt or remorse over something I could not stop? Am I making any sense to any of you? I am so very, very sorry that in her mind she had no options left except to die and I feel sorry for her family whether or not what she had said about them was true (and I heard it was) for they no longer have the chance to make things right with her or to ask for her forgiveness and for all of their remaining days will have to live with the guilt/anger/confusion/etc. that her suicide left them all with. Including me. And I am sure others who were her “friends” on Facebook.
I hope she is free from all her pain, I really do.
Now, how do the rest of us deal with our pain over her choice?