Suicide – In Loving Memory Of Jerome


Negative people can distract one from one’s purpose for a while, but never permanently. Their pettiness makes people so little, their troubles are so often so insignificant, it’s pitiful really.

Today the cynics were put in perspective for me …

A mutual friend of ours told me he is visiting a friend today, an old work colleague. His friend has a son who took his own life whilst he was studying at University. I discussed with my friend a little of how we felt, and how difficult it is to deal with such a topic sensitively and compassionately. My friend’s approach was simply to visit the father and “be there” for him as a friend. It’s a simple act of kindness. I am thankful to my friend for reminding me that we all have the capacity for compassion. Our conversation reminded me of another friend, who passed some 10 years ago, Jerome ….

DonCharisma.org-Field-Rip-Grass

Jerome

Jermone cannot be with us today. He took his own life back in 2004. I used to work with Jerome in London’s city, in a bank. Happy prosperous days 😀

We used to go out as a group for drinks, and Jerome was part of our group. Lovely guy, always a friendly word, and wise words too. I’m not gay, but Jerome was a very handsome man, anyone could see that. He wasn’t someone I’d have expected to be depressed or have emotional problems. He was always positive, bright and cheerful. Life and soul of the party.

So imagine my surprise one day when I went to work and was told that he’d taken his own life. It seems that under the surface he’d been suffering intensely, and decided that “not being here” was preferable to “being here”.

I do feel very sad that he wasn’t able to find the right support, and people around him, to help him through whatever had caused such pain. I didn’t even know about any of this, he never told me. I wouldn’t have treated him any different if I had known, I always enjoyed his company and I’d always regarded him as a good friend. However I think I would probably have found more time for him, and helped if I could, had I known.

So I’m writing this as a reminder, that our random acts of kindness, our compassion, our generosity does make a difference to people. Flip-side is that being cruel and unnecessarily-unpleasant generally doesn’t.

I saw blog today with many posts about suicide, and wanted to say to that person, please find a way to work through your challenges and find your happiness. I wanted to write something for them, but I have no experience or training. So I wrote this instead, my way of relating, my way of doing something at least.

Lastly, to say that there are people who have professional training such as psychotherapists who have dedicated their lives to helping others. I know this as I have two friends, whom I know socially, who are life coaches. It is up to the individual I believe to seek out such help, but please don’t be alone with suffering that’s impossible to bear, there are good souls in the world.  Please do seek them out. Do only trust those worthy of trust, obviously.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill

I do my best to find kind words for people as and when I can. I don’t have a great deal of experience, or professional training, so do what I can. I do often worrying about saying “the wrong” thing – I wouldn’t want to make things worse inadvertently.

Jerome would have made a fine father, and was a lovely loving man. Such a shame for him to leave so young and with so much more life ahead of him. Farewell my friend, rest in peace.

Warm regards

Don Charisma


Resources & Sources

Grass Field – MorgueFile


Notes for commenters:

Don Charisma Warning Improvised Writing

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma



120 thoughts on “Suicide – In Loving Memory Of Jerome

  1. I felt myself a little displeased with the way you began this post, however, upon reading further I enjoyed your encouraging words. I believe I understand Jerome. Negativity is a thing quite misunderstood. Often thought to be synonymous with an apathetic cynicism or a dull resignation for life itself, it can be quite the opposite – perhaps something akin to esoteric emotion that is powered by a desire for the end. I am often told how odd it is that I can be so good with people while simultaneously hosting such a dark mind. People are not always defined by their interactions or indeed their actions. On another note, it is the cultural interpretation of the act of taking one’s life that makes suicide such an unbearable prospect for many. Some cultures however view it rather differently. Perhaps similarly some view their material existence with less importance and place value upon some other, maybe even greater, form of being. Suicide, in this case, could just be a mode of transport. I understand the counter argument that those one leaves behind will undoubtedly suffer. No question about it. I do not wish to play the devil’s advocate here so will just say, nice read 🙂

    1. You’re very welcome, and I understood the complexities you propose here. I write in the simplest manner possible so understood by the most. Within that one can’t please everyone, so I concentrate on pleasing myself, it’s the same for me if it pleases others.

      My main point was that there is beauty in life, and there is an “over it” for life’s challenges. So to throw away the gift of life bestowed on one, is a sad thing, when there might easily have been another way. Also this guy was my friend and someone I liked a lot.

      As for causing displeasure, good, it got your attention and I wrote what I wanted to write, not just carefully polished spam. So I will take that as a compliment !

      Warm regards

      Don

  2. Having lived with sorrow most of my life, I know well the thoughts of suicide. It is not enough for one person to try and help the suicidal person. If you you are deep in sorrow not much helps. You must climb out of that hole yourself.
    I started writing poetry in 2004 and it help me a great deal. My husband of 37 years died of a brain tumor four months ago. He was very young and left me with three sons. I miss him very much. Now my poetry is all about him and it has helped much. I know soon I will move own.
    Your words are wise and kind.I thank you for following my work.
    I will be back.

    Melanie

    1. Hey Melanie, thanks for sharing, I’m very much in agreement with you. Poetry and creative writing are excellent outlets 😀

      Hope to speak to you again soon 😀

      Warm regards

      Don

  3. 😦 😦 !!! Can relate!!! This is so sad!! The story of Jerome seems so near 😦 RIP and a beautiful article!! Act of kindness can make a difference that’s true for sure 🙂 🙂

  4. Mr. Charisma this was a surprising post that differed from the others, I actually had saved it for reading it latter, which is at 9 p.m now. Good of you, sure a lot of people will read this and think twice about what to do with the word “compassion” or also “empathy”. Great and touching post.

    1. Thanks Charly, I like to try and be well rounded, “dynamic emotional range” I think it’s called. Thanks for reblogging, and we already chatted there 😀

      1. I had to share it, a person I knew tried to commit suicide so I thought it was the least I could do. You did share quite an important subject. Contrary to your friend, the person that I knew it didn´t come as a surprise to all who knew that person when we found out the person was in the hospital for attempting suicide. Eventually persuaded the person to seek help, but still feels like a miserable human being. Can´t do much more. Just try to help however you can, I´m not a shrink,but at least try to empathise with the person.

      2. You’re doing your best Charly to be a decent human being, that’s all any of can do. The small kindness you’ve offered may make a difference. I hope that your friend gets the help they need and finds some happiness.

        And thanks for being one of the good guys Charly 😀

        Cheers

        D

  5. Don, I’m not sure if you were talking about my blog when you had mentioned the blog about suicide, but I did take those words to heart. Thank you so much for writing this and I will take your kind words as if they were for me because they made me feel better an cared for. So thank you. And I am sorry about your friend Jerome. My condolences.

    1. Thank you hun, and no it wasn’t your blog. I saw more than one blog with multiple posts about suicide, which did concern me. I didn’t want to comment etc, what would I say ? … so thought this was best approach. Jerome was a good guy, and shame for him to end life so young.

      Please keep well yourself, life has some hard knocks but there are good people around 😀

      Warm regards

      Don

  6. This was a lovely post.
    I can totally relate to this post – losing someone this way is the hardest thing ever. It’s sad to think that some of the “happiest” people are actually
    the saddest. They are just very good it covering it and unfortunately, at times,
    there is nothing that we can do.

    However, I do agree that we should always be kind to people, help others and treat people well.

    It was a pleasure to read this . Thank you 🙂

  7. Many people feel darkness inside, and as you’ve said, all we can do is offer compassion. I’ve lost both a dear friend and a beautiful funny loving former student, so young and so much in pain, to suicide. I think of both often, and wish with all my heart that they had had the circle of love and support around them that they needed. Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a compassionate and important post. I have myself tried to kill myself which I admit to often to raise awareness about it. Because in my case it was due to physical pain. Poorly managed chronic pain is a high suicide risk factor but doctors are poorly trained to treat chronic pain, if they treat it at all. Unfortunately I will always have the pain so it is a matter of leaning to survive it.

  9. Lovely post and a good reminder that even a smile or friendly gesture to another human being can make a difference – every chance we have to be kind and compassionate, we should take. Cheers.

  10. Don–
    Thank you for your beautiful and compassion words and I’m so very sorry for the loss of your friend Jerome. I too have loss someone very close and dear to me my sister to suicide it was heartbreaking because like you she was the life of the party always laughing and cutting up. I still can’t believe first of all that she is gone but second that she chose that way to go. I’m just now coming to terms with it and understand most of what was going on. She lived in another state so I didn’t get to see her as much as I should have and she didn’t get out to see me either but you know how time is when you have children who are in school and a spouse plus a job that is demanding.
    Again thanks again for sharing your friend with us I would say you have a lot of perspective understand even if your not trained but you’re right about the professional being a better bet. Take care my friend and God bless you.

    1. Thank you 😀 And I’m sorry for your loss too.

      I think the past should remind us to be more aware of what we’re doing in the present, so I’ll keep on offering a helping hand or smile or whatever if I have the capacity … the smile you gave, might be the one you get back one day 😀

      It’s important for me to be professional about this, and a suicidal person may need help of a professionally trained person. Within that we can as ordinary angels, be there are friends, to support and help in what small ways we can …

      God bless you too

      Don

      1. Thank you Don for your words of wisdom you truly are a good friend and a very nice shoulder to lean on sometimes. Take care my wonderful friend and God bless you always. Kat

      2. Hey Kat, just do my best and the little I can do … sometimes I’m a shoulder, sometimes others have offered me a shoulder, it makes the world go around 😀

  11. Sometimes, without even knowing it, or maybe because you live with an open heart, one makes a difference for good in another’s life.

    There are myriad ways to be a ‘point of light’.

    Defenseless under the night
    Our world in stupor lies,
    Yet, dotted everywhere
    Ironic points of light
    Flash out wherever the Just
    Exchange their messages
    May I, composed like them
    Of Eros, and of dust
    Beleaguered by the same
    Negation and despair
    Show an affirming flame

    Thank you for touching the follow button on ‘The Awful Grace of God’

  12. Sometimes, in-spite of ourselves, or maybe because you live with an open heart, you do something seemingly insignificant and it somehow makes a big difference for good in another’s life.

  13. Such poignant sentiment. My brother committed suicide 23 years,ago and its still painful to discuss bc of the agony of wondering “could I have done something,?” It is a sensitive subject, and I, like you, habr difficulty knowing how to really help those so desperate to escape life. I think this is a great blog & maybe you encouraged someone to make that call to get help. 🙂

    1. Thank you, I do my best 😀

      I’ve watched a few of those “man on a ledge” movies recently. I think the authentically suicidal through emotional pain generally need someone to talk to, and this may be for an extended period, not just a “quick chat”. I have a couple of friends who I know socially who are life coaches, and they are dedicated to the wellbeing of others, so I’m assuming that professionals like psychotherapists would be the same.

      Warm regards

      Don

  14. My dad took his life two weeks, ago. My blog has been nothing but processing through the devastation caused from the suicide.

    He had 37 years of therapy, depression is a mental illness, he also had ptsd. It overtook him in a moment.
    It is the hardest thing I have ever been through.
    My feedback from people is that the pain I have shown through my writing has stopped people from considering suicide.
    The wake of grief is almost unbearable.
    If you ever want to take your life, not only should you see a professional, but know you are loved beyond what you could ever know.

    1. I’m so sorry for you loss.

      Very much agreed with everything you said. It sounds like you’re going through the process you need to … sorry for delay in reply, my blog has been busy …

      Warm regards

      Don

  15. I struggled with depression for a long time, although I have found ways to combat it now, a few years ago I didn’t have those skill. But, I remember one day, that has always stuck in my mind. I was walking to work, thinking about, the stuff that depressed people think about, and suddenly thins little girl appeared infront of me, she couldn’t of been older than 5. She stuck her arms out as if for a cuddle, not knowing what else to do, I knelt down, gave her a quick hug, stood back up and kept walking. I overheard her parents say to her (like a good parent should) that she “Shouldn’t go and hug random strangers”, and her reply was “But he looked so sad.”…
    Do with that anecdote what you will, but, that was an important point in my life and one that I will remember untill the day I die, which will be a long time from now I expect…

  16. Suicide is the last way out of pain, when you don’t know where to go to get help getting rid of this pain.
    It is very sad, that some people are not able to ask for help. When they don’t tell us, we can’t know how much they are suffering and then it is difficult to do so much.

    If we show compassion and give them a listening ear, we can help a lot. It just demand they open up and tell us, they need us.

    Unfortunately it is not always enough, even we try to do our best. But when we know, we have done our best, it is good enough. In the end we are all responsable for our own life, even it is more easy to make other responsable.

    I have been there and did come back and I have also lost friends these way, very sad.

    Thanks for sharing this very important post Don 🙂

    1. You are welcome Irene, and very much agree with you.

      There are various reasons why people don’t open up, finding someone trustworthy to do so with can be a very big challenge for some people. Which is why my suggestion is that people should seek out a trained and qualified professional, who is best able to help.

      Sometimes friends and family have the skill, patience and kindness to help, but not always, and some people don’t have anyone like this.

      Trust is key I feel 😀

      Warm regards

      D

  17. Caring and moving post which I’ve read it twice.
    Thank you man for reminding us even of this sad realities, other aspects of life. May J. know your kind words and bless you from up above.
    Nice night, my friend 🙂

  18. I love it very much. Life is ironic. How a plenty of people is complaining about their insignificant problems and others who are suffering a lot don’t want to tell anything to anyone. How difficult is to know if someone is suffering. Lovely write and I’m sorry for you and anyone who lost someone by suicide.

  19. Thank you for this post. Every day I am grateful to two friends that helped me when I could not help myself. Literally, I suffered postpartum psychosis and was unable to express my ‘reality’ because I knew that no one would be able to understand me. But it turned out that they need not understand my torment, all that mattered was that they saw me hurting and they put their lives aside to find me professional help. My precious daughter’s life was saved by their acts of kindness and their unselfishness.

    I can never thank them enough, but I can give thanks each time I read something that draws near to my personal experience. Words and works like yours, Don, help to open our eyes and our hearts, because much too often we fail to appreciate what the real gifts in life are:

    A beautiful sunset, a panoramic view of the extraordinary, pale in comparison to the compassion of the human spirit. Your greatest work is today. Without realizing it, you have offered hope to someone, somewhere.

  20. Don, compassionate and significant post. Does us all good to hear a reminder to simply be kind in our words and actions. It costs us nothing, yet it’s an invaluable gift that can be given at any moment. Thank you.

  21. An important post, Don. Thank you. I have also lost a friend who took his life a year or so after he had needed to make the decision to switch off life support on his wife who had become comatose after a car crash. As he lived on the other side of the planet and had often changed emails before, I didn’t think too much about his email bouncing for the first couple months, but then wrote to him and had The Letter from his sister. Calculating back I might have been the last person to have contact with him as we had been chatting on email. I knew he was having a tough time still, but had no idea then he was so on the brink.
    And I have had my own battles – during childhood bullying and parents/teachers who would say ‘toughen up/don’t let them’, without thinking of the message that is really being given by that. I could have felt better if someone had said “Their pettiness makes people so little… it’s pitiful really.” That is an awesome perspective. Thank you again.

    1. Thanks 😀 I’m sorry for your loss. I can only think that your friend didn’t want to worry or bother you with what must have been terrible to endure, so perhaps a kindness offered by him.

      Not making light but most people have battles, life has many challenges and obstacles. Fostering positive friends and good people around one I reckon makes for a happier life …

      You’re welcome 😀

      D

  22. Suicide prevention is a big topic. There are many organizations at the community/grass roots level promoting what to look for and how to help. But it takes commitment, time and energy and the interest to find out more. There are generally signs – often missed or misinterpreted. Bottom line – you got it right. Being there, being supportive and listening.

  23. This was a very thoughtful post. I’m glad that you are doing your part, as that is something each of us should do. One simple act of kindness can have a life changing impact. We never know just how much our deeds, words and actions effect others. Since that can go one of two ways, it’s that much more important that we are careful and treat everyone with love and kindness. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  24. What a nice remembrance Don. Yes suicide (death) is so final and such a serious choice. It is always sad I think, when one of us feels so broken, beyond repair, that we feel we have no choice but to leave. And yes the slighted kindness or unkindness could alter this very serious choice. If one has a physical illness and makes this choice it seems more understandable. Thanks for your sharing.

      1. well i have two posts that will make a drastic impact on my grade.
        one about individual rights “the things we take for granted”
        and another about environmental awareness
        “the world we leave behind”
        i need as many comments as possible 🙂 thanks before tomorrow

  25. Thank you for sharing this tribute, Don. Our acts of kindness make a difference to us too, as Mr. Churchill says. Not always can we prevent a sorrow happening, but we can easy prevent our contributing into it. May Jerome be happy where he is now.

  26. Wow, it’s crazy how simple a kind word or just showing you care can make a world of a difference, I know what it is like to go through a hard time, and I know that all these people really need is a few acts of encouragement to be brought up.

  27. Reblogged this on Chronic Conditions & Life Lessons and commented:
    Blessings to Jerome. And, to all of those who suffer silently in pain, please reach out to someone you trust. Tell the truth. Be honest. As hard as it is, flush your fears for a few simple seconds. Lock shame away in closets, throwing away keys to never reappear. Breathe in deeply. Make a call. Help is waiting. Someday soon you will soak the warmth of sun upon your face again. Allow the gifts within you to thrive share them with others. We wait for them with love for you.

      1. I have family members who depression has nearly dragged away. I, too, have been in ‘the dark hole’. Never to this point. Still I can relate to the pain one is in…the wanting to be ‘free of it.’ So tragic, Don. Thank YOU for sharing dear, Jerome’s story with all of us.

      2. I am not afraid. The ‘stigma’ needs to be broken. More lives would be saved. Someday, I will write about this topic.

  28. Thanks for writing this. A lot of people don’t understand what it is like to loose someone to suicide. I have lost my older brother and a best friend. I’m glad that you made a blog post in memory of your friend. That was very nice of you and I know the feeling when you think you wish you could have helped and known they were going through a rough time.

  29. Brilliant post, DC. I had a friend whom I had gone through air navigator school with commit suicide while we were on an intensive year-long RCAF course together. Similarly, he was always cheerful on the surface. Yet, when I got the phone call at about 23:30 / 11:30 p.m. that night, I somehow knew what the phone call was about.

    I must have sensed his underlying unhappiness. He, too, was a handsome and talented gent. Unhappy childhood, perhaps. Such a sad event, and, needless to say, it really shook us up.

    Hopefully, these people will the peace that seems to have eluded them in this life. Our hearts go out to their friends and loved ones. As for the unpleasant people in this world, their irrelevancy becomes striking at such times. Life is short enough as it is; why be like this?

  30. Don. Such a beautiful piece for its honesty, and intent. The suffering of many goes unheard, sometimes even dismissed. You are right in that if there is anything we can do, is to remember to be good and kind. And even if we know it, how easy it is to forget. Thank you

  31. Thank you Don. I’m a bit emotional right now reading this. A friend of mine the other day said she wanted to kill herself. She says this often unfortunately but this time it bothered me. I tried talking with her but I was agitating her. No way I could leave it alone though, so I emailed her mother who called my friend. Later I find out that my friend thanked me for doing so. I’m glad I did.

    1. Good of you to think of your friend. Would suggest if she’s having suicidal thoughts then she may need medical or professional psychological help, so would be a good idea to suggest this to her support network.

      1. I agree and have done that. It’s a balancing act though. It seems to her I’m telling her what to do rather than being empathetic. I tell her anyway though. :). Thank you Don

      2. Understood, and as I said, it’s down to the individual to take responsibility for themselves, so they need to “like” the idea of getting assistance. Also there’s some stigma attached for people getting such help, which complicates matters. All you can do is do your best to be a friend, and hopefully your friend will get the help it sounds that perhaps she needs.

  32. This is a great reminder, indeed.
    Awareness needs to be improved.
    There is a great quote from the blog post ‘Battling an All Ending Monster’:
    “People who die by suicide don’t want to end their lives, they want to end their pain.”

  33. What a meaningful message, My favorite quote is, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” There are always those that we think are coping just fine, who might have horrendous things going on in their lives or minds. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. I lost my brother-in-law several years ago to suicide and it was completely unexpected with absolutely no warning signs. He was very closed off about his personal issues. It’s been a very hard thing for my husband to deal with. All we can do is treat others gently and offer help when it’s needed.

  34. Thank you for this blog. It is an necessary reminder for kindness and compassion, especially in situations we may not really understand. Brings back some important memories.

    1. You’re very welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed … for me it helps put the pettiness around me in perspective, and reminds me that there’s more important things to occupy our time …

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