A Letter to a Friend Who Decided Life was Too Much & Killed Himself

Dear Malcolm,

I thought…I thought I could write about this but I don’t think I can. My mind is still mush and my heart is halfway attached to my torn sleeve and halfway on the floor, a trail of dried blood following me. I can’t do this…

***

Suicide just… hits differently than regular death. Someone gets shot while being robbed or falls off a cliff, you can more easily sympathize with that. “Oh, it’s an accident,” or “Oh what horrible people there are in the world,” but with suicide, there’s no outside person to point fingers at. Maybe that’s what makes it so tragic. Who knows?

***

Malcolm, I didn’t know you well. I saw you every now and then in the break room, always in passing. You were always nice and sweet and friendly. And wicked smart since you knew how to play chess. I wish I could’ve learned from you so we could have played together…

I’m angry you left but that anger doesn’t have anything to do with you—not really. Which is kinda fucked up, for me anyway. What I mean is that I want to join you and I can’t. I’m jealous of your current state, which as a person in the land of the living, I shouldn’t even be thinking such a thing like that (cuz good Christians don’t constantly—or regularly—fantasize about their own suicide) but there it is.

The adult Christian life season I’m currently in has me yearning for the sweet reprieve of death. When the grief hit me on Monday, I wasn’t expecting it (does anyone ever anticipate grief?). It hit when I got in the shower. I thought this to God but dared not voice it aloud, “God, it’s not fair! It’s not fair that Malcolm gets to be with You and I don’t.” I want to be with God. I’m tired, I’m so tired of fighting, of overcoming only to have to keep doing it over and over and over. I’m tired of contending with the pain I’m having to contend with. You can understand that, right, Malcolm? God? Right? I envy you so much and that’s such a fucked up thing for me to do. But I can’t stop.

I’ve been listening to “Before You Go” by Lewis Capaldi for the past 5 days because, as my friend Jamie jokingly told me when we met for drinks, “I’m a glutton for punishment.” Ha, maybe he’s right. In a twisted way, the song feels like a warning? No, that’s not the right word. It feels like… if I were to follow your footsteps, Malcolm, this would be the song to die to, or rather, the song I’d send my parents and step-parents and siblings before I did the deed. I wouldn’t want them to blame themselves…

***

I’m sitting here, Malcolm, trying to do as J. instructed me and just “sit with and feel the pain” instead of distracting myself but my fingers are itching to exit this writing program and go on YouTube to find some funny Weird Al song—cuz Mr. Capaldi is saddening me—or go on Facebook or get back to coding but that wouldn’t do me any good would it?

I’m bloodthirsty, Malcolm. I wanna cut until I just bleed out but I know I won’t do it. I’m scared of another failed suicide attempt. I’ve attempted 4 times. I don’t know what scares me more: another failed suicide attempt or a successful one? There should be an obvious answer but there’s not, not for me or for you. Everything isn’t as black and white as everyone likes to think—or even wants it to be. Are you happy, Malcolm? I hope you are. I want to find peace too. I just want the pain to stop, so I feel you in that regard. Holding on to this pain though? It’s just…too much. It’s all just too much.

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