An Open Letter to Those Who Joke About Suicide

My mother died when I was eleven years old because of a combination of a chemical imbalance in her brain and harrasment from my father, so she didn't just die, she commited suicide. She didn't just commit suicide though, first she went missing. That first night after we got the call, I had a dream about my mother driving down a dirt road, nothing else, just her driving down a dirt road. For the next four months an eleven year old me walked around to every store I could manage to get to, hanging the same picture of my mother on their front doors and message boards. I went to people's houses with the picture to see if maybe some stranger had seen her, but no one ever did.  

When they finally found her car in the woods they had to identify her by dental records, and we were highly encouraged not to view the pictures. Her car was offered back to us, like I wanted the car my mother shot herself in. I had to go pick out her casket just to be told that it would be better if we picked out an urn. As an 11 year old child I was offered to have some of my mother's ashes in a necklace so that "I would always have her with me," like having burned corpse around your neck is normal. At first I actually thought it was a really amazing idea, until my classmates pried into my business and told me how gross it was. I also was publicly humiliated many times with questions and people blurtin out, "did you hear what her mom did?"

Years later I still yearn for my mother every day of my life. I cry for her and what her life and my life could have been had she stayed with me. I wish with my whole being that I could pick up the phone and call her when I need a recipe, help with a boy, or just when I need my mom. We all have those moments when we need our mothers, the only difference is you can call or drive to see yours, mine doesn't even have a grave.

So, when I get offended by you saying you're going to kill yourself because you have a mountain of homework, or you tell someone else to go kill themselves because you disagree with their opinion, understand why I'm coming at you fists swinging. Understand that when you talk about suicide all I can think about is the gun settled right under my mother's chin, and the ringing clunk of the gun as it fires and wastes the most important person in my life. When you can degrade everything that suicide is and all that it takes away, down to just telling or saying "kill yourself", you're undermining all the feelings and emotions that happen to people who care about that person. You're also undermining the person with the illness that made the person do it in the first place. They are people too, they just don't have the same chemicals in their brain.

Think before you speak, it could save someone's life.  

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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