FIXING IT

late, cause I didn't know what to say, or whether I should say anything at all.
  1. for the past few days I've been reading everyone's lists about biz
    lists from people who knew her in one way or another, or who just had something to say about it
  2. a lot of them are beautiful. all of them heartfelt and important.
  3. and I haven't said anything for a number of reasons. for one, I didn't know her, and felt like I was better equipped to read and listen to the stories of others who did. for another, I didn't know what i could possibly say about it. but suicide is also a really difficult thing for me to talk about. or even think about.
  4. but last night, I remembered a conversation I had with my dad as a child.
  5. one of our immediate family members died when I was only a couple of years old, and I asked my dad why he wasn't alive anymore
  6. my dad said that no one knew exactly why he died.
  7. it wasn't until years later when I was old enough to understand the meaning of the word that I learned that he had committed suicide
  8. I guess what my dad told me was technically true because we never really knew why he killed himself
    i assume the stigma surrounding mental illness was even bigger when he lived. his family could only speculate.
  9. but the other thing I remember vividly of this conversation is that all I knew as a small child was that people died because they got sick. and we didn't know what kind of illness my family member had.
  10. I decided that when I grew up I was gonna find out how he got sick, and I would find a way to fix it so that no one else had to die
    ambitious goals for a small child, but that's what I had decided to do with my life.
  11. ever since, I really don't like hearing about or thinking about suicide. I keep the letter with his handwriting somewhere safe but at a distance, and I don't dwell on the loss of a relationship I barely got to have
    we would have liked each other. I know it.
  12. but when the topic comes up or I hear about someone else's tragedy, I think of the way my child self reacted
  13. I think about how I just wanted to fix it, whatever it was. it's funny how when someone breaks a bone we know how to deal with it, but when someone's suffering from mental illness, we don't really know how to talk about it
  14. I think about how my family was never truly able to make sense of it all
  15. I think about how lack of treatment and the stigmatization of mental illness was probably a contributing factor to that uncertainty
  16. and I think about how, as a children, it's so simple. we don't think about any of that, we just know that if someone is sick, we want to know how so we can help them get better. whatever it is.
  17. we just want to fix it.
  18. I can't bring neither him nor biz back. I can't "fix" whatever made them end their lives.
  19. but we can all decide to try to be more open and honest with each other about mental illness and suicide. to try to reduce the stigma, to not let it be a shameful thing you're not supposed to talk about.
  20. we never shame anyone for a broken bone, or see physical illness as a personal failing or character flaw
    well, some physical conditions are looked down upon or stigmatized but you know what I mean.
  21. it's far from the be all end all. but it's a baby step.
  22. the world isn't as simple as when I was a child. I can't find a cure to this. I can't fix it. but I really really wish I could.
  23. I feel deeply for those of you who knew biz, and I'm so sorry for your loss. the love I've seen over the past few days has been heartwarming. I hope in time everyone affected will find peace and be able to heal. ❤️