It is hard to see a friend in pain.
It is so much easier to turn your eyes away and wish their pain away.
You can do all the cliché things: turn a blind eye, duck your head in the sand, pass the buck… all of them.
Still, you know and they know that’s not a solution.
That pain — the pain you wish you didn’t see — is still there.
It bubbles and it brews, but it doesn’t evaporate because you don’t want to deal with it or think you can’t.
We are all we have in the end.
Some things are not better left unsaid.
Tomorrow is not promised, but the sun will not necessarily come out.
The public was blown away by designer Kate Spade’s suicide this week.
Now news that CNN star Anthony Bourdain did the same.
Maybe their friends and family members didn’t see it coming.
Maybe they couldn’t have done anything about it. Maybe there was nothing they could have said.
Maybe there were no warning signs.
Family members and friends are not to blame, but maybe there were signs they sadly missed.
There are signs.
Experts say there are often signs, and in many cases suicides can be prevented.
The Cleveland Clinic and others have published lists of them:
• Excessive sadness or moodiness
• Sudden calmness
• Changes in personality and/or appearance
• Dangerous or self-harmful behavior
• Recent trauma or life crisis
• Putting their personal business in order and other preparations
• Threatening suicide
And there are thankfully things you can do if you suspect a friend is suicidal or otherwise in need of help.
The Clinic offers advice for that, too.
• Do not leave the person alone. If possible, ask for help from friends or other family members.
• Ask the person to give you any weapons he or she might have. Take away sharp objects or anything else that the person could use to hurt himself or herself.
• Try to keep the person as calm as possible.
• Call 911 or take the person to an emergency room.
It is hard to see your friend or loved one in pain. It would be harder to never to see him or her again.
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