posted on Apr, 11 2004 @ 02:11 AM
I'm a former funeral directing student, and i'm gonna share a story that still makes my tough ass cry all the time:
I got a page at about 2 a.m one morning, so i called the funeral home i was working for at the time, and was told of the call they had received, and
what i needed to do.
the call was for a 19 year old male who had commited suicide.
that alone hit me hard, because it was someone my age, whos life was cut so short.
from what i gathered, the boy was a cutter, his parents tried to seek help, and the boy would see a therapist off and on, but would have bouts where
he wouldn't, and would go off his meds. well, the parents didn't know that, they fought about grades, or something trivial, and it turned out to be
the icing on the cake for the young man, who cut himself- from my count, at least- 98 times before he bled to death.
i felt a strong connection with the family, especially the boy's 20 year old sister. once the funeral was over, and the funeral home stopped
following up with them, i continued to call once or twice a week to offer my support, and make sure they were holding up. the parents brought up the
fact that the sister was taking the death very hard, and asked if she could meet with me- they were very afraid if she saw a therapist, that she would
go through what her brother did, but maybe by talking to someone close to her age it would help.
I took her to lunch one day, very casual- the first time i had ever met anyone that i had performed a service for outside of work, and without wearing
a suit, too- and noticed right away what she was wearing- long sleeves, and all black- a 360 from the beautiful short sleeved dresses she wore when i
had seen her at the funeral home. we made small talk for a while, then we started to talk about her brother- she got really emotional, and then i
noticed her hand- there was fresh blood in it.
I immediately asked what had happened- thinking she had cut herself- but she just ignored the questin. i kept on it though, and she admitted that she
was a cutter. we had a long discussion about why she did it, and i explained the usual- that there were other ways to deal with the pain, etc- but she
said that she felt uncomfortable with the conventional routes.
i understood, as it isn't easy for everyone to go to therapy or whatnot.
we talked for well over two hours about everything, and she said she felt much better after talking to me, saying she felt she related better to me
than to a therapist. we made a pact that i would be available any time, any day- especially holidays, which were the hardest for her- to talk if she
i still get calls in the middle of the night, when she sees something on tv, or something else will remind her of her brother, and she feels like
cutting, but then she remembers that she can talk it out.
it really broke my heart seeing the pain she inflicted on herself, but what got to me even more was the fact that her parents couldn't understand why
she did it- they thought it was rebellion, not a serious illness.
she does speak to a therapist regularly now, along with calling me once a week or so, and hasn't cut herself in over a year.
so it just goes to show that if everyone is educated a little- as i was, only from psychology class at school- it can help someone a lot.