This is my story and thoughts in my experience with suicide. I’m going to warn you it’s a pretty long story so please read it if you have a few minutes… I’ve never been to that level of darkness in my life. I’ve definitely been down and in a rut before, but I never got myself down so far as to consider suicide as an option. However, I’ve known a few really close friends that have. And they are what this thread’s about. I want this to be a thread, because I would like everyone to tell their story here as well. Lets talk about it. Starting with my story:
In high school I had a friend named James Cecil Newman (Jimmy.) Jimmy wasn’t really a lifelong friend, just someone I knew in class. He was a quiet kid for the most part. Until Junior year when we became really good friends thanks to us starting to work together, and also having a class together in school carrying into Senior year. Jimmy and I also had very similar aspirations. We both were destined to join the military, he the Army, and I the Air Force. We would give each other shit all the time about which one was more “hardcore.” At work Jimmy and I had a ton of fun. To be honest everyone that worked with us all seemed to have fun at work. It was one of those very unique jobs where you really didn’t have to worry too much about not enjoying work thanks to a certain someone. Anyway, I showed up to school one day and Jimmy wasn’t in class. This wasn’t unusual as JIm would sometimes just not show up to the first class of the day. But, the usual phrase came out of my mouth to one of our mutual friends, “Where the fuck’s JIm at?” haha. Our friend didn’t know but we pressed on through class as usual. Then, a rumor came my way. My cousin wasn’t at school either, and this rumor wasn’t something I’ve ever heard before. Next thing I know an old friend from elementary school said those words. “I think Jim killed himself, that’s why Ryan’s not here.” I dropped everything, I left school and went straight to my cousin Ryan’s house. I’ll be honest I don’t remember who answered the door, all I remember was giving Ryan the biggest hug ever. Then the question came up, “Why?” None of us knew, none of us had a clue as to why, what, or who could have caused this to happen. My uncle is a detective. I later found out that it had to do with a girl. Someone Jimmy cared about a lot. She just wasn’t giving him the attention that he was wanting from her. Apparently it played around in his head enough for him to lose it.
At this point I didn’t really understand suicide. I’ve never known this darkness before. I couldn’t figure it out. As usual there’s the few people who say its cowardly. That’s fine, that’s just their opinion on it. It didn’t bother me that people said that actually. After thinking about where JImmy was mentally I came to this conclusion, if someone is suicidal they’re going to do it one way or another, and there’s nothing we can say or do about it. Once someone reaches that level of darkness there’s no coming back from it. Now, don’t shame me yet. Please keep reading if I’ve caught your interest. Things change as you’ll see.
Next, was a VERY VERY close family friend. Robert Grant. Rob was a family friend. He was a police officer with my dad. He was on the drug task force, a k-9 handler, and literally the goofiest human being I’ve ever known. Rob had a wife and 2 daughters and plenty of fur babies. An animal LOVER is an understatement, this guy loved four legged creatures haha. I’ve known Rob for a good bit of 11 years or so. Rob was one of those life of the party kind of guys. Someone who just did something because it popped up in his head and it seemed like a good idea, and believe me it was a dumb but good idea all of the time. Now, before I go into these details keep in mind that only a very select handful of people know the full story of what happened. I’m just talking about what I know and let that be that. At the police department, there’s a drug turn in box for someone to turn in old prescriptions they don’t use anymore and things like that. Apparently Rob was going through this box, looking for a specific drug. Now, policy with the PD says that only certain individuals can access this box. So yes, Rob was breaking a rule, but he was looking for something. Something to help him. Whether he found what he was looking for or not I don’t know. But Rob was investigated by the State Police, then later charged and arrested ultimately ending his career as a VERY decorated police officer. Rob was bailed out very quickly. His buddy said Rob wouldn’t say a word to him. The next day he was up all night playing video games with another friend. Then, he went out one night and never came home.
I was at Drill (I’m in the Air National Guard) at the time I found out. My dad told me to meet him somewhere on base. He said Rob killed himself. Honestly, my first though was no fucking way. Rob would NEVER do something like that this can’t be right. A few days went on and his funeral was absolutely beautiful. Police Officers from ALL OVER, throughout my state and many others showed up to this. Mostly because of how Robs situation was treated… Basically if you read back over, or just think about it, Rob wasn’t given help. He was given punishment and his whole life was taken from him after he was arrested.
Again, I thought “What was going on in his head that drove him down that dark hole?” Well, like I said, his whole life was taken from him without anyone in the administration asking “how can we help you.” You know what I’m saying? They tossed someone who needed help to the curb and blasted him all over the media with it. Oh yea, forgot to mention, they fired him, and the whole story of why they arrested him was plastered all over media immediately thereafter. Like a “Look what we did, we burned one of our own” kind of deal.
It was entirely preventable. Yup, I said it. Even though a few paragraphs ago I said “there’s no stopping someone from doing it.” This was entirely preventable. It was handled poorly by his superiors, and it absolutely did not have to go down that way. Rob was found 5 minutes from his house with a gunshot to the head in his own vehicle. 30 days later his k-9 partner Henry passed away as well. Rob and K-9 Henry now lay next to each other at peace, finally.
Then Chester happened. I looked at my phone and checked facebook that morning and I saw a TMZ report that Chester killed himself. I was in my living room at the time and walked back into mine and my girlfriends bedroom and tossed my phone back on my bed. I told Melissa “They’re doing it again, they’re making shit up. Why the fuck do they keep fucking with Chester and the rest of the guys like they are? This is bullshit.” I was pissed to say the least. Then more reports came out, and more and more messages from my friends came in. “Is it true?” They were asking. I said I didn’t know. Inside it started to become real because now there was a ton of news focus on it. Melissa and I were sitting on the couch the entire day and she kept looking at me not knowing what to say. I told her I’m not believing shit until I hear it from the band. Then it happened, OUR worst nightmare happened. Chester is gone. I don’t think Melissa has ever seen me cry other than at Robs funeral. I was fucking balling. She kept saying sorry, which was fine because I knew she was listening and caring for what I was dealing with. I could not fucking believe it. A band I’ve been listening to for as long as I can remember, literally. A man I’ve met twice and had a great conversation with the first time I met him. Gone. An idol that I loved the most. It just didn’t seem real as you all may agree.
Over the next few days I couldn’t stop thinking about where he was mentally. Just like my friends I asked “Why did he fall so far into the darkness?” As we all know Chester had a darkness, one that we all loved and one that he didn’t shy away from talking (singing) about. Now I know, there’s more to this then someone wanting to end it all. It’s deeper than that. Call Chester my third friend I lost to suicide. I’ve lost 3 people I really care about to suicide. Literally more than any other way of losing someone. What the fuck is going on? Lets help someone. Lets help EACH OTHER. Lets talk about it.
This is my first time telling all of these stories. I want you to tell yours if you have one. It’s a dark world we live in but there’s now a light over all of us telling us to press on and kick this problems ass. So lets to it.
- Nick B.