When someone close to you takes their own life, it feels as if a bomb has exploded in your family home. It shatters your assumptions about the solidity and safety in the world you live in. The very ground you stand upon no longer feels steady, secure or trustworthy. You find yourself grasping for something, anything, solid that might once again give you some sense of certainty.

Tara J Lal

Tara J Lal

When the world you know is no more, when nothing makes sense, when the pain suffocates, engulfs and strangles you – then you must find a new reason to live, a new way to navigate the world.

Suicide leaves you haunted by the question ‘Why?’. It permeates every aspect of your life, gnawing at you. Resistance bears down, for what if you find nothing? What if you find what your loved one found - No reason to live great enough to surmount the pain? My loved one abandoned me, rejected my love. What does that say about my love? What does that say about me?

Your shattered assumptions drag you fearfully and forcefully towards the ultimate question - what is the meaning of my life?

Suicide sends you on a search driven by the deepest emotional pain. It is the intensity and profundity of the pain that provides the fuel for the most arduous, confusing and complex journey ahead. It begins beneath the ground, suffocating and confining. You claw though the soil, searching only for air, just enough to sustain life. When that first breath of fresh air surges into your lungs, it displaces the old stale air bringing with it the beauty and clarity inherent in simplicity. The gift of knowing that no amount of material wealth or belongings can bring happiness. It also bestows upon you the strength to live that knowing.

The freshness in the air gives you energy to walk, all the time shedding the superfluous meaningless baggage that you carry, ever so slowly lightening your load.

You come to a bottomless chasm. Fear swirls and rumbles around you - vulnerability, abandonment, failure, rejection, panic. At the heart of it lies the abyss of meaninglessness.

Only by walking deep into the fear and the pain do you find yourself, for vulnerability unmasks you. You see a flimsy looking rope bridge ahead of you and a helping hand to steady you. As you grasp the hand that reaches out, so you grasp the purity of connection to another human life. A light emerges from within shining clarity on your question. The conduit to meaning is connection to yourself, to others and to the world around you. Therein lies the ability to make a difference in the world. The meaning of life lies in the search for your truth.

This perhaps is the ultimate and only gift within the heartache of suicide. It is the struggle inherent in your search for the answer to the question ‘why’ that brings growth. Only by deconstructing your sense of self, can you reconstruct your world bringing rich texture and depth to the tapestry of your life. The dark shades, make the colours brighter. Suicide at first confines, but it can also expand to reward you with the rugged beauty, complexity and meaningfulness of a life fully lived.