I saved my grandma from suicide (at the very last minute) when I was 22 years old.
My childhood friend committed suicide at age of 24
For many years later, I worked as a social worker in the Israeli Prison Service, where a large part of my work dealt with identifying and preventing suicide, dealing with endless suicide attempts by inmates and with a number of "successful" suicides.
The pain is unbearable So are the sense of responsibility, guilt, the what-if.'s
And I knew I could not prevent it from happening.
I knew that the root of despair and loneliness, the feeling of helplessness and lack of faith that things can get better, are so vast that even the outstretched hand of a loving person is not absorbed in one's distress.
I was there myself at the age of 42, wanting to stop the pain, willing to do anything for it to stop. I was almost at the point of no return .I hardly found the way out. I wrote to a friend of mine, whom his friend committed suicide:
"Do not take it on you, it's not yours. He knew you were there for him, he told you this! You gave him a flame of light in a dark ocean and he appreciated you for it. That's all you need to keep in mind. I know it is not so simple to divert your emotion and thought to another interpretation, but I hope it will happen over time. And most importantly, please do not be alone with it. Find someone to talk to, and share your feelings. That's where he failed and so his loneliness was so terrible. Learn from him and turn the lesson he gave you into a valuable one. Embrace your loving wife and your beautiful children. Be grateful for their being in your life."
As for me, I know what being alone means in a deep level. Therefore, I appreciate the people sharing my life sometimes more than others, more than I could ever believe I would. Closing walls has a way to become inner ones as you keep pushing away others and their reaching hands for you. The only time my mentor of arts and sculpting gave me a compliment, was when she saw this piece. She said "perfect".