Suicide

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write today: a friend took his life this week. It left me reeling and so concerned for his partner and their children. How…why…what…?

Though I have worked in suicide prevention as a ‘listener’ for the past three years, nothing makes this easier…really. It’s the saddest, most shocking thing. Then you talk to people and find out how many people have lost someone to depression. It makes me want to write about it here.

Some general understandings about suicide…

Men are more likely than women to end their lives, because they suppress their pain, hide it and act decisively. Women eventually communicate sooner…what is going on…and can be helped. It is amazing what a confidential, trusted listener can do to help you figure out solutions…it is amazing. But people must reach out first.

One thing no one likes to talk about is this: if someone has reached the point of wanting to take their lives, that person will, and there is nothing you can do to stop this. That’s probably the most damaging thought for the loved ones left behind. You can try and prevent this final deed, and though we do try and it is our mission at Samaritans.org, we know that this can sometimes fail. There is a certain respect we hold for a person in that much pain, and it doesn’t diminish our sadness, but we remain aware of the truth – our lives are fundamentally in our own hands.

Samaritans do all that we can to raise awareness about the factors that cause a person to ultimately give up on living, and we offer 24/7 services to support anyone in need. Samaritans even has an international email address for this purpose. If you need help, please reach out. The service is 100% anonymous, I can assure you. Your phones and email address are not tracked at all. Please reach out for help.

When someone does take that final decision, you can’t help but ask the many questions that leave your brain shattered and your heart completely flailing about seeking understanding. Some things cannot be understood. Some things require investigation, which is the hard part, and then finally a reconstruction of the story, what happened. In the course of this, it cannot be rushed. Sometimes you must just sit with the pain of it all, and be present, accept it. Talk about hard.

For those left behind, healing is a personal thing.

Some of us reach out and some of us go within, or it’s a combination of both. Either approach is fine. What I want to say is this: honour your feelings, and go into it. It is right to honour those who have left this earthly realm we know them within. It is a measure of our love to know the sadness we feel. I’m watching us catch our breaths again, but just barely.

I wrote a song for my friend Nick, and his family, and had one of the UK’s top jazz pianists and independent music producers add a piano track to this, which I threw down, the night after this tragedy. I hope you like it. (See top of this post.)


My friend John Ellis of Manchester, UK (Limefield Recordings) was gracious and kind to add this beautiful piano track to the this song.

For Nick.
For Sandi, Maeve and Eva.

WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE DON’T KNOW
Lorelei Loveridge with John Ellis on piano

Hey, boy, you’re in my head
I’m sitting in the middle of this big old bed
Thinking about the talks we had
In your living room

I’m 5,000 miles away
There’s nothing that I can do today
But sit in the sea and feel the breeze
Talk to you, can you hear me

You said, “Write your story like you told it to me”
You poured the wine and the hours felt free
You and your lover, my best friend
The dogs, kids – the whole damn family

I said, “Do you wish you had your PhD”
But you’re a genius and we agreed
You could do anything if you wanted to
You, me, everybody

Ohhhhh, we don’t know
What we don’t know
Ohhhhh, we don’t know
What we don’t know
We don’t know

Hey, girl, you must be on your knees
Wondering, oh, god, oh, please
Was there anything I missed
Anything I didn’t see

You think he’s coming through that door
Holding you, kissing you and more
Hearts are breaking, there’s no faking this
He’s gone

But, ohhhhh, we don’t know
What we don’t know
Ohhhhh, we don’t know
What we don’t know
We don’t know

The stars will be the poetry
The words we never said
The moon will be the consciousness
Of you in our heads

The sun will be the love you gave
May you feel it more than ever
Clouds will shield us from the storms
The ones for us you weathered

Now the earth will be the rock
When nothing stops and we can’t get off
Somewhere in the wind we’ll find you
Somewhere in the wind

Because, ohhhhh, we don’t know
What we don’t know
Ohhhhh, we don’t know
What we don’t know
We don’t know

© 2016, Lorelei Loveridge, SOCAN
Orderly Bazaar Records & Publishing
orderlybazaar.com


In this song, I sing about taking myself to the beach – I live on a Saudi compound which has full access to the only private beach for my colleagues and myself (lucky me). I walked down to the sea, sat in the water and cried, then wrote this song. Yesterday morning, I took these pictures. Today’s a quiet day. Just letting the emotions wash over me. Just being. Some days it is hard to be far from my other homes (I have two – Canada and England). Surrendering can help, and so can talking to others. I’m grateful to those who listened. If we all invite others to share more, perhaps it will help.

Love to you. And here are some pictures of my beach, my healing spot…

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