Wednesday, February 11, 2015

For Martin...a remembrance of suicide

Patrick McMullan about the loss of his son to suicide:

What is this painting and what does it mean. I truly have no idea but it is one of my favourite works of art.

Full of wonderful colours and shapes and magic?

Sad day. We are losing too many of our young men and women. Some are innocent victims of senseless violence - some are peacekeepers - some are ravaged by disease or injury - and there are so many others.

Just over ten years ago we lost our son and brother to death by suicide. I went to the spot of Martin's death. I was horrified to see recent evidence of another suicide from that awful bridge.

I wish I could go back in time and talk to Martin before his death. Hopefully someone will read this and maybe reconsider any decisions they may be contemplating.

There are so many reasons which may lead someone to consider ending his or her life.

Some are depression and other mental illnesses that one feels unable to talk to anyone about. Some are victims of bullying - physical, mental and cyber. Some are poverty and hopelessness which is decimating too many Native youth. Some are crippling diseases and injuries. Some are unachieved expectations. Some are computer sites that advocate and encourage suicide. There are so many - each one is different and unique to that person.

What to do?  I strongly suggest seeking help from a professional, a family member, a friend or even someone you may know only casually. In my life, asking for help is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I don't understand why I am like that since nobody I have ever asked for help has never been anything but kind to me.

The phone number for the Toronto Crisis Centre is 416 595 1716 and there is always someone there to talk to.

You might think people should know that you are in distress and you wonder why they aren't helping you. I loved my son but I had no idea that Martin was in such pain and I will always bear that cross with me.

One last thing. You might feel you are different and you don't fit in. Please know that I never felt that I fitted in. To my mind, being different is a blessing and is wonderful. Now I know why that painting is at the start of this missive.

Martin's last words to us were "PEACE OUT". Good luck and love. It truly can be a Wonderful World

There is a poem by Leonard Cohen that I feel expresses some of our love for Martin


There are some men
who should have mountains
to bear their names to time.

Grave-markers are not high enough
or green,
and sons go far away
to lose the fist
their father's hand will always seem.

I had a friend;
He lived and died in mighty silence
and with dignity,
left no book, son, or lover to mourn.

Nor is this a mourning-song
but only a naming of a this mountain
on which I walk,
fragrant, dark, and softly white
under the pale of mist.
I name this mountain after him

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