Stigma

Alot has been discussed about the fact that even now with all of the education and talk surrounding mental illness we still have a social stigma regarding it.
As much as I would like to think that I don’t contribute to that I have had to ask myself the very tough question of, do I?
If Willie had died in an accident or as a result of a criminal act or other brutality from outside forces would I have just as difficult as time telling people the “why” he’s no longer here?
I guess on some level, I’ll never know because the truth is that he is dead because he took his own life. One of the things that I’ve learned this past year is that I can “what if” myself until I am crazy and there still won’t be answers – or at least no answers that satisfy the questions I ask.

Today is the Bell Let’s Talk day for Mental Health and today of all days I was having a discussion with someone at work and it turned to family and life in general. Her and I had discussed kids before and this time she finally asked why I never talk about what must be the fourth son….that she knows I’ve had 4 and I talk about the oldest 2 and the youngest but never about the “other” son. I said simply that it’s a hard subject. She asked if he is ok and I replied “no”.
There was silence and she said that I didn’t have to explain and I thanked her for understanding.

I went out for a walk afterwards and had to ask the question of why… why didn’t I say anything… what stopped me from sharing the truth and the reason. Is it simply that I didn’t want to share or is it that I didn’t want to share that he killed himself.
Still trying to decide and not liking the answer that I keep finding in my heart.

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