The Man up a Tree…. Suicide Prevention Week

In case you are living under a rock and haven’t heard, this is National Suicide Prevention Week and on Wednesday Sept. 10th, is Worldwide Memorial Day for Victims of Suicide. While I understand the need for awareness of prevention, I am caught between “it’s too late” for my son, Brandon, and “is there such a thing as prevention?” If this kind of death could have been prevented we would have had to have known it was a threat to begin with. Really!! How do we prevent something so urgent and immediate, yet so vague and mysterious? Do we campaign and march in the streets with bullhorns and signs or do we curiously stand aside in our silence with banners of names of the fallen? Do we enthusiastically hold up those magic marked posters with demands of “Don’t Jump!” Or do we clutch the photos of our dear loved ones who have succumbed, weeping over the statistics they and we have become? While I understand that there actually may be signs to look for in the suicidal, how often is it said, “We did not realize?” These toxic words, like vomit, have spewed from my very own lips. “If only…”

In my search for the answer to “why” I have had revelation upon revelation and still I feel powerless to have been able to “know” that this would happen to us…to my son. I have sleuthed my way around the world by internet, gone back to the womb where my son was safe and sound, re-examined all of life’s disappointing events, gathered all of my evidence to still feel incomplete and lacking. Surely I should have KNOWN something I shout to myself. But all comes like a powerful avalanche, rushing with a mighty force to knock me down and bury me. Hindsight predicts nothing. Prevention is for whom?

Do I sound cynical? You betcha. I repeat myself here but, while all of the medical world, think psychiatrist/psychologist especially, are hailing the anti-depressants/anti-anxiety drugs as a wonderful treatment for the depressed and mentally ill…the so called cure can actually be adding to the problem. Mind altering drugs are quite capable of killing its host. Too often general practitioners are quick to prescribe what I believe should be closely monitored by hospitalization of the patient to see exactly how they will behave under the medicine prescribed. The supervision should be done by the prescribing psychiatrist. Of course, with big drug companies behind all of this, it is all about the money not the cure. WATCH THIS cautionary video: Please read the blog to get a better understanding:

Wednesday will be the day I honor my son. On his death certificate his cause of death is marked and defined by the check next to the word suicide. How easy was it for that coroner to do that? For the past five years I have had to grapple with the way he has been stigmatized…the way my husband and I have been stigmatized by the entire uneducated world. Damage has been irreparably done to all of us. The trauma, the drama, the stigma, the nightmares, the polarizing effect on our lives have been irrefutable. I am left to wonder if there was an underlying theme to much of my son’s art. Were there clues in his dark drawings and paintings? What can I know for certain except that he is gone by his own hand and that there is an urn in a niche at the cemetery filled with my “baby boy.” How could I have called that “lonely man up a tree…out on a limb…” to come down and join us? Art by Michael Brandon Heath September 2014 061


      • You’re welcome. Thanks for the reminder about National Suicide Prevention Week. I must be one of those folks living under a rock, which is odd because usually I simply like to keep my head buried in the sand—it helps keep the nightmares away.

        September 10th for me is weird because that’s the day my dad shot himself, in 1981. Apparently on World Suicide Prevention day. But I’m okay, dealing with stuff as best I can, as healthy as I can. LIke you.

        I’m no art afficianado, but that Man up a Tree is some cool artwork. 🙂 Thanks for sharing that. 🙂


      • How sad, Andrew that the 10th is a personally significant day for you. You can’t help but be affected by its importance. I hope you will be overwhelmed with God’s peace and that you are surrounded by His love. I am thinking of you, dear friend. Blessings ~

        Liked by 1 person

    • I figured that was Brandon’s creation. 🙂 But I did get confused when you mentioned “Michael Brandon” in your post.

      Hey, what’s the deal with depression and artists? Do you like the song Vincent by Don McLean? (song about Vincent Van Gogh)


      • Michael Brandon Heath is his full name…first name is his dad’s first name, too. Yes, creativity is associated with mental illnesses. Read the book by Mark Seinfelt, “Final Drafts”…it is about the many writers who have died by suicide.

        Yes, I love the song about Vincent. I posted the video by Don McLean several months back. I was writing about Van Gogh’s biography.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you will be overwhelmed with God’s peace and that you are surrounded by His love. I am thinking of you, dear friend. Blessings ~

      Thanks. You have a way with words. 🙂 I got a little misty there for a second.


    • Thank you, Susan. I gladly accept your prayers but as for being strong, I don’t know…it depends on the day. God bless you for all you do in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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