All of us have probably been touched by suicide – someone close, someone we know who lost someone, someone we have heard about, someone in the news, or even a battle of our own. The pain is heartbreaking and those left behind suffer from not only the loss, but the guilt – Why didn’t I see it coming? Why didn’t I do something? If only I had called that day. If only I had listened more. If only I had …. (fill in the blank with an endless list of “if only’s”).

I saw this article recently – The Best Way To Save People From Suicide  it says basically that reaching out, letting the person know you care, you are thinking about them, even with something as mundane as a short form letter from a clinic, can make a difference.

One would think, or hope, that a person would have someone staying in touch but unfortunately it’s isn’t always the case. Or, even when there is such a person, even by their side giving daily care, suicide can’t always be prevented. But, I’ll toss this out here as food for thought.

Expats are hardly immune to mental health challenges. Whatever challenges you faced in the home country will come along with you, and may be made worse by the unfamiliar environment, culture, language, lifestyle, etc. and with less support from family and friends who were left behind. Keep in mind that it might be good to reach out to someone, especially someone alone and just say Hey, I care if you are OK. A smiling face on the outside doesn’t mean everything is OK on the inside.

If you want something that will haunt you, look for the documentary The Bridge.  I can’t help but think of it every time I cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and think of the lives that ended there.

Be thankful every day you wake up and you are OK. This is not the case for everyone.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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12 Responses to Suicide

  1. goddess50 says:

    “The Bridge” was a sad albeit mesmerizing documentary. Also a very beautiful film…


  2. oldsalt1942 says:

    Suicide is a permanent solution to what is almost invariably a temporary situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I have heard that too. I have also heard that those who jumped off the bridge, as soon as they were airborne they regretted it. But when you are in that much pain you can’t see a better future, only the intolerable present, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joyce says:

    How very thoughtful of you…thank you for the reminder to be kind and supportive. Merry Christmas, my friend🎅🏻


  4. Phylilis Neufeld says:

    Dear Kris; I have been reading your posts for about three years now. Moved to Boquete a year ago this month. Thanks for taking the time to answer questions I had before coming. I am so glad I did.

    Today I was moved to thank you for the article about Suicide. I lost a dear brother who never got over Vietnam and ended up taking his own life. I am sure your article will touch home with many. Hopefully we will be there when needed by someone.

    Thanks Kris. Phyllis Neufeld

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eliza says:

    Thanks for sharing


  6. Phyllis Cunningham says:

    I seem to have a relationship with a guy named Arthur Itis. I need my soak in the tub. This post makes me wonder if tubs are common in Panama. We are going to visit your area in early March to see if we are a fit for retirement there. Is it hard to find a house with a tub?
    I am loving all your posts. I think this one catches me up on your posts and hope to see a new one added soon.

    Anxiously waiting for our visit AND your next post,

    Phyllis Cunningham
    in the west Texas desert (cold or hot that’s the choice here)


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