I saw a Psychic Witness episode a few weeks ago on the Discovery Channel about this runaway kid who was uberly depressed but his parents had no idea. The psychic lady sensed the kid’s pain and worried about what he might do. Lo and behold, some hikers found his body: he had hung himself.

Stories like this have always been just tv and movie plots (or documentaries) for me. The thought of suicide had never entered my mind (believe it or not, I have never considered it even during the angsty “rebel” teenage years). I have always felt my family and friends’ love and support for me, regardless of the hardships we have gone through (I guess that was also the same reason why we were able to pull through those difficult times). It had never occurred to me to want to take my own life, for the simple reason that I had a lot to live for. Call me vain, but I love this life, no matter how shity it sometimes gets. So I don’t think it should surprise you that I am one of those people who consider suicide as surreal—a thing for tv, books, and movies.

But suicide IS a reality.

A few nights ago, I received a startling text message from one of my close college buddies: our *kabarkada‘s younger brother passed away. He died by suicide.

It took me quite a while to really register what he just said. I knew that kid, I had met him more than twice already and have talked to him whenever he answered the phone. The idea alone of him dying was crazy; the cause of his death was totally unimaginable. It was still surreal, but this time, very close to home.

What drives people to want to take their own life? I am honestly lost in the dark. I know not everyone is as lucky as we are (yes, you too… The fact that you can read this post means that you can afford to get internet access—there are people who don’t even have enough for them to eat), but really, how do these things happen?

Marc and I will be getting married soon, and it won’t be long when we’ll have children of our own. I can’t even imagine losing a child to suicide. How can this be prevented? How can a parent recognize the symptoms of a possible suicidal?

I’m not trying to play the fool here. Really, this wasn’t something discussed in detail when I took up the required subject of Psychology 101 in college. Call me sheltered or whatever, but this really is something that I used to consider surreal.

*kabarkada – a person belonging to a close circle of friends. Sorry I had to use a colloquial term, but I can’t find a better way to describe her and how close she is to me.