In his book The Savage God, A. Alvarez quotes the Russian writer Boris Pasternak, "You have no conception of the inner torture which precedes suicide."
Pain! The pervasive pain that leads a person to that moment of no return. And there is the paralyzing pain that breaks the hearts and shatters the souls of those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Between the ages of eleven and twenty-three, I lost the two people I loved the most to suicide - my grandfather and my girlfriend. For decades their deaths consumed me as my mind raged with the solitary question, why, why, why? Why did they do this? Why did they do this to me? Never once did I think of the pain they suffered that lead to their deaths. But I was well aware of the pain their deaths caused me - decade after decade.
How can you recognize, how can you describe, pain you cannot see - the path of pain that leads to suicide? It is simply impossible unless you have followed that path of pain to i…