I just read the most heartbreaking story. I can not get it off of my mind. The short version is that a couple lost hope. No one reached out to them when they needed it most. They were not able to access the help that they needed so desperately.
I didn’t know this couple from Bellfontaine, Ohio but I felt a closeness to them. My grandparents lived close to Bellefontaine and I often visited this little town. Jody and Randy Speidel ran out of hope on Tuesday of this week. They believed they had no place to turn but to take their own lives. In their deaths they were considerate. They made sure their cats were outside and they posted signs on their doors to warn others that there was carbon monoxide poisoning inside.
And then ….as their final act…..they lit charcoal grills inside a bedroom, closed and locked the door and spent their last hours together.
My heart is breaking for them, for their family and for the neighbors who now wish they had been more aware of this couple’s plight. I keep putting myself in their shoes. What if this was one of MY neighbors? How would I feel if I found out that I could have done one small act of kindness to prevent this? What if I could have intervened with providing the resources to the places that could have helped them?
I know that many lives are touched when a suicide happens. There are many schools of thought on suicide and why people get to that point. Some people say it is a very selfish act. I disagree with that. I believe that someone with suicidal thoughts is not thinking clearly enough to be selfish. They become so overwhelmed with what their personal hell is that they can not see beyond it. In their minds it is the answer to the suffering. Both for them and for those they love. They believe if they are taken out of the equation everyone’s lives will be much better.
It is a bit ironic that Ann and I were just talking about suicide this past week. I can honestly say that there was one specific time in my life when I thought about it. For a brief moment when I was driving when I was much younger I thought how easy it would be to drive that car off the windy road into a ravine. Then I snapped back to reality and realized that no boy was worth that. I could never allow a person to have that much control over me to cloud my judgment on my self worth and my life. I don’t know that I have ever shared this with anyone until this past week. But I can remember it as vividly as if it were yesterday.
Perhaps that is why this news about Jody and Randy Speidel hit my heart so hard. They did not have anyone who reached out to them to pat them on the back, give them a hug and offer them help. How on earth does that happen? How can we live such isolated lives that this is the only answer?
Today I weep for them. My heart literally aches today for them. I wish I had known them. What I do know is that I refuse to miss an opportunity to reach out to anyone at any time that I can help in any small way. If you know someone who is struggling do not hesitate to connect with them. Check on neighbors. Be that person who is concerned. Don’t be scared to reach out. Offer hope.
If you need resources I urge you to check out the following sites that offer many resources to those struggling with thoughts of suicide. There is help. There is always hope.
Please reach out to someone if you need help. Please. If you want to read more about the story that prompted this post the link is here to the Columbus Dispatch article.