Suicide. No one likes to talk about it. Some people like to joke about it. Some people have fleeting thoughts of it that they are able to push out. And some people see this as their only option, the only way out of darkness. It is devastating and so hard to understand. There are always so many questions from family and friends. Why? Was it really that bad? Was there anything I could have done to prevent it?
My hometown was rocked by a shocking suicide this week. Mrs. Pam died on Monday and I haven't been able to get her out of my head. Before this week, I actually thought of her often. Mrs. Pam has a special spot in my heart. In 2003, La Tech played at LSU. My good friend, Jeanna, and I went down to Baton Rouge for the game. On our way home, we were in a car accident in Natchez, MS. Mrs. Pam and her family were a few cars behind us. When she saw me in the car, her family pulled over to help. I will never forget Mrs. Pam holding Jeanna and I in her arms on the side of the highway as we cried. We had minor injuries and were more scared than anything. Mrs. Pam's husband pried our things out of the trunk and dealt with the police for us. Jeanna's grandparents were not far away and able to come pick her up. Mrs. Pam and her family drove me back home. I think Mrs. Pam called my mom to tell her what had happened and that she was bringing me home, but those details are kinda blurry. Her kindness and compassion helped us during a tough situation. That is Mrs. Pam. I will always remember her with a smile on her face and love for everyone around her. Random things make me think of the wreck that day...Tim McGraw, summer sausage, Galants (I said random, Jeanna will get it). And anytime I think of that wreck, I think of Pam and her family and what they did for us.
When Mrs. Pam chose to take her life, she was not herself. I don't think anyone who makes that decision is. She was struggling with medications which turned her into someone else. Medications can do good, but can also do harm if not used appropriately.
There is such a huge need for prayer now. Jay, Pam's husband, and Elaina and Mary Allison, her daughters, need prayers for comfort and healing from this tragedy. Our town and all of the people whose lives were touched by Mrs. Pam need prayers through this difficulty time. We should remember those who struggle with thoughts of suicide and depression. We never know what anyone around us is going through. My hope is that Pam's story will help someone else struggling in the same way and bring more awareness to the safe use of medications with depression.
I hope Mrs. Pam is always remembered as the woman she was before. A woman full of smiles and laughter. A woman full of love for God, her family, her friends, and pretty much everyone else around her. I love you, Mrs. Pam!