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My friend at work survived a suicide pact – her husband and daughter passed away, but she survived. I wonder what makes someone so low that they can give it all up, even an innocent child.
I met her in Dec 2009. I had just joined a new company in Dubai and she was my colleague.
She was like any other typical traditional girl from Kerala. With mookambika kumkum on her forehead, curly black hair pinned back, and a wide smile, she used to sit at the reception counter of our division. She was a quiet, controlled person, talked very little, and responded only when somebody asked something. It wasn’t that she did not like talking; she loved talking. But she was scared that someone would make fun of her English.
Every time she saw her boss, she would stand up out of respect. She felt the need for advice from others for any big or small decisions in her life – either in her personal or professional life. In other words, she was a very simple person.
Within a short span of time we became good friends. I knew she liked me a lot, because she used to open up and tell me all about her weaknesses, and ask me suggestions about how to learn this, how to tackle that situation, what she felt about others in office, etc. In the evening, after office, we would part ways. Her daughter and husband used to wait to pick her up. It became a routine for me to say bye to her pretty daughter, who used to put her head out of the car window, scream my name out loud, and say bye.
Well, everything was the same, the usual daily office routine for us, until after 2 years, something unbelievable happened. I was at my hometown, just finishing my annual vacation like any other NRI and packing my stuff to return to Dubai, when one of our colleagues called me about this incident.
I laughed it off, telling him to find a better joke to startle me, as we used to play pranks on each other. But I understood that it was no joke and was true… It was true that my friend and her family tried to commit suicide. My friend survived, but she lost her husband and her daughter.
The first thing that went through my head was how she was going to deal with this, and how she would be able to find life worth living, now that she had lost them. It was the talk of the town when I got back. Everyone was shaken by this incident and not a single person had ever thought she would take such step…
My main priority after I got back to Dubai was not to talk about what happened, and how it happened, and why they did that. I just wanted to meet her and tell her that I was there for her in whatever way it could help her.
I contacted her cousins, and went to meet her at the hospital. I entered the psychiatric center waiting to ask a nurse where I could find her. I was just catching hold of a nurse when I heard somebody call my name loudly. I saw her in the lobby, holding her cousin’s hand and walking briskly towards me. I just went to her and hugged her tightly. She just hugged me and started crying, saying, “they left, leaving me alone!”
No words could comfort her. I spent my visit just holding her hand and conveying all the messages other colleagues have told me to pass on to her.
I kept in touch with her cousin to know how she was doing. After almost 7 months she got clearance from the UAE to return to her home. In this span of 7 months she had not met her parents as they feared it would worsen her condition. We were all happy that she had finally got to go back and be with her family. But that happiness did not last for long as she had to face one more test. After 2 months of her arrival her mother passed away with a heart attack. In just 1 year my friend lost her mother, husband and kid.
I still don’t have answers as to why it happened or why she had to go through this, what is going through her head…
Now she is trying to live a normal life. Friends and family are all helping her find new hope and meaning to life… she is still surviving. It made me realize how selfish we all are, we who whine about small things in life, small worries in life. Only when you compare them to the worries of another person, do you realize how small we really are… God bless her.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080–25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
Image source: shutterstock
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Such a poignant story. And while I respect that you did not ask her why she attempted suicide, I do hope she shares her story and you with us – one day. It might prevent others from doing something similar. I was shocked to read about the alleged suicide case of 11 family members in Delhi who apparently did it for a baba. Such storiea fill me with terror.
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