Suicide And The Ugly Truths That Lead To It

by Yvonne Chase on October 28, 2015

She Killed Herself
She set the table and ate dinner alone.  After dinner, she took a steaming hot shower, dried her skin then slipped into a beautiful backless dress.  I took note of her beautiful back. She had the right back for that dress.  Next, she took three bottles of pills, dumped them in a bowl, picked up her glass of wine and took a big swallow after putting a few pills in her mouth one at a time.  I sat up, stared at the TV screen and tweeted, “She’s taking all those pills with wine? The next image was her laying in bed with the glass of wine raised and the final image was her laying in bed with a thick white foam coming out of her mouth.  She was dead.  She killed herself!


Something About Him Resonated With Me
Lisa, Mary Jane’s best friend committed suicide on the recent episode of Being Mary Jane.  I usually tweet up a storm during this show, but I couldn’t.  It was a hard episode to watch. Couldn’t help but think about the two people I knew personally who committed suicide; Don Cornelius and Chris Lighty.  I worked very closely with both men as a matter of fact, Don Cornelius was my first boss when I moved to LA. I used to always tell his son Tony how much I liked his Dad.  There was just something about him that resonated with me.

Bullets In A Loaded Gun
I remember the day I found out.  I was driving to work. A friend called me and said, “Not sure if you heard, (I hadn’t) but I know how much you love Don Cornelius.  He committed suicide this morning.”  My face froze! What? Why? How? When? What time? The questions rattled off my tongue like bullets in a loaded gun.  I had to pull my car over to the side of the road.  My reaction was the same when I heard about Chris Lighty.  I don’t understand suicide.

Never Cleared The Air
One of the things that struck me the most about Lisa’s suicide was the call log on Mary Jane’s phone.  She had 23 missed calls and 20 voicemails.  Lisa called her repeatedly.  I wonder if the outcome would’ve been different had Mary Jane answered the phone.  They never cleared the air or got back into a good space with each other after Mary Jane found out about Lisa’s indiscretion with her man David.  What a mess! The tweets were flying left and right during and after this episode. Check them out:

Lisa wasn’t that great of a friend. She went after MJ’s man & when it blew up in her face she kills herself. That’s Selfish!

Lord. He molested Lisa & is trying to blame it on her mental illness.

Black women can postpone pain for generations. If we allow ourselves to REALLY feel it, all the wailing might break the earth.

David and MJ are toxic to each other. Hopefully, this will give them the courage to really end things.

Black women can dress up pain better than anyone. it just looks like we’re not hurting.

So many of us are Lisa and don’t even know it. I’m glad #BeingMaryJane is addressing suicide and Black women.

Those missed calls from Lisa are gonna haunt Mj.

I hope Mary Jane doesn’t feel guilty for Lisa’s death. It’s not her fault. 

The saddest part is, she seemed at peace with her decision.  She was happy.

Sweeping Stuff Under The Rug
And then there was the eulogy read by Mary Jane.  She exposed Lisa’s ugly truth.  In addition to suffering with depression, her step dad molested her from age 9 – 16.  This episode was all about the #UglyTruth that leads some to commit suicide.  It was also about the ugly truth’s black people hide.  Our community is known for sweeping stuff under the rug.  One tweeter said, “Being Mary Jane touched on issues tonight that we like to sweep under the rug as Blacks; incest, depression and suicide.”

We Can’t Fix What We Won’t Face
A girlfriend and I were talking about sweeping stuff under the rug and I remember telling her I don’t have that gift.  I talk about everything no matter how ugly it is.  How else is it going to get better? Sweeping stuff under the rug never works.  All it does is create a lump that trips you up through life.  It’s time to lift the rug and deal with everything under it.  We can’t fix what we won’t face.  In the words of Mary Jane, “Stop being liars, embrace the truth and make sure you tell the people you love that you will still love them no matter how ugly their truth is.”

Something to think about…

What say you? Do you know anyone who’s committed suicide? What are your thoughts on suicide? Is it selfish? Have you ever thought about committing suicide?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

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Kimberly H. Smith November 5, 2015

I was glued to the television during that episode. So tragic and so true on so many levels. Mara Brock Akil does a phenomenal job with this show. The symbolism is everywhere: glass houses, affirmations, Lisa being an OB/GYN, etc. Mary Jane Paul appears to have it all professionally when her personal life is in complete turmoil. I know so many women like that–black women. Thanks for sharing, Yvonne.

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