I typically do not get too worked up over the comments people make. Most people are ignorant to the words they speak or the impact they have. Most people have not experienced the horror of a suicide and so they cannot possibly understand the pain attached to the flippant comments they make. I cannot get worked up over every insensitive comment every person makes. I cannot control the words others speak.
Sometimes people make the statement that a certain move at work would be “career suicide.” It doesn’t offend me, I understand what they are saying. That move could kill their career. I get it. There is probably a different way to phrase it that may be more tactful, but at the end of the day, I really don’t care. I know many people are frustrated by others using the phrase “commit suicide” instead of “died by suicide.” I say the latter only out of respect for those who are offended by the former, but honestly, I am not bothered by that phrase either. It’s just semantics to me.
Recently, as I was driving through my neighborhood, I came across a couple of posted signs (pictured below). I was shocked to see them. I understand the message: watch out for deer running into the middle of the road. Again, I get it. In fact, it’s almost a creative spin from the norm. For some reason though, this time, this one stung a little bit. Why couldn’t the sign just say “caution” with a picture of a running deer? I actually winced. I cringed. I made that face that one makes when someone in the room says something so inappropriate, there is no recovering from it.
I thought about pulling over and finding the person that posted these signs to gently share with them what suicide means to those left behind. I would not demand they remove the signs, how could I? Instead, I would simply educate them on what that sign means to so many of us in this world. Conversely, I also thought, “It’s no big deal, let it go.” But, maybe it bothers others, too, who are too timid to say something. Maybe I should say something. Maybe I should let it go. I kept driving.
I’m curious what my fellow survivors think about this sign. Is it offensive to you? Do you care? Does it hurt? Would you say something to the one who posted it? As a fellow survivor, tell me what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts/feelings on this sign.