This happened in March 2013. I still feel sad as I relate the events that took place. My family and I frequent a local medical center. We are normally treated by a certain lady GP but if she is not available then we opt for a male GP, let's call him Dr C. All in, we probably have been treated by Dr C off and on for at least 5 years.
I started noticing that he has not been working in the center around late 2012 because when we asked for him (as our lady GP was not available), we were told he was not available too. That happened a few times but it never dawned on me to ask why.
Anyway, one day in March 2013, I took my daughter to the center to get more prescriptions for a steroid cream she uses and I saw Dr C's photo on the board, announcing his passing. I was surprised as he appeared fit and healthy... He would probably have been in his late 30s. As I was still reading the condolences and cards on the board, my daughter's name was called and the GP we were seeing that day occupied Dr C's old room.
When I entered the room, I noticed that it was very dark, much darker than the other times I have been in there although nothing has changed in that room other than the new GP. As the GP spoke to my daughter, I looked around and noticed Dr C's painting (yes, he paints) was still on the wall in that room. As I looked at that painting (it was of a beach, with calm waters and a rowing boat ashore), I felt immense sadness in my heart. I cannot explain why but suddenly the words "suicide" entered my thoughts...it's like I knew he had committed suicide.
When we finished, we went back out to the reception to pay and I asked the receptionist about Dr C. I said "I did not realize Dr C was ill, did he have an accident?" And the receptionist replied, "I am sorry but we are not at liberty to discuss but we do miss him so much". We settled the bill and came home.
After coming home, I did the usual things such as cooking, feeding the kids, packing their bags for school the next day. With all activities at home, I promptly forgot about Dr C. However, as I got ready for bed that night, the moment I closed my eyes, I saw his face! It came as quite a shock because I had forgotten all about the news of his passing. I turned to my husband and told him what I found out earlier in the day. He was surprised as well because he really liked Dr C. Dr C was very sympathetic to my husband when we lost my father-in-law in 2008. I did not tell my husband that I "knew" it was suicide because it was just a feeling and it was not substantiated. After telling my husband, I thought I could now sleep... But again, no matter what I do, the moment I closed my eyes I see Dr C's face.
I spent a long time trying to sleep and eventually I gave in. I turned and saw that my husband was fast asleep. I got up and went into the study, turned the PC on and on Google, I typed "Dr C's full name" and what happened next I could not explain. Normally, when you Google, the search results will show the relevance of results to your search and the results normally are aligned to what you typed in your search. For example, if you typed "Thailand and Hotels", it gives you all the travelling sites and so on. But the search results I got were all over the place. Just his name alone, the results all came up similar in nature but all irrelevant to him. I kid you not, all the results were of foreign exchange sites and all have his name repeated again and again on relevance matching the search. Yet when I click on each one of the results, it leads to foreign exchange sites with no mention of him. I thought Google had a bug! So, I tried again by refreshing the search engine, again the same results! I felt like he was there with me and desperately trying to communicate. It scared me. I turned off my PC and went to bed, hugging my husband.
The next day, at the office, again thoughts of him filled my mind. This time, I repeated the search on Google but on my office PC. And I found an article with his name on it. It was a missing person's posting by the police in Sept 2012. It never mentioned if he had been found. It was just a missing person's posting. My suspicion grew stronger. I waited until I am home again, kids are asleep then I searched again using his name and this time I found the obituary site and from all the postings there from his family and friends, I can confirm that he had indeed committed suicide.
Again the intense sadness filled me, it was such a deep, dark feeling that I felt totally absorbed into it... It was suffocating. I could feel his sadness, I could feel he is not at peace. As I was alone in my study, I asked him aloud, "What is it you wish to say? Is it because you could not find peace? That death is not the end?" I waited but there was no answer.
The next day was a weekend, I called my family and told them about Dr C, and I asked them to offer prayers for him, for his soul. And I also requested special prayers for him in church. I felt that was all I could do for him.
So, after the weekend, I went about my own business again, determined not to let this bring me down. It was Monday, lunch time, when I was walking back to the office when thoughts of him started to enter my head again. I mentally shrugged it off... But just at that moment, his face flashed in my mind. I got a shock and twisted my ankle on the pavement. I hobbled painfully back to the office and was offered a taxi voucher to go home. Once home, I put on an ankle supporter and iced my now swollen ankle.
That night, my husband got the ointment ready to rub my ankle. I sat on our bed and removed the ankle supported and placed in next to me on the bed. As he rubbed the ointment onto my ankle, I told him what had happened. He simply said I was not paying attention and watching my steps. After he finished, I reached next to me for my ankle supporter but it was not there! My husband helped me look, I hobbled out of bed and we stripped the pillows and doona off the bed but we could not find it. I know it's strange but I knew it was Dr C and this time I lost it. I was in pain and I was hopping mad. I yelled out "ENOUGH! I am sad you killed yourself but I am not to be blamed. I know you could not find peace and I am helping. I offered prayers for you. That is all I can do. Please, you have to leave me alone". My husband looked at me as though I lost my mind. But after my outburst, I turned around and there, on the bed, right under our noses is the ankle supporter. I swear it was not there before!
Three days after that night, there was a newspaper clipping, with the picture of a woman holding a photograph of Dr C. It was his widow... She went on the news to shame the insurance companies for not reimbursing their travel costs because he was too ill to travel. I have never met his wife... But as I looked at her photo, I could feel his sadness... I can't quite put my finger on it but I sense that their marriage was not a happy one. I really cannot explain why I felt that because I do not know Dr C that well and I have not met his wife. But I knew he had wanted me to see that news clip, he had wanted me to see his wife's photo. Why? I do not know.
Silently, in my heart, I told him that he has to let go. I told him what is done is done, he has to let go to have peace and that I will pray for him. All that week, each time his face comes up in my mind, I repeatedly told him the same things. Until I find I sense him less and less.
Sometimes when I am in church, especially during All Saints day, when we are encouraged to pray for the departed, I would think of him and I would say a prayer for him. I do not know why he chose me to communicate with. I do not know what he wanted to tell me. All I can hope for is that he has found peace.
And to all human out there contemplating suicide and wanting to end it all... Let me remind you that death is not the end. If you do not find peace now, you will not find peace after you take your own life.