Column: Don't ignore warning signs of suicide

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 29, 2007

By Renee Moore

For the Salisbury Post

I thought it could happen. I didn’t want it to happen. But it did happen. Someone I love ended his life, and mine has changed forever. My son, Andy Moore, shot himself in the chest and died on Feb. 15, 2005.

Suicide is such a misunderstood action. Statistically there are around 30,000 Americans who commit suicide each year. It is the 11th leading cause of death in the nation. Seventy percent of all who die by suicide suffer from an affective illness such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Alcohol and drugs are a factor in 20 percent of all suicides. Only one in four people who commit suicide leaves a note. The absence of a note does not indicate an accidental suicide, nor does the presence of one reflect a rational mind. Suicide victims often make their suicidal feelings and intentions known. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Even though you may not be able to stop the suicide, you will have at least tried to help.

Firearms are now used in most suicides; other means include hanging; suffocation; poisons; jumping; gasses; burning; drowning; illness left unchecked; jumping in front of a moving object; crashing a car; or death by suicide involving law enforcement. The most common season for suicide is spring, a period of nature’s annual rebirth.

It is said that what I am enduring is one of the most horrific ordeals possible in human experience. Survivors ride a roller-coaster of emotions unlike any other.

Is suicide a choice? Choice implies that a suicidal person can reasonably look at alternatives and select among them. If they could rationally choose, it would not be suicide. Suicide happens when no other choices are seen.

Based on the accounts of those who have attempted suicide and lived to tell about it, we know that the primary goal of a suicide is not to end life but to end pain. People in the grips of a suicidal depression are battling an emotional agony that, to them, is so severe as to make dying a less objectionable alternative than living. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Someone said that “the time came when the pain it took to stay was greater than the pain it took to go!”

Make an effort to be aware of the signs of suicide and at least make an effort to get that person some help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255 or LifeWorks at Rowan Regional at 704-210-5302. These Web sites have information on suicide: and or

If you are surviving the death of a loved one by suicide, please attend our Survivors of Suicide Support group. For more information you can contact me at 704-857-5193 or via e-mail at

My son now lives in the heart forever of Jesus Christ. He will in the end have to answer as we all will to the sins that we have committed. I will once again be with him. He will not be delivered to hell, as some believe about suicide.

Make yourself aware. Don’t let it happen to someone you love.

Iris Bolton, in her book “My Son … My Son,” said:

I don’t know why.

I’ll never know why.

I don’t have to know why.

I don’t like it.

I don’t have to like it.

What I do have to do is make a choice about my living.

What I do want to do is accept it and go on living.

The choice is mine.

I can go on living, valuing every moment in a way I never did before, or I can be destroyed by it and, in turn, destroy others.

I thought I was immortal.

That my family and my children were also.

That tragedy happened only to others.

But I know now that life is tenuous and valuable.

So I am choosing to go on living, making the most of the time I have, valuing my family and friends in a way never possible before.

I live each day with fond memories of my good-hearted son and cry each day because I miss him. I will celebrate the last day I was with him on Feb. 14, 2005. I remember every moment of that day, and I will also celebrate his new life on the 15th.

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Renee Moore lives in Salisbury. Her son Andy was 34 when he died.