Death by Mental Illness & The Beauty of Humanity

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In the early Monday morning hours, just before the sun kissed the sky, I scanned my emails and saw that I had neglected to open and read a “Confession of A Funeral Director” blog post. Yes, I read the blog posts of a funeral director faithfully and as soon as I have a free moment, I plan to purchase and read his book. While Caleb Wilde is always insightful, today’s post entitled “What a funeral director would say to someone who’s suicidal” was right on time. 


Suicide… I’ve thought about it. I’ve considered it. I’ve lived with it. I decided it was not an option for me after one of my aunts died by it. No note. No goodbyes. She was there and then one day she wasn’t. 14 years later I still have unanswered questions and cherish every memory that was made with her. But, I wanted to learn so much more from her. She was the strongest woman I knew. Our family’s rock. Our problem solver… until she wasn’t.


I began to follow Caleb Wilde nearly 7 years ago. One might find my following a sight that talks about death, dying, and the natural process that the body follows once the spirit has left the shell macabre. But after the death of my daughter, I wanted to know everything there is about death and the lives of those who continued to live. So, when I stumbled across Caleb’s site, I was drawn to his ease in painting a picture with his words on finding life in death.


"Death by Mental Illness" is the gentle way Caleb describes the suicide of a person who has battled mental illness and has opted to die, finding no relief from the pain. He doesn’t condemn the person. He simply recognizes the pain that the person is experiencing and encourages anyone who is considering suicide to share their story before they go. He refers to those who live with and die by mental illness as the beauty of humanity.


So naturally when I read his post about suicide this morning, I naturally thought about This Is My Brave. Caleb mentions a suicidal person sharing their stories and finding better companions to accompany them on their journey. Ding, DIng, DING!!! Once you are a member of the cast, you’re home. As a member of the May 2018 Boston cast, I have found a support system that I was not expecting when I decided to tell a portion of my story. Yes, those of us who live with and die as result of mental illness are definitely the beauty of humanity.

The beauty of humanity can be found in taking a leap of faith and deciding to take a chance on life by joining hands with like minded people who understand what living with mental illness looks like.

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About the Author:

Nneka Hall has called Boston home off and on since she was 6 months old.  She's the mother of 4 children (2 sunshines, ages 17 and 12, an angel who would be 7, and a beautiful 3 year old rainbow.) She's a full spectrum doula with a focus on black maternal and infant mortality. She decided to be a part of 'This Is My Brave' because it is yet another way to talk about her Spirit Baby while acknowledging this intimate part of her life. Nneka is hopeful that by releasing her truths, she will be able to foster a release in someone else.