The New York Times this week ran a poignant column on its “At War” blog about our very own contributor Jessica, her personal tragedy and the heartbreaking post she left at her blog in its wake. In case you missed it -- she is OK, being treated and with family.
Since we first heard of this tragedy my heart has broken for this beautiful MilSpouse over and over again. But as the New York Times says, her experience and post likely has, despite her pain, contributed in a very positive way to the conversation surrounding the stress on military families in general and spouses in particular.
From the article:
But she opened up a very public conversation about military spouse suffering and suicide. I’m glad she is being treated, and I agree with the visitor to her blog who wrote, “Failing at suicide will become the best thing you’ll have ever done for yourself.” Adding her war letter to the writings of other post-9/11 military spouses may turn out to be one of the best things she has ever done for them.As the blogger points out, DoD pays careful attention to the rate of suicide among servicemembers, but no official tracking is done for families and spouses. Suicide prevention campaigns aimed at the entire family will soon be launched.
Jessica’s experience highlights the utter importance that we not only worry about the mental health and well being of our spouse but that we take proactive care of ourselves and others around us. Jessica did her best for her husband and herself -- but according to her story had no close, local friends, watching her back.
And that’s where the MilSpouse community comes in. Sometimes it is not enough to simply reach out on our own behalf -- we have to be proactive in finding people in our own communities that need support.
Secondary PTSD and depression are very real issues, and a part of the spouse experience about which, frankly, I would rather not think. But ignoring Jessica’s inadvertent cry for help on behalf of so many would be an even greater tragedy than what has already happened.
A reader suggested we include a list of resources we can point friends to when they need help. If you have any others please share them!