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Suicide is such a dirty word to most people; they won’t even utter the word. But, the other day, an acquaintance of mine here in Kansas City, let me know that his son decided to check out of this world earlier this year. Like most people I know, when they receive news such as this, they say how sorry they are for the loss and quickly change the subject because it is very uncomfortable to have a conversation.

It’s just one of the reasons we have survivor support groups. No one wants to talk about it because they don’t understand it. Frankly, I doubt I could find experts who study in this field of psychology who would say they fully understand it.

When I first met my friend well over a year ago and learned of my work, we had a long conversation about my work in trauma and death scene remediation — what most people call Crime and Trauma Scene Cleanup — including suicide.

During this meeting a year later, he acknowledged that as he was going through this with his family, he turned his thoughts to our previous conversation and drew strength on some of what we discussed that day.

One of the biggest lessons I learned over the years is not struggling to comprehend

why someone would commit suicide?

Imagine if you had a chance to speak with those who commit suicide, they might tell you why they did this to themselves. Then, being a loving relative, friend, or concerned individual, every excuse they may present to you as the driving force behind that act, you would be able to counter it with a way out or an answer to the problem. The trouble is that most of these victims won’t hear you, and they won’t or can’t hear you because they are too focused on their perceived pain.

In my class, I show a video on YouTube called “An Awareness Test,” using basketball players passing a basketball between each player wear white —the audience is instructed to count how many passes occurred. So, the audience focuses on the task and comes up with the correct answer. Then the voice-over answers the initial question and adds, “but did you see the moon-walking bear?” Next, they fast rewind the video and play it forward in slow-motion. Indeed, there is a Moon-walking bear who strolls through the players on the video, and my audience is always astounded.

Then I tell my students why many times, no one pays attention to the logic you might present. They are too focused on the pain to hear what is being said to them.

Think back to a time when you slammed your fingers in a door or hit your thumb with a hammer. You probably danced around the room, otherwise known as writhing in pain, cussing, or yelling; you have not focused on anything else but the point of physical pain. But, honestly, I could put a Moon-walking bear strolling through the room, and you wouldn’t even know it.

I’ll give one more example. A middle-aged wife and mother came home to find her husband had committed suicide in their bedroom while she was away grocery shopping. According to her friend at the home when I arrived, she had no inkling those thoughts ever came to his mind. To say she was devastated would be an understatement. When I arrived with my crew, all this poor woman could do was cry. There were only a few moments of silence between her sobbing as she tried to catch her breath. It was one of the most challenging meetings I have been through in my career. She was so hurt she really wasn’t present to what was going on around her. Fast-forward about nine months later, and while I was out shopping, she and her friend came up to me. Her friend introduced me to this wife, explaining that I was the one who came to the residence that day to clean up the bedroom.

Now, why am I telling you this story? Although this woman thanked me for being there in her time of need, she has zero recollection of that day or the following two weeks after — her friend added and several more weeks, her memory is sketchy at best. My point being — mental pain and anguish can override any sanity or logic you would expect an individual to have.

It would be best if you recognized in this whole situation — Suicide is an irrational act, and you and I are trying to understand it with a rational mind. However, a rational mind cannot understand an irrational act.

Those of us who can grasp this concept find mental relief while processing our grief and moving forward.

As stated above, there is an entire industry built around trying to understand suicide fully, its causation, warning signs, and hopefully, one day, finding the elusive magic that would prevent and solve the issue. I doubt it exists, but one can dream of it.

The following is curated from the American Association of Suicidology. You can locate them at
If you need help or know someone who does, you can call 1-800-356-5395 to get in touch with counselors 24/7.

Here are the Warning Signs of Acute Suicide Risk

The following are not always communicated directly or outwardly:

-Threatening to hurt or kill themselves, or talking of wanting to hurt or kill themselves; or
– Looking for ways to kill themselves by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means; or
– Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide, when their actions are out of the ordinary.

Additional Warning Signs:

  • Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use
  • No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life
  • Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
  • Feeling trapped — like there’s no way out
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and society
  • Rage, uncontrol anger, seeking revenge
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
  • Dramatic mood changes
  • Giving away prized possessions or seeking long-term care for pets

Crime Scene Cleaners Kansas City coverage area includes the States of Missouri and Kansas. Although others may see this article outside our coverage area, I will only provide the rate of Suicides. The information below is based on the latest information compiled by the US Federal Government and Prepared by Christopher W. Drapeau, Ph.D., and John L. McIntosh, Ph.D. for AAS, and covers the years up to 2019 and 2020. All rates are stated as Suicides Deaths per 100,000 in population. Please note that these figures include the entire State. Therefore, when investigating a small, more rural area, the number may be skewed and inappropriate for those areas.

The Overall National Suicide Rate is 14.5/100,000. This number represents 47,511 per year.

Missouri Suicide Rate is 18.6/100,000 — representing 1,141 deaths per year — and ranks 15th in the nation.

Kansas Suicide Rate is 18.0/100,000 — representing 523 deaths per year — and ranks 18th in the nation.

For the complete list, Facts and Statistics – American Association of Suicidology

Crime Scene Cleaners of Kansas City is a company that helps families and businesses by remediating traumatic death scenes and also offers services for Hoarding Houses, Unsaniatary Dwellings, and Infection control services.

If anyone you know needs our services in Missouri or Kansas, we stand ready to help restore the structure. We service residential, apartments, commercial, industrial, and construction industries 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.