If You Joke About Aaron Hernandez's Suicide, YOU'RE Part Of The Problem

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To Those Who Joke About Aaron Hernandez's Suicide

I know Aaron Hernandez was a famous football player who was indicted for murder as well as accused of countless other crimes. He had a fiancé and a little girl he left behind in the tragic event of his suicide.

Yet, there are so many people out there, upon news of his suicide, quick to say "he deserved it" or "he got what he deserved". Who left you to be the judge and jury of this man’s life?

People in the media have also speculated as to why he chose to commit suicide on or around the day the New England Patriots were visiting the White House. Again, I ask, who left you to be the judge and jury in how this man died and the day he chose to do it?

Despite the speculations and questions surrounding Aaron Hernandez’s suicide, one thing is clear: Aaron Hernandez leaves behind a fiancé and a daughter.

Do you have any idea what it is like to be suicidal? Do you have any idea what this man’s family has to deal with?

Let me bring you into the mind of someone who has been suicidal before:

It feels like there is no other way.

It feels like the only way to take the burden off of others and what you have been through is by taking your own life.

It feels as if the world would be better off without you. That your family and friends would be better off without you despite their pleas of how untrue and false that is. It's a constant battle between the mind saying one thing and your heart feeling another.

It's a battle between life and death. It's a battle between the last string of hope you have and taking the blade to your wrists and downing bottles of pills.

It's the constant thought of wanting to die, wanting to end the pain, and wanting to end the suffering for both yourself and your loved ones.

It's the constant negative thoughts that consume your mind and your life to the point that you can’t see any other way out beyond taking your own life.

You feel worthless.

You feel a lack of purpose or reason, and no sense of self because once your mind is made up, all that consumes you is how you’re going to do it and how to make sure it's completed. The only logical and coherent thoughts you have at that point revolve around death.

Because you're so wrapped up in your mind, you tend to forget those you will leave behind.

For me, I would have left my 9-year old niece who adores me, my mother and father, my brother and sister, aunts and uncles, and the list goes on — how would they feel after I’m gone?

I assume they'd feel guilty, as if they had some sort of control over the situation. My parents would consider where they went wrong or how could they have failed as parents. Husbands, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends may question their role and part in the suicide.

Brothers and sisters may ask how they could have better helped. Children may feel at fault or to blame because maybe they were 'too much to deal with' or maybe they could have acted out less.

But the truth is: suicide has nothing to do with anyone externally and everything to do with the one who committed the act. It is almost as if the devil took over the mind and started controlling the person.

Before you start making jokes about Aaron Hernandez or speaking down about him, remember suicide isn’t a rarity. Making jokes or saying "he deserved it" will only contribute to the problem rather than raise awareness.

Making jokes and placing blame hinders the ability for others to become aware of the reality that suicide is, unfortunately, common. Engaging in jokes and placing blame also proves how naive and immature people truly are.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. To make it more real, approximately 121 people commit suicide daily.

The foundation also reports that for every suicide, there are 25 attempted ones — and remember: these numbers are based only on those that are reported. 

Before passing judgment and placing blame, think of how Aaron Hernandez’s loved ones have to cope with their new reality: that someone they truly loved and cared about committed suicide and how they will manage to get through today and tomorrow without him.

Be a part of the change, not a contribution to the problem.