11/17/2016 – Coping With Suicide – Public Talk
My name is Bob Cristello and my son Anthony killed himself on August 16, 2017 at the age of 35. I make this statement to qualify who I am as a parent, why I am here and to show my credentials in a club that no one wishes to be a member of.
I have a deep faith, a very strong faith, that is based in miraculous events I have witnessed in my life. I am reticent to name the being, or beings, of my faith simply because they chose to identify themselves as “I am” once long ago. They appeared to a great man, well beyond my caliber by the name of Moses, who also knew something about wandering lost in the wilderness of the desert.
Now, with a little knowledge of Theism you might start to guess at the source of my faith, but you would probably be incorrect nonetheless. I don’t talk about it, not with you and not out here in the real world.
Why won’t I give my spiritual being, or beings, a name? Because they have no name, just like the club I belong to. They have no name because my club has no ribbon, no corporate sponsors and no huge celebrities pushing our cause. That will change in time, because I have faith. I also refuse to name them simply because once I do so, our conversation diverges from the real problem. The problem of children dying, parents grieving and the world never quite knowing what to say to us so we start to feel ashamed.
It is the same reason, honestly, that I wish you could not see the color of my skin. Once you see the color of my skin, or lack thereof, you start to make assumptions about me. Assumptions that could detract from the message of hope I wish to give to you, simply because you will see a difference where I see only similarity. As strange as it may seem, I never felt my family was quite the same color as the white people I knew
I could go on, but I can only tackle one platform at once. I am truly grateful that if I could be of service now, to a community that is unilaterally in agreement that we have no politics, religion, race, color, creed, sexual identify or lack thereof. We are the ultimate politically correct club. It is actually the type of club I would thrive in as I have always attempted to be as inclusive as the systemic racism in the country I grew up in allowed me to think I was.
I am sharing this image with you from Google Analytics to simply prove a point with absolute scientific certainty. People are reading and they are staying to read in larger and larger numbers. This website is less than two weeks old and there are currently 29 online right now. The little blue dots indicate clusters, around the world, of people that are simply reading my blog. I sought to help one person, there are 29 candidates on the site now and who knows how many more in the next 10 hours.
I will tell you that in the next 8 hours that 720 people will choose to end their lives. Now, that is straight from the World Health Organization who states that every 40 seconds a person dies from choosing to end their lives with suicide. Not my numbers, seriously. So, while I sleep tonight, 720 people will die. 1440 parents, if they are still alive, a larger number of family members and all of their friends, will be devastated, lost and without hope. They will be ashamed because we are taught not to take our own lives, or the lives of others. Yet, I have faith.
I believe that at least 28 people died while I was writing this, 7 people died while I edited it, 1 person died while I was proofreading it. How many do you think have died since you started reading it? Maybe if you tried to answer that question instead of so many other questions rattling around in your brain, you might see why I am alarmed. More than alarmed I am awake. More than awake I am responsible.
I have faith that you will read this one day, that you will rise up out of the oppressive tyranny of shame and stand in the light in a new life and a new freedom. I have faith that more will be revealed, both to you and I. I have faith that there is a life for me to live, a message of hope to carry and the ability to simply live happily ever after.
I take great comfort in knowing that you are out there, more importantly that you are listening. You have started to find my timeline and reached out and want a new life. You want a certainty of your role in your child’s death. You are renewing a commitment to celebrate the life of your child instead of their exit from a place that is cold, hard and unforgiving.
My name is Bob, thank you for letting me share.