When Someone Says Suicide Is Selfish…


Roswell and I at someone's house senior year being ridiculous per usual
Roswell and I at someone’s house senior year being ridiculous per usual

This post is an excerpt from Twenties Unscripted: A Journey of Womanhood, Writing, and Relativity. The full essay is available in the book, which is currently available for pre-sale here.

That was not supposed to be the last time I saw my friend. But, it was. Four months later when my sister said Roswell was missing, I first brushed it off, thinking his phone probably conked out or he had taken some impromptu trip. But, the days during that weekend in August 2011 stretched and stretched. I still figured he was gallivanting somewhere fun on a spontaneous trip. I wasn’t worried. After all, it was Roswell; that is what he would and should be doing. I sat at my desk that Monday and at 4 p.m. I mindlessly checked Facebook where I saw someone had posted a status praying that Roswell would rest in peace. Around 6 p.m, our mutual friend Darius confirmed that it was true. Roswell was gone. The universe had shifted. My heart had a gaping hole. And life would never be quite the same. Just like that, the person I called with my good news, the person I called on my bad days, the person who rooted me on and heckled me and humbled me, would not be on the other end of the line. It did not seem right. It did not make sense. I could not understand. Most days, I still don’t.



7 Replies to “When Someone Says Suicide Is Selfish…”

  1. Thank you. Someone has said it.. And the hundred something mile difference we are atleast you are sure someone thinks the same as you. My cousin committed suicide on December 23. He was reaching out for help. No one listened. My family labeled him selfish as well, and in pure disgraced I cursed everyone who was closer to him than I. They were selfish for thinking that way. We all have different obstacles in our lives. They were selfish for ignoring him, and the bullshit regrets they have. All the signs were there. He was a good man, he had an amazing personality, and nothing takes from the good heart he had. May you remember your friend the person he was.

  2. *tears* I am sooo sorry about your friend! I, too, feel the same way when people work up the nerve to say suicide is selfish or to call someone who has committed suicide a ‘coward, smh; as if they’ve a clue what a person is internally going through. In the very beginning of last year, a friend of mine had thoughts of suicide and blatantly expressed those thoughts on Twitter. After immediately reaching out, I, thankfully, was successful at talking him out of it.
    People are quick to neglect the signs, but I refuse.

  3. Thanks for writing this ! Roswell & I grew up together when he lived in Richmond. He was like my older brother . I really miss him a lot .

  4. This is so real. I experienced that as well. A girl I considered to be my kid sister all throughout hs committed suicide and for the longest time, I tortured myself trying to visualize it enough to believe it. It absolutely has that power to make life turn inside out and upside down. Love the conclusion, because with everything that happens, people seem to think the solutions are as plain as day and most times, that’s not always the case.

  5. Thanks for sharing this story, Tyece. Roswell sounds like an incredibly bright light – as so, so many people who seem to succumb to depression & dark places are. My ex-boyfriend Dave killed himself 10 years ago this February, & I will never understand why people continue to perpetuate the idea that suicide is selfish. Suicide is many things – tragic, cruel – but it is never selfish, & it’s not cowardly, either, as I sometimes hear people say. Suicide comes of illness, of seeing no way out, of being sucked under. May Roswell & Dave & Robin rest in peace, & may the rest of us continue to tell their stories to encourage & support & strength & inspire those who feel tempted to follow in their footsteps.

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