The short answer is no.
According to Statistics Canada, nearly 4000 people a year die by suicide in Canada. The rate is even higher in the USA, according to Save. Males are three times more likely than females to die by suicide, and the most affected group is the 15-24 year range.
But, for each person who succeeds, dozens are left behind as the survivors. Brothers, sisters, parents, extended family and friends must all deal with the aftermath of this tragedy. This is no easy process. Grief is always difficult, but grief because of suicide is messy and complicated. We seek to understand, we strive to move forward. The question we ask most often is why? Sometimes there is no answer, and sometimes we understand what went wrong but we want it to be different.
This is not Jessi’s story. However, because I loved him so much I decided Quinn, the suicide victim, would be a skateboarder like Jessi was. It’s my tribute to a nephew that I adored.
Griptape is Hannah’s story. Hannah is the sister left behind, the one who has to learn if she can survive without her older brother. She has questions. Lots of questions. Griptape explores many of the emotions that people may feel when someone dies by suicide. It’s never easy when someone dies but how do we reconcile it when this person we love chooses to take their own life?
There are questions. Why didn’t I know? How did I miss it? Could I have done anything? Should I have done anything? What was he thinking? There are emotions that sneak up on me. Sometimes I’m angry at him. Sometimes I laugh at something I remember him doing.
Most of the time? I just miss him.
In a world where suicide rates continue to rise, Griptape is for people trying to make sense of it all.