One thing that any R.A.D. Adult or sleeper will tell you, is they have come in close contact with suicide. Whether it be a personal story or someone they knew in an RTC most RAD Adults (Or RADults) have first hand knowledge of suicide. I urge all parents and those that are feeling suicidal to read about one of my many experiences with what suicide is really about and how devastating it truly is. I warn the reader that this is a very graphic post, so please read at your discretion.
With each step closer towards that creepy house, I knew that it was going to be bad. The sun was shining, and cars whizzing past one of Cleveland's busiest streets. Birds chirped innocently as if the scene I was about to enter didn't even exist. I knew otherwise. My girlfriend's brother had been hanging in his attic for over a week in 100 degree heat. These scene was going to be worse than anything I could have imagined and I knew there was no way to prepare for it.
As I opened the front door with my girlfriend in tow, the smell of death was beyond overpowering. It was like walking into a wall. The sweet smell of death was beyond overpowering. Instantly, I wanted to throw up. I knew however if I lost it, my girlfriend would lose it to. I swallowed hard and walked into a living room that was torn apart by the police officers two days before when the body was discovered. My girlfriend, speechless instantly walked into his bedroom which was equally in shambles by police officers looking for a suicide note he might of left behind. They couldn't find one.
I however, stayed in the living room, gazing into the kitchen. There, was one of Ryan's family members SWEEPING piles of flies off the linoleum floor. I didn't have to remind myself not to inhale through my nose, or my lunch would be all over the fly strewn floor. Ryan's parents were sitting at the kitchen table, still crying over the loss of their son. His death was sudden, a shock and a terrible loss to their family. I however, couldn't cry. Not because I didn't know this person, but I had already lost friends to suicides. This wasn't anything particularly new for me. A human life was gone and I was oddly detached from the entire scene. That was until of course, Ryan's mom and dad insisted we visit the scene of his actual death. Upstairs. This nightmare was going to continue.
Each step of the squeaky stairs was another step closer to something that I wasn't expecting. With every step, the smell of death became heavier and heavier. With every breath I took through my mouth I could literally taste the sweet taste of decomposition. The air was THICK with that smell, something you never forget. This was beyond nightmares that most people have. The thing, very confining steps only induced more claustrophobic terror. The entire house was devoid of life, of sound. It was the oddest and scariest thing that I had ever experienced. It was almost as if we were ascending into hell itself.
At the top of the stairs, the crime scene tape had been cut after the police finished their investigation. That tape was on strewn about the floor. I could just imagine some police officer saying "We are done here." and leaving in a hurry to the next call, callous to what must have been a horrific scene. The door to Ryan's room was open. As I walked in, I could feel the dead flies crunching underneath of my feet. Then, I saw it.
The cord was still hanging from rafter, attached and tied to a pillar outside of the attic where Ryan hung himself. It was almost if this cord was lifeless itself. It was eerily still. Below the cord was a huge stain. This, we came to find out was blood and the fluids that flowed from Ryan's body as he decayed for over a week. This was suicide in all it's gory horror invading everyone's senses. I felt forced by the family to witness this. This is what finally got to me. The only thing left of Ryan was a rope and a stain on the floor. I imagined the scene, in fact, my girlfriends sister found the body. When she opened the door after hearing the millions of flies buzzing, his body was hanging right in front of her. She said his eyes were completely out of his head and his entire face was black (Which in a hanging suicide, is normal). I cannot even imagine seeing a body in this condition.
I couldn't stand it anymore. I was going to throw up. I instantly walked to downstairs and out of that house trying to step on dead flies. I didn't throw up. I let the cool breeze blow the stench of death from my nostrils. It took me a good 5 minutes before I started breathing through my nose. "We need help cleaning the house, Michael" Ryan's father said red eyes still welling tears for his son. "Ok, I will help you." What was I going to say, no?
1 day later, I was back in the home, cleaning these silly little spots off the walls with water and a sponge. "What the hell are these things, these damned dots?!" I kept asking myself. With each sweep of the sponge in the water, the water would get darker. This was the dirtiest house I had ever scene or it was something else. "If I were you, I would be using gloves" a voice boomed. I turned around startled. "That's blood." a police officer said. "Are you fucking serious?!?!" I asked. The officer nodded, smiling at me curtly as if I should have known what it was. "The stuff we spray to kill the flies, they expel their stomach contents, which is what kills them." I instantly dropped the sponge on the floor. I was cleaning my girlfriend's brother's blood off the walls with my bare hands.
That was all that was left of Ryan, and now, literally his blood was on my hands as well.
For those of you who are thinking about suicide, if your a R.A.D. Survivor thinking that suicide is the answer I promise you, it's not. Suicide isn't grandiose, it's not brave and it's probably the most selfish act imagineable. I know, however how hard it is sometimes to not think about suicide. We as R.A.D. Survivors have to deal with allot of memories that are buried deep within. I know how horrible the depression can get. I learned however that through Ryan's suicide, I don't know that I could ever let my friends or my family have to clean my own blood off the walls.