Senior Contributor
Posts: 331
Registered: ‎04-28-2018

Re: Can We Talk About Suicide?

I feel a need to post this as I hope it helps anyone in difficult financial times that has had any thought of suicide as a way out. I am a survivor of suicide, my father took his own life in 1990, I was twelve years old. The reason? Only he could have answered that question. Financial times in ag were difficult at the time. My take on the whole matter though was this. He allowed the farm to define his worth. He thought that he was the one who failed. I believe that he felt he had let his father down. I remember as a child that he talked alot about working hard to pass the farm down to the next generation. I also remember my grandfather telling me to "take care of those azealas ur grandmother planted them" I'm sure this was done to my father as well but on a much larger scale. I'm sure that all all of these men who have taken there lives under these circumstances have felt to be under this pressure to succeed from the generation before. it's part of farming culture I see it all the time in articles about legacy farms and passing it down, if this hard financial time had fallen upon my grandfather he would have lost some land and that's it. He bought it he had no emotion tied to it, it was a tool to make money and nothing more, however the emphasis he placed on it to my father was much more. I think we look at our fathers when we are children as the ones who have all the right answers we forget that they have flaws as well. My personnel thought now that I have grown older and seen the product of the legacy and pass it along way of thinking, when it comes to agriculture is a selfish one to a certain extent, and to anyone thinking about suicide as a way out, I promise you, ur family and friends would much rather have you around than the farm. And maybe the sacrifice that you make for the next generation is making the decision to let the farm go and move on to the next chapter and the next family legacy for their benefit. and if that's the decision that you need to make for your families future be proud that you where strong enough to make it. ( it's a lot harder than trying to stick it out)Land is not the only thing to pass along. Also remember this when you talk to your Children. make sure that if you intend to give them something to remember a true gift has no strings attached. If you're worried about talk at the coffee shop about not being able to pay your bills remember it's just that talk, gossip, nothing more! the ones doing it might find themselves in the same situation shortly, and the ones not getting paid at the moment charge interest for a reason! Risk! The farmer takes risk and the bank or the merchant takes risk! This does not define you! Our most important asset is not material! It is time on this earth! I hope this helps someone!