Swati Kumari is a young woman who is currently trying to spread awareness on suicide prevention. Swati is engrossed in this mission after losing her mother three years ago to suicide. She is also an author of the novel ‘Without a Goodbye’. She shares with Mums and stories her journey to spread light in the room of darkness.
“I belonged to a middle class family. My family had wished that I opt for a safe career of an engineer/doctor or a banker. I have been writing since I was 11 years old. I used to hide from everyone on my writings. It so happened that I started expressing my emotions and feeling through poems, short stories and articles. Me and my brother were raised in Kanpur and completed our schooling from there. I studied in Bihar before moving further down to Bangalore for studies and work.
My mother was born and raised in a village of Bihar. She got married at the tender age of 15 and gave birth to me her first child, when she was just 17 years old.
Being the eldest daughter-in-law, life was not a cake walk at all after her marriage. She completed her 12th and graduation after her marriage. She was beautiful, intelligent, creative, smart and really a strong woman throughout her life. She was a sincere daughter, obedient wife and daughter-in-law, a loving and supporting mother. She always taught me to be an independent girl with a strong will.
I remember it was in October 2013 that the incident shook me completely. Since then I am living with my ‘mama-mami’ in Patna. It is not easy at all to talk about my mom or about that darkest incident of my life. When I was working on my book, my tears would roll down on each page of the novel. I was writing on her that came out as” Without A Goodbye”. I denied to edit and proof read it. However, being an author of the novel I had to edit it.
I do feel until when we will keep hiding and giving a message (unintentionally) to others for them to keep quiet too. It is as though one shouldn’t share or discuss on problems or solutions. It was not easy to talk about my personal matter in public, but I decided to speak.
Though I always wanted to be a published author and many times I tried to complete novels before writing ‘Without A Goodbye’; but couldn’t complete because of studies and job. I had never ever imagined that my debut novel would be like this. After my mom’s death, I was going through severe trauma and I wanted to let my pain out. I started writing remembering my mom. I wanted to keep her alive with me in the form of the words. ‘Without A Goodbye’ got published in October 2015. People loved reading a book based on the life of a mother, her relation and bonding with her children. Many of them emailed and messaged me that the book made them cry.
Since that incident..until now, there hasn’t been a moment when I have thought on her suicide intention and it has haunted me. I do feel if I would have been with her, I could have saved her.
It was the biggest shock for my whole family specially my nana-nani who lost their daughter. I had seen my mama crying, first time in life after losing his beloved sister
My brother was in his 3rd year of engineering, when our mom died. For the first time, I felt him completely shattered.
Life never stops, neither the pain leaves us alone. It seems everything is fine after a time, but actually, it is not. The wound under the concealer is never visible or felt by anyone else. But we have to keep moving and live our life.
People around the person with suicidal thoughts can help and save him from taking such step. Listening to someone’s problem and discussing with them might help in finding a better way out to their problems
I have been involved in a photo storybook – “Amayra: The essence of life. It is about how a happy-go-lucky girl reaches to the point where she is deciding over to live or to die. What happens after that? How can we prevent suicide? Everything depicted in form of story and photos in a beautiful story. We are trying to raise funds too for this cause. https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/supportamayra
I would like to share a few statistics that I have come across during my works and research on suicide. For every suicide, there are much more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.
Ingestion of pesticide, hanging, and firearms are among the most common methods of suicide globally. India had nearly 2.6 lakh suicides, overtaking China which counted 1.2 lakh.
Internationally, suicide accounts for 50% of all violent deaths in men and 71% in women. In India, the male-to-female ratio is 1.6. The main reasons for suicide in India are exam performance pressure, marriage/love failure, job pressure, financial problems, family problems (As per WHO report 2014)
Suicide is preventable. Most of us never consider suicide as an issue of concern and to discuss, until they have experienced it with their loved ones. A person who is struggling with any problem from a long time sees ending the life as the only solution.
I have come terms with certain things in life. Dedicating to my mom, I have made suicide prevention as the reason to live and mission of my life”.