Sides of Suicide

Grief is a normal response to losing someone important to us. When someone dies by suicide, those bereaved often experience a very complicated form of grief caused by a combination of sudden shock, unanswered questions of ‘Why?’ and feelings of ‘What could I have done?’. They may experience a range of emotions highlighting the dramatic personal effect suicide can have and the important but difficult task of helping someone bereaved by suicide.
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Sides of Suicide

Postby Kristina » February 13th, 2014, 4:07 pm

No loss is easy. No loss is welcome. But, somehow, when a loss is due to suicide, there just seems to be so many more "what ifs" and "should haves". We second guess if we missed things, if we could have done more, if they even knew we loved them.

I have been on all sides of this. I have lost a friend to suicide (in 2009). I have had a close friend attempt suicide, but survive. And I have had thoughts of suicide myself.

And all three have helped me to understand the other sides better. Having "been there" myself, I know that my thoughts were not straight at the time. It is an illness. Just as many other illnesses cause parts of our bodies to stop functioning correctly, prolonged (and often intense) stress, trauma, and depression can all cause the brain to stop functioning correctly. Thoughts are no longer clear. For me, at least, the thoughts had more to do with wanting to escape what seemed to be unendurable pain than it did a desire to actually die.

My friend who has attempted suicide has relayed that she felt much that same way. She was a victim of severe abuse and neglect as a child and there seemed an endless stream of trauma to survive and to wade through in therapy. She did not wish to leave ME, she just wanted a way out of the pain and saw no other way at the time. In her case, the pain did eventually lessen. But, there are those for whom the end may not come...and the decision for them must be even more powerful.

And my friend who succeeded. Well, I will not know until I see him again what he was actually thinking or feeling. But, I do know that he struggled with bipolar for a long time. I know also that his marriage was ending. I know he sometimes felt like he couldn't measure up no matter what he did. I am pretty confident in saying that, when he made his decision, he did so out of suffering and faulty functioning of his brain...not out of a desire to leave or cause pain. He was very tender-hearted. He had a son who loved him very much...and whom he was a great daddy to. His parents and sister loved him. He had friends who loved him. We all told him so. Sure, we second guess ourselves...did we tell him enough? Could we have stopped it somehow? But, deep in our hearts, we know the he knew we loved him. He didn't make that decision to hurt us or to escape from us. He made it only to escape the pain.

Do I wish he had made another choice? Absolutely. But, I have chosen to use the lesson of his life and death in my own life. When those feelings of despair come over me, I remind myself that no matter what my thoughts and no matter what I am feeling at that moment, I would not wish the pain of loss on anyone, let alone those I love. In better times, I also believe that I am placed here for a purpose and it is up to me, no matter how I feel, to fulfill that purpose as best as I can with the help of God to guide me.

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Re: Sides of Suicide

Postby Tracy » February 17th, 2014, 3:25 am

Beautifully said right from the heart


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