WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A SUICIDE LOSS? INFO FOR SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE LOSS

If you ever thought of taking your own life for any reasons:Life’s hardships, you think no one cares, the world will be a better place without you, and you feel so much emotional pain, you would do anything to STOP IT!  PLEASE think again! We DO CARE!

Immediately  call  The NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE 1800-273-8255

Alert 911

or go to your nearest Emergency Room, call a friend to go with you if possible

 Remember: It is TEMPORARY and you will understand and defeat this crisis.

There is a  moment, before you make a fatal decision, when you have a choice:

Instead of taking your own life, please thinking  in that SPLIT MOMENT of this message which comes to YOU  with love and which describes what really happens after a suicide loss, and how it affects the survivors, who truly  will care for the rest of their lives and beyond!!

IF a close person takes his/her own life they live behind a countless questions, a roller-coaster  of  emotions which range from guilt, to love, to confusion, anger, and the cycle repeats, because ALL SUICIDE LOSS SURVIVORS  CARE AND THEIR LIVES ARE CHANGED FOREVER!!! FOREVER!! Take it from a survivor of suicide loss whose life changed forever, hers and her children’s!

This IS a first hand story of the devastation that occurs after a loss by suicide. It is normal after such a loss to have  confused feelings and the love and anger alternating. Pleasel seek HELP to understand the process and the consequences of such a complex loss!

This is a true, personal story which I decided to share because while suicide statistics are on the rise, we, as a culture, still deny the “word” suicide, which is something that could only happen to others, in our minds! Unfortunately, it  could happen in anyone’s family  and more often than we think.

The Stigma of Suicide —

If someone dies in a car accident the obituary would say” sudden death caused by a car accident.” If someone dies after a long illness, he/she battled  it, or if someone dies of a heart attack, it is painful, but okay by our society’s standards. NOT SO if the person killed himself/herself! That is a… secret!

The immediate question in a survivor of suicide loss mind,  is, WHY? WHOSE FAULT WAS IT? and I don’t care how many times one is told “it is not your fault,” The survivors’ life will never be the same, knowing it was not their fault. so what if it was not their fault? A LIFE was lost unnecessarily!

As a man I respect deeply, T. Salvatore, an example of dedication in understanding and educating people about suicide prevention, once said: “Life after, is like building a life around a hole, it will never be the same, but you could build it! ” (approximate quote)

The reasons life will never be the same for ALL survivors, but at different levels,  is because  the relations of the diseased  to various people  was at different  levels. But they ALL MOURN THE LOSS, and will be changed for the rest of their lives. 

Following are a few categories:

Parents,  brothers and sisters, spouses in a loving relationship and children one leaves behind. In the mist of a crisis and of  emotional pain, one thinks no one cares, there is no way out, and the world and loved ones will be better off  without him/her. Wrong! Please stop. You are loved and your loved ones do need you! They will continue to care until the rest of their lives.

Friends and distant relatives

Sometimes one chooses his/her friends and not their relatives,  a cousin is closer to the person than a sister. They too love you and will ask themselves: why? Could I have done anything?

The Third Group: People WHO “Officially,” DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO CARE

These are ex-wives or ex -husbands, friends or relatives who were not on good terms with the person who took their own life. They are outsiders, it might even be their fault?  Were you on speaking terms with the person? Oh, may be YOU left him/her and that’s why.

I was  actually asked this question by a “well-intended friend, two years after our divorce: ” “Do you feel guilty? Oh, you shouldn’t, honey! ” her hand on mine, lovingly!. Suddenly I felt guilty. The reality: We had been separated  and divorcing for over a year, he was not paying child-support and I was working two jobs, he was forgetting the girls birthdays and when one of our  daughter’s asked  when  visiting his new house:” Oh Daddy, is this our bedroom, my sister’s and mine,?” my ex responded: ” No,this is MY guest room!” He didn’t kill himself over our 20 years of marriage, or the children’s confusion and pain over his neglect, NO he killed himself over a re-possest car which had nothing to do with any of us! Yet WE, yes we, our then teen daughters who are adults now, and myself, will carry the questionings and pain in our hearts forever. I have one hope and wish: OUR CHILDREN WILL UNDERSTAND AND NOT REPEAT THIS CYCLE!

The worst, the unanswered questions in the minds of children in divorced families.Whose fault was it? Mine? I was not speaking with him at the time… guilt, guilt and guilt again,  unanswered questions.

Many survivors of a suicide loss, select to push their questionings and the pain, somewhere deep in their hearts and act as if nothing happened… is this the best way? Is it the “healthy, emotional way, to deal with such a complex loss? Or is it a bomb which will explode when one least expects it? Or,perhaps after such a loss, especially if it was a parent you lost at a critical age, such  when one is a teen, your choice is to kill yourself slowly. Because if you chose to numb your pain with drugs, cigarettes and sex, you in fact chose a slow death. The obituary may say why you died, so the gain would be you died “respectable and young?”  Especially if you  are now an adult survivor of such a loss and chose to have children, each time you smoke a cigarette or “relax” with a joint, or drink too much, or allow to be abused physically or emotionally by your partner or anyone,  ask yourself do I love myself enough to want to be around for my children and really enjoy life? 

THE TRUTH IS, YOU KNOW THERE ARE CHOICES AND HELP, BUT YOU HAVE TO WANT THEM, OR CONTINUE TO LIVE A LIFE WHICH LEADS TO SICKNESS AND EARLY DEATH AND ORPHAN CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND!

I wrote the above, because many times, especially if the choice  was to push the pain of a major loss somewhere in the confusion of the souls, there is many times the tendency to choose a life of self-destruction, of addictions and abusive relationships because deep inside, if not attended to, that question will define YOUR life, as a survivor of suicide loss! Your choice of slow self-distruction will affect your children and the children of your children… so NOW, as a survivor of suicide loss, the decision is yours!

. There are choices, as a survivor of suicide loss,  to take care of the overwhelming emotions and live the life you deserve, not the one leading to a slow death. You have your children now, do not repeat the cycle of pain and loss. Your children don’t have a choice, as once YOU didn’t! NOW YOU DO!

 I facilitated as a SOS (Survivors of Suicide) trained facilitator, a suicide ( Loss) Support Group in a hospital, in suburban Philadelphia, for two years. That experience allowed me  the honor and privilege  to observe and partly understand how complex is the process of loss after someone’s close suicide.

What triggered my interest in seeking an understanding  into this issue, was my ex-husband’s suicide in November of 2005. The same year, when I was diagnosed with serious health problems  and I had to close my wellness business. Our teenage daughters were already confused because of our painful divorce  in 2004 and changes in our life style which were not easy or even understandable in that stage of development, for a teen, or anyone for that matter.

As they say “life happens,” and it’s what YOU CHOOSE to make of it that matters. 

My choice was to try and understand, to be so informed that I may be able to help others. Possibly to educate people about the signs  prior to a suicide. We cannot prevent ALL suicides but we COULD reduce the number of tragedies by educating people before it happens.

This post was “triggered” by the sudden death of a person who I respected for his work and kindness, and which “went home to be with the Lord” as the obituary says.

The word suicide, to my knowledge is a taboo word, as it is to speak about it, until it is too late! And even after the tragedy happens, there is a whisper about it…

There will be a Part II to this post describing the signs that precede this tragedy, because WE CARE!!!

Rodica Mihalis, M.S. Counseling and Clinical Psychology

https/www,proventherapy.com/Rodica

 

9 thoughts on “WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A SUICIDE LOSS? INFO FOR SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE LOSS

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