SUICIDE- When it Happens Twice

Living through the death of a close friend who committed suicide is no easy task. Six months in, and I am still saddled with memories both good and bad. Fifty years had accumulated without my having had to suffer the shock and awe that accompanies a suicide and it was only natural to hope I would never have to experience such pain again. . . but now I have!

Now what?

Not Again!

A short time ago, I received word that my younger cousin (my second cousin actually) committed suicide and his body was found in his cab along with a hand gun and a note to his mother.

I am back to handling heart break and grief in the only way that comforts me. I am attempting to cleanse my system of this awful agony by giving my pain a voice of its own. I need it to know I'm not ignoring it or the power it is exerting on me right now. Perhaps voluntarily giving it the attention it is determined to have will quite it enough for me to diffuse it through my soul a little more gradually.

Suicide can be accomplished in any number of ways. Suicide by prescription drug overdose is a common choice for many depressed ones who see no light at the end of their tunnel.Suicide by the use of a gun is another much more violent means to end an unhappy existence.

Spread just six months apart, the death of my good friend and the death of my young cousin has my mind swirling and my heart fragmented in pieces as I grief the bitter end of two very sweet people.

I don't have the answers for all the questions running through my mind but having experienced these feelings before I do know what to expect and how to move forward. At such times having any kind of coping skills is what gets us survivors through it all, one minute at a time.

Why Suicide and Other Tough Questions

Of course the question that comes up the most often has to be why suicide? That thin line between being very depressed and wishing it could all end to actually taking the steps to bring a life to an end is so irreversible. Logically our minds race to understand why.

Why a handgun? Why would such a handsome, 21 year old, use a gun to bring his life to an end. Why such a violent choice? Is it symbolic of something . . one final message he wanted us to receive? Or was just one final message to himself?

By all outward appearances my young cousin had a life worth living; at least it appeared he had picked out a life he thought he wanted to live. A very handsome and intelligent kid with good health a loving family and a son he adored, yet it appears he systematically and purposely put his affairs in order planning out every detail before he pulled the trigger. Evidently he thought it through and made the necessary phone calls and left the final text messages before he wrote a farewell letter to his mom assuring her his suicide was not her fought.

Why could he not have put that type of planning and thought into getting help from professionals so that he would not succumb to his sense of hopelessness? Did he really imagine his mother would be happy he thought to make sure she had his car keys as one of his final acts of love for her? Did he decide he had caused too much trouble and everyone, including his son, would be better off without him in their lives? I asked similar questions just six months ago. I know there are no logical answers.

I try to imagine what it is like for a mother to ask such questions about her first born, her eldest child and I know I cannot come close to understanding her pain.

What I Wish

If I had the power I would love to be able to gather everyone together who either exhibits signs of untreated depression or who expresses feelings of wanting to end their suffering by any means necessary. I'd gather them together and have them helped until they finally felt their pain was at a manageable level.

It seems suicide is the ultimate solution to being pain free. Emotional pain is so invisible and can be so misleading if outward appearances seem "normal". Someone could be slowly dying inside until they come to the conclusion it is time for the outside body to match their true inner person. Such a visible sign can come too late once the suicide attempt becomes an act of suicide. I think my poor cousin masked his emotions too well. I wish he would have given living just one more fully committed try. I wish my dear friend had done the same

What I Can Do

I am handling this feeling of powerlessness by talking about my feelings, thinking about my cousin who is now making funeral arrangements for her dear son and trying to think of little ways to help my family through the first suicide we have ever faced together. I called my cousin just to tell her I love her and am thinking about her. I told her about my friend who died six months ago and let her know that she had someone capable of understanding her feelings if she wanted to talk later on. She was too shocked to really hear me, so I plan to repeat the offer as the days march on.

For a reason totally foreign to me, my cousin's mother has a thing for my spaghetti. I wish I could say it is a very special recipe that I slave over for hours, but it is not even close to being unique. Still, since I know she likes it, I'm going to make it for her once I know her appetite has returned.

My cousin left his younger sister totally perplexed and broken hearted as well. I will try to find a way to connect with her in the coming days as well.

As for the rest of my family, only time will tell how all his aunts, uncles, and other relatives will deal with all the implications of his suicide. Perhaps having already travelled this road will allow me to be of help if in no other way than as a compassionate listener.

Just between you and me though . . this is a little much to handle, again!

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26 comments

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 4 years ago from Delaware Author

Thank you so much! My young cousin died a year ago this month and I have been thinking about his mother (my first cousin) and how she is coping with his suicide one year later. I have been praying for her and hope to speak with her soon.


jesusmyjoy profile image

jesusmyjoy 4 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

I'm so sorry for your loss..it is hard to face death specially when its taken by self..God bless you


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

Thanks for sharing with me. It will be a year in May that my friend took her life. I understand better how her mind went to that place of no return. She did often wonder why I even considered her my friend, as though she was not worthy of it. I'm glad you shared your feelings about this with me.


aslanlight profile image

aslanlight 5 years ago from England

I have known friends who've commited suicide and I've attempted it myself during times when life was too full of suffering, and felt like there were too few options for me to live it meaningfully. At those times I don't realise that living life even when you feel powerless is meaningful in itself, perhaps even more so because we're learning to be strong.

I'd like to explain that when depression hits to the extent of suicidal feelings everything is so dismal that rational thought is virtually impossible. No one means to hurt family and friends, we just feel that we really aren't necessary to anyone, even ourselves when we're like that.

I rarely get like it these days, but I wanted to explain what it can be like.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

prasadjain and Mrs. J.B. thank you both for leaving comments for me to reflect on. I am feeling stronger these days and my family is healing from the shock as well.


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

You will get through this. You know how to go about it and have a realistic view as to how to cope. I am so sorry for your losses.


prasadjain profile image

prasadjain 5 years ago from Tumkur

It is my observation that, only the upper middle class and rich people, that means, not so poors commit suicide. The reason ,in many cases will be- a loss or disappointment which is definetely not the worth of a life. We can easily overcome and sustain many such disappointments and losses only if we remember that life is much worthy than those losses. But man forgets that simple truth and ends his life.

Suicide victims kill themselves physically and kill their kit and kins emotionally.

Let time help you to normal yourself at the earliest.


Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

Jen - your heart is so big! I'm so glad you are thinking about this young man and his family, especially his mother - because you have such a capacity for caring.

May your spaghetti be delicious and may your arms be a comfort.

{{{{{HUGS}}}}}


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

That's exactly what keeps me going, irenemaria. Thanks for the encouragement. :)


irenemaria profile image

irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

I am so sorry for you and your family! Suicide is a terrible thing to experiance. I have been there too, more than once.

The best comfort is the resurrection hope! A promise!


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

Thanks so much Mickey!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

That's rough Jen. We wish there were words to help. God bless!


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 5 years ago from USA

@wilsontom: that's a really good point for people to realize.

I actually know someone who did it, my first boyfriend although I wasn't real close at the time, it was sad though, the whole school cried. He was a very handsome but troubled kid.

I once volunteered for the Samaritans, an organization in the east coast of the US which is an emergency talk line. It's a very valuable cause. Most do it if they knew someone who did it.

Well, I hope you heal, I know it's hard especially people close to you.

Hopefully people who read this and are in need- will speak out to someone.

Thankyou for writing this :)


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

I know how it feels to lose a loved one, but suicide? Your cousin must be devastated by her son's untimely death. Your offer to make her understand her situation is laudable. She needs you as you do, to brave your griefs. A prayerful condolences for you and your cousin's family.


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 5 years ago

I'm so sorry this has happened. Twice is really, really tough. I recall when my father died 9 years ago, that my best friend died one week later. (both were unexpected, but not suicides) By the second funeral I was a basket case. I was afraid I was going to start wailing at some point.

I know that I've read that men tend to take a quicker, more sure way to suicide than women. Women may slash their wrist but men will shoot themselves. Some say for women it's often a cry for help, for men, it's more of a final decision. I'm sorry for both of your losses. I think you are right in focusing some of your time on helping others through this. It will help them, and you as well.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

wilsontom, how true your comment is. The family is still feeling shell-shocked, but I think everyone will gain closure once the arrangements have concluded this weekend. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.


wilsontom profile image

wilsontom 5 years ago from new delhi

this hub is really an emotional one, i think that one who suicides he he/she is not the only person who dies, he makes kill his friends and relatives also those love who love him.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

Good Morning KT and sonebloom. Thank you both for taking the time to encourage me. I will be glad when this week has passed. Tomorrow marks six months that my friend took her life and I dread hearing about the memorial arrangements for my cousin. Seems I can't bring myself to deal with either one today, guess that is to be expected. Hugs to you both!


soneblom profile image

soneblom 5 years ago from South Africa

Jen my dear friend, I pray that the love of God our Father will keep you secure. You & ur fam are in my prayers. Lovies and Hugzzzzz! Stay Blessed!


KT Banks profile image

KT Banks 5 years ago from Texas

Oh Jen, my heart breaks for you and your family members, including your sweet cousin. sometimes it's the sweet ones that seem to end it that way. Life can bring a lot of pain and it is sometimes overwhelming.

On the Oprah show last week, she had Marie Osmond on there talking about the suicide of her 19 year old son several months ago. Marie just looked shattered. but she has to go on for the kids and loved ones she still has. She thinks suicide is a temporary insanity, even if it is planned out with notes left behind. Mental illness is hard to figure out, and depression can be a form of that. But I don't mean situational depression, that is explainable. Everyone gets depressed sometimes.

My husband's cousin hanged himself a few weeks ago. It's pitiful and horrifying for those left behind.

Sending warm Hugs your way...

KT


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

Thanks akirlew, I hoped someone else would tell me if they experienced this, just so it wouldn't feel so isolating to me. Your reply has been very helpful.


akirlew profile image

akirlew 5 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Suicide is one of those things that (for me) makes death harder to understand. And I have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide (twice) as you have.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware Author

FloBe, DeBorrah and Mary thank you so much for your encouraging and most supportive comments. I truly appreciate them. DeBorrah that is one of my favorite scriptures, it especially helped me when my mom passed away and I will rely on it now as well.


FloBe profile image

FloBe 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Sorry to hear of your losses...what a great burden to carry. Suicide is the hardest grief to carry because you always wonder what you could have done to make a difference--and the answer is, nothing at all. Each person feels so overwhelmed with life that they think it is their only answer--it's the wrong answer but it seems right to them. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you come to terms with each loss you have had.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Jen's Solitude, The loss of a loved one is difficult... May our God of ALL comforts sustain you as you go through... My condolences to you and your family!

In HIS Love, Grace,Peace & Blessings!


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 5 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

My heart goes out to you. Surviving a loss from suicide even once is difficult indeed. But more than that?... *sigh* (((hugs)))

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