My Thoughts on Suicide and the Ones Left Behind
Last night a friend of mine called me up. Her husband's cousin had committed suicide. I was immediately heart-broken. She did not know her husband's cousin very well. Only that he had been depressed for most of his life (like me) and never married (like me). I was sad for this man and tried to push the idea that this fate could be mine out of my head.
As I continued listening to my friend, I started to become a bit incessed. Suddenly, this cousin of her husband's was a selfish person, someone who didn't care about his family and how could he put his family through such hell. I reminded her of my depression and gently told her that depression is a disease. Like any other disease, outside influences can aggravate symptoms. This man was 48, lost his job, had no family of his own, lost his father and was about to move back in with his mother due to financial woes. He was already suffering from depression. The mental turmoil this man was put through is unimaginable.
I'm not advocating suicide or saying it's okay. On the contrary, suicide is a devastating and desperate act. The death of a person can affect more people that one can imagine. Nobody wants to die. Nobody has the right to pass harsh judgement either.
A Selfish Act? Hardly.
Sadly, mental illness is not taken seriously. People like to use the word crazy to dismiss another person or to shut them up. It is a negative word, a scary word, if you will. Nobody wants to be crazy. Because of this, many people who have mental illness will not seek help.
When you have a disease, you can't ignore it. It gets worse over time. Many people with cancer who get help can beat it. Those who don't get help will get worse and then it's too late. Mental illness is the same. Not everyone who gets help will get better, but it will improve your chances.
Calling a suicidal person selfish is not so much different than calling a terminally ill patient selfish. You wouldn't do that, because it isn't true.
Don't Blame Yourself
When someone we love dies, we torture ourselves with 'what ifs'. Don't do that to yourself. It isn't your fault. Your loved one did not want to see you in pain and did not blame you for the things that happened. In their distorted thinking, they may have believed that life would be better for all those around them if s/he were gone. Of course, it isn't true, it's the depression talking. Over time, these feelings become overwhelming. Don't listen to others who put down your loved one. They simply don't understand.
Sometimes I wonder if there is something that awaits us after we leave this world. I'm too much of a realist and have never been a spiritual person. Of course, I've heard many wonderful stories from people about dying and seeing that warm, bright light filled with love. Perhaps my friend and her husband's cousin is in a better place now. A place where there is no pain, no worries and no despair. Perhaps a place where he can finally find peace.
I dedicate this hub to him, the others who have left this world and all their loved ones.
- Survivors of Suicide
Time heals all wounds is not necessarily true for survivors of suicide. Time is necessary for healing, but time is not enough. Shared feelings enrich and lead to growth and healing. The grief of suicide survivors is unique. Grief following a suicide