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T. Nelson

Barely Able to Function

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In February 2018, my baby cousin hung herself three days before her 16th birthday. When I heard the news from her brother right after I came home from a hospital rotation, I collapsed onto the floor and almost could not believe the truth. I went to see her and some people seem to think that I was a fool for not protecting myself from that terrible sight. I went to her funeral and then the crematory and fell onto the floor outside the crematory after too much crying. 

A few months before that terrible event, she had convinced everyone that all the counseling sessions were helping and that her life at home with her mother had been improving. Her parents were divorced and her mother tried to prevent her from seeing our side of the family whenever she could. No matter how much I tried to reach out to her, she would always pretend like things were okay because she did not want to be a burden.

It has been about 6 months since she passed away and I still don't feel okay. She was like my little sister in a way. When she first passed away, I felt numb and my mind played tricks on me to make me think that I would see her again soon next weekend or next month because she was busy, etc. Grieving is difficult when one have a good support system and is even more difficult when one doesn't. Her dad misses her every day and has a hard time sleeping because of it. My siblings and I really miss her too. But some of my family, including my parents, did not want the family to be cursed by her actions from a religious standpoint, so they deleted and cut out all of her pictures from the family albums an taped those pictures back together and act as though she never existed in the first place. They think that it will help her to move on faster too. It doesn't make any sense to me. They forbid anyone from talking about her too. 

When she first passed away, I had a few months of pharmacy school left. I graduated but still need to pass some more tests before I can become a practicing pharmacist. I passed the clinical board exam but failed my state law exam by a few points during a fever. I am not working right now because grieving has caused memory loss which makes it hard for me to multi-task. I don't want to potentially make any mistakes that could hurt patients either. I feel angry all the time now and am always wanting to punch walls. No one seems to understand and people look down on me for not having control of my emotions. My immune system isn't handling things well either. I keep getting sick and it negatively impacts my abilities to concentrate and study. My hormone levels and anxiety levels are out of wack. I don't know how to forgive myself for things that I couldn't control. I want to apply for jobs but am not in a state to do so with me feeling so angry right now.

One day, when I learn how to move forward from all of this, I want to be able to do what I can to help patients the way I used to. But right now, I feel extremely frustrated with myself for not knowing how to handle my grief. I tried to seek out help with counseling but can't pay for all the sessions because of student loans that I was forced to pull out for school. I am trying to concentrate on studying for my law exam but have had to put that off because I seem to be a big sobbing mess all the time now.

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I am so sorry for your loss, suicide complicates grief multi-fold.  People tend to do all of the "what ifs" in ordinary grief, looking for a different outcome, but there is no outcome other than what happened.  With suicide, those "what ifs" are multiplied.  We keep wondering what we could have done to make a difference.  The answer is one we don't want to hear...probably not much.  It isn't about what you did or didn't do, it's about how they viewed things, and what they were feeling...their hopelessness and pain.  She was getting counseling, so was my coworker and friend when he commit suicide.  It's hard.  I hope you can get a hold of one of those pictures and keep it before they're destroyed.  I'm sorry they feel this impacts their religion, honestly, I think God is a lot more understanding with regards to the poor suicidal soul than we people are.  We tend to think of "shoulds" and "should nots" when it's not as neat and concise as all that.  How nice to have everything all figured out in a nice neat little capsule as that!  But that's not how real life works, it's not realistic, we need to throw those shoulds away and listen more.

Since you can't talk about her to family...maybe joining a grief support group would help.  I lead one here in my little country town and I've seen how much it has helped those in my group, I look forward to it and it's been good to see the progress those within it are making!  It helps us to have someone who listens, who gets it, who cares.  The people here on this forum are like a caring family, we've walked this road together even though we're from all over the globe and may never physically meet.


There are grief counselors that base their charges on your income level.  We found one for my daughter when she needed it, and chipped in to pay for it when she needed it.  You can check with hospice for suggestions where to find one, also you can look at these links, some of which have additional links at the bottom of them.






I'm also inserting the link to what Anne (Enna) just wrote, as we're all dealing with the suicide of one of our members last week...very hard.  1757465400_Whensomeoneyouknowdiesofsuicideyourworldnarrowsandallyourthoughtgoestothatoneact.docx

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I am so very sorry for your pain, my friend. Losing a loved one to suicide is one of the most difficult deaths to endure, because we are left with so many unanswered questions. You say you cannot afford counseling, but that does not mean you cannot do anything to help yourself. Nowadays there are many sources of understanding and support for survivors of suicide loss, and I urge you to keep looking until you find the help you need and deserve. Your local hospice or funeral home would have a list of such resources, and some are offered at no cost. You'll find many of them listed here: Grief Support for Survivors of Suicide Loss 

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I am sorry for your loss.  I understand some of what you are going through as my husband died of suicide 2 1/2 yrs ago.  My son is my only family.  My in-laws cut me out so many years ago. Actually I don't think I was ever in their family.  

I think is hard to live with grief from suicide and we all can use more help.  It sounds as though you are a very busy driven person, I'm glad you recognize that you are needing help.  The physical effects of grief can be debilitating so don't blame yourself for doing what is right for you.  Seek out good help.  Please don't think that you could have done or said something that would have changed the decision your young niece made. That choice comes from deep within the person.  We may not think that they are thinking right but in their tormented minds it is their only way to escape their hell.

Take care and let us know how you are doing.  Understanding and comfort are given freely here.

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