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The Sound Of Grief


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I listen to myself wail and when i have had enough i stop and wonder, is this what its like for an animal.

One day last year the unthinkable happened to my little girl. She was 13 and hung her self. She left no note.

I got a wound in my soul 10 miles wide. But I would still rather the pain then not to have known her-every day I wish I could change places with her. Keep thinking there is something I can do to bring her back. Something I have forgotten that can change things. Still cant bring myself to put a stone on her plot. She was so lovely. Inside as well as out. I pray now and I go to Church and I ask that she gets another chance.

Its like every sad song that I have ever heard rolled into one. I dont know where to go from here. I will finish

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georgek,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. You must be devasted. That's a terrible way to lose anyone. Losing a child has to be the hardest thing in life to cope with. I recently lost my dad. I know how terrible it feels to lose someone dear to you. I've been having an awful time myself. It is great that you have turned to God. Hopefully you will be able to find some comfort in him.

Best Wishes

Lil' Viper

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hi georgek~ i know by now that there is nothing that anyone can say or do "make " you feel better or to bring you the peace that you need. all i can say is that my heart aches for you and your child. i have had two experiences with suicide in my life, both were devastatingly painful to all those involved (friends, not family). now, having a child of my own, i can only ponder the agony that this has brought to you and i pray that you will be able to stop the cycle of torment, all the "what if's" that you wonder about . there is nothing you could have done~ we can only do what we can with the knowledge we possess in the circumstances given in that space and time. please forgive yourself for not knowing what you couldn't possibly have known. and keep praying. and BELIEVE that she has that second chance, george. her pain in this life has earned her a special place in the enormous expanse that is the universe, whether spiritual or physical...and TALK to her, she will hear you and help to ease your suffering. i am thinking of you...

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Thank you both for your thoughts.

Im actually typing this in my little girls room. The sun is streaming in its big and spacious. I got her photos around. Sometimes Im here in the early hours of the morning I think that maybe I will feel her presents But I never do. I found drawings she had done that seem to indicate a circle of life. She shows her self as an angel with an arrow going down a chimney then a baby, then larger then a grave plot with her typical representation of flowers. Then an arrow pointing up to the angel again. I found hidden behind a photo a drawing she had made of each of her pets. A number had died naturally but the pony we sold when she no longer wanted to look after it. I worked away a lot and only came home at weekends. I and my mother in law cut her down. My regrets know no bounds-persuing a career But also I think-as does my wife- how dare she do this. She had everything going for her and everything a child could want-including a stable home and loving parents.

The house we moved into has beams every where, I remember joking with her 'this is a good place to hang your self'-bout 2 years earlier....

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hi george~ been wondering how you are...i was wondering how you and your wife have been dealing with the grief? do you find that you both feel differently? she seemed angry ("how dare she") which i guess is quite common, i would feel the same way. you seem heartbroken and guilt ridden (also very expected). have you been trying to work through this together? how do you interpret your daughter's art work? does it give you any comfort? well, i am thinking about you.

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Dear George,

We all are so very sorry to learn of your daughter's suicide last year. I can only imagine how horrible this must be for you, and even though there is nothing I can do to take away your pain, I hope that I can offer you a few words of encouragement.

Suicide is one of the most difficult and painful ways to lose someone we love, because we are left with so many unanswerable questions and so many mixed feelings: How could our loved one do such a horrible thing to us? Where do we put all the anger, remorse, guilt and pain that we feel? What more could we have done to help? How can we ever get past the shame and embarrassment we feel when others find out what happened, and seem all too quick to judge us for not foreseeing this and for not doing enough to prevent it?

Please know that guilt and anger are the two most common reactions in grief, and most especially so when the death is by suicide. And anger at God is very normal, too. Losing someone we love is so very difficult to accept and to understand, and it is a process that takes place over a lifetime. This news is just too big to take in all at once and way too big for us to digest. We must let it in a little bit at a time over a very long period as eventually our minds come to accept what our hearts cannot.

I understand that you're feeling very guilty for something you may have said or done -- or failed to say or do -- that you think may have prevented your daughter's taking her own life. I hope you realize that when someone is determined to commit this act, there is very little if anything someone else can do to prevent it. We simply do not have any control over the choices and actions of another human being, no matter how much we may wish it to be otherwise. To believe that you could have prevented this simply by saying or doing something differently is to give yourself a tremendous degree of power over another person. If you truly had that much power over your daughter, you could have "made" her do anything you ever wanted her to do, and you and I both know that was not the case. For reasons known only to her, your daughter acted on an impulse and, as someone once said, her suicide became for her a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Unfortunately, you are the one who is left behind to deal with the pain and hurt and guilt that have resulted from her action.

You say you've tried a number of things and you don't know where to go from here. I sincerely hope that you are not trying to manage this grief all by yourself -- especially when you are coping not only with the loss of your daughter but also with a death by suicide. There is plenty of help out there, just waiting for you to find it. I will offer you some suggestions, and my prayer for you is that you will resolve to get busy and get moving on finding the help you know you need.

First, as a survivor of suicide, you need to educate yourself about the subject. Read what others have written about it (see, for example, Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide, by C. Lukas and H. Seiden, Bantam Books, 1990; you can go to Amazon.com to order it or ask for it at your local library). Visit some Web sites devoted to this subject (begin with SUICIDE: READ THIS FIRST, then see SAVE, Sena Foundation, SOLOS - Survivors of Loved Ones' Suicides, and SOS. Information on these sites will assure you that you are not alone in this tragedy. It will offer you some ways to manage your grief, and it will help you to recognize that if others can survive this most devastating of losses, then you can do it, too.

My own sister-in-law died by suicide nearly 30 years ago, and it still makes me sick to think about it. Since I am a therapist and "should've known how to help," I went through all the guilt you can imagine. But in the end, I had to come to terms with the reality that even though I did do all I could have done, it still wasn't enough to save my sister-in-law from herself. Eventually I learned that the person I most needed to forgive for that was me.

For whatever reason, your daughter obviously believed that life in this world was just too much for her, and at the moment she took her own life, she saw suicide as her only option, as the only way to end the emotional pain she felt at the time. Remember that your daughter's entire life was much more than those few final moments when she chose to hang herself, George. I promise that the day will come when the good memories you have of your daughter will outweigh the bad. The way you come to peace about all of this is one day at a time, and if that's too much, you work at it one hour or even one minute at a time. But if you still find that you're unable to get to that point of peace all by yourself, I urge you to find someone to talk to about it -- someone who knows something about suicide as well as about the grief that comes with having to bury your own child. That can be the best gift you could ever give yourself and your beloved daughter. Pick up the phone and ask your primary care physician to refer you to someone who specializes in loss and grief; call your local library, mortuary or hospice organization and ask what bereavement support services are available in your community. See if there is a local chapter of The Compassionate Friends where you live (Compassionate Friends. If you don't have the energy to do this research, ask a friend or relative to do it for you.

I hope this information proves helpful to you, George -- and to anyone else out there reading this who may be struggling to cope with this most terrible kind of loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Take good care of yourself. You took the initiative to join this discussion group and to post messages here. You can do the rest. You are worth it.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty Tousley, Bereavement Counselor

Grief Healing

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear George,

I am terribly sorry to have heard your story about your daughter. I too have lost a daughter, quite differently than your loss. My Julianna was born on May 18,2003 and died only 4 1/2 hrs later. You had your baby girl for 13 wonderful glorious years, and I am sure she gave you and your wife joy during those 13 years. I would have given my life if it would have made my daughter survive,but she was born to soon and would not have been able to survive. I don't know what or if any religion you believe in, but I pray to the Blessed Mother to help give me strength to cope. I wanted a baby in the worst way, and after 5 1/2 yrs of marriage it finally happened. My husband and I were so thrilled, and when I found out the baby was a girl I was ecstatic. Then when she was born (at 22 weeks) my life could have just ended along with hers,but it didn't. I now have gone through the worst 10 weeks of my life. Knowing that each day that passes is one more day my Julianna is in heaven. Now all I have left of her are my Memories, and a few pictures taken at the hospital. So, George, remember your daughter and all of the precious years you spent with her. What she did to herself was cruel to you and your wife. She must have been scared to have done such a thing,but she is in maybe a better place now where she can hurt no more.

I pray for you and your family to find strength and guidance...........

Michelles

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