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I feel so empty Ryan was an intelligent man of 25 who suffered from PTSD and commited suicide by hanging himself. Ifeel like I should have done more. It has only been a week the numbness of whatever will go away and then the emptiness will get bigger.

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I am so sorry for your loss. Not only do you have to live with the loss of his life but you know the struggles he was going through previous to this. Was the PTSD from being in the service or something else?

I am so sorry for this large hole in your heart but those of us here understand that pain and emptiness.

If you need to talk some one is generally here to listen or will be later.

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I feel so empty Ryan was an intelligent man of 25 who suffered from PTSD and commited suicide by hanging himself. Ifeel like I should have done more. It has only been a week the numbness of whatever will go away and then the emptiness will get bigger.

His PSTD was from his year in Iraq. I went to his house yesterday ,my friend went with me<I thought that it would be easy, how wrong Iwas It was like reality hit and he is never going to be there again I slept me two hours and my eyes wont close again. there is so much to take care of. No one will ever convince me he was not as much a causulty of war as the soldiers still there. There is this big whole that I dont know how to fill.

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I'm so sorry to hear of your devastating loss.

Yes, I agree, In My Opinion, he is a casualty of war.

On behalf of a grateful nation, this ((((((((Hug)))))))) is presented to you as a token of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service. It isn't much but a hug is all I can do here from cyber space.

I'm more sorry than I can say. All deaths are tough to heal from. However healing from deaths through suicide has it's own particular challenges. And healing from the suicide of a Veteran is a very unique journey. And no doubt you are questioning whether or not you could have/should have done more to prevent it. Many, many folks in your position have questioned themselves on that as well.

But the truth is... you are not responsible. His pain was simply so great that he thought only death could relieve it.

I was hunting around and found an organization that helps folks in your position. It is called TAPS. (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) I found it on The Coalition For Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans (CIAV) website.


I just wanted to make you aware of the existence of these two organizations and hope you can get some help & support from them as well.

Sure I'm glad you found us here but your loss is so very unique. I think you would be helped greatly by connecting with others who have experienced the same type of loss.

There is another organization devoted to helping those who have survived the loss of a loved one through suicide. It is called Survivors of Suicide (SOS).

Here is their site:


On their homepage they have a tab that lists a National Directory of SOS support groups. Perhaps there is one near to you.

Here.. check it out:

http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/support-group-directory Just click on the initials of your state to find one.

There are many things we have in common as we grieve so please feel free to come back and share your feelings here. I just wanted you to have access to more specific help if that's what you think might help you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.


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My dear Susan,

I'm so very sorry to learn of the tragic death of your beloved son Ryan, and I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling in the aftermath of this sudden, unexpected loss. Your grief is also complicated by the circumstances surrounding your son’s death, and that is a significant factor in how you are reacting to this loss.

Although there is nothing any of us can say to diminish your pain at this sad and difficult time, I do want to offer you some additional information that I hope will be helpful to you. As I'm sure you already know, you are facing one of the most difficult bereavement crises imaginable - not only the horror of suicide, but also the loss of your precious child. Although suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people in this country, we still see in our society a very strong emotional reaction against this form of loss. People you know may have reacted to the news of your son's death with silence, hoping that if they ignore this dreadful event or refuse to take note of it, it will simply go away. At a time when you need the support of others the most, you may be left feeling very isolated and alone. Suicide is different from other deaths in many ways, and the grief experienced following this loss may feel very different as well. With understanding and encouragement, I hope that you will claim your right to grieve this death of your beloved Ryan and find the bereavement support you need and deserve.

Coping with grief effectively comes from understanding what is going on, learning what to expect, and discovering what you can do about it. You might begin by visiting these sites, which are listed on the Suicide Loss page of my Grief Healing Web site, http://www.griefhealing.com/suicide-loss.htm. See especially those which are aimed at survivors of suicide:

Survivors of Suicide (SOS), http://www.survivorsofsuicide.com/index.html

Friends for Survival of Suicide Loss, http://www.friendsforsurvival.org/

Healing for Survivors of Suicide, http://www.survivingsuicide.com/

Journey through Suicide Grief, http://www.journeythroughsuicidegrief.com/

Parents of Suicide, http://www.parentsofsuicide.com/

Suicide Is Not a Matter of Choice, http://opentohope.com/hope/dealing-with-gr...tter-of-choice/

What Not to Say to a Suicide Survivor, http://opentohope.com/hope/dealing-with-gr...icide-survivor/

This is an article I wrote in response to a woman whose husband completed suicide: http://www.selfhealingexpressions.com/suicide_survivor.shtml. As I’ve said repeatedly in these forums and elsewhere, I believe very strongly that the more you know about grief, the better prepared you are to deal with it.

I also strongly suggest that you contact the local chapter of The Compassionate Friends, whose mission is to assist families coping with the death of a child (http://www.compassionatefriends.org).

You might also want to see some of the sites listed on my Traumatic Loss page, http://www.griefhealing.com/traumatic-loss.htm.

I understand that you're having trouble sleeping, and the emptiness you feel is because there is an enormous, Ryan-sized hole in your very broken heart. I suggest that you try to manage this grief by taking it in very small doses, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, and also by finding someone to lean on. Don’t even think about trying to do this alone. You need to talk about Ryan with someone you trust. Too often when we lose someone to suicide we think we cannot talk about our loved one or about the manner in which the person died, which means that we don't even have our stories and our memories of our loved one to bring us comfort. Remember that Ryan’s life was much, much more than the final moments of his life and the way that he happened to die.

At some point it may seem to you that your friends and relatives have already "moved on with their lives." One of the great difficulties with grief is that oftentimes others are finished with our grief long before we are finished with our own need to talk about it. That's why this online discussion group can be so helpful. It's anonymous, and it's available to you at no cost, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. I hope you will continue participating in a bereavement support group, whether it is online or in person (or both). I can assure you that no one in a grief support group will ask why you're still mourning the loss of your son, no matter what caused his death and where you are in your journey. People in grief support groups already know in their gut and from their own experience that you'll never stop missing the child you've loved and lost.

I don’t know where else you’ve looked for individual support, but I want to suggest some alternatives. Call your telephone operator or public library and ask for the numbers for your local mental health association or your local suicide prevention center. Either agency will have good grief referral lists. You need not be suicidal yourself to get a grief referral from a suicide prevention center. Use the Yellow Pages and call hospitals and hospices near you. Ask to speak with the Bereavement Coordinator, Social Worker, or Chaplain's Office to get a local grief referral. Many hospitals and hospices keep a good referral list of grief counselors who are in private practice, and most hospices and many places of worship offer grief support groups at no cost. (The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization maintains a database of hospices for each state in the United States, here: http://iweb.nhpco.org/iweb/Membership/Memb...amp;showTitle=1 )

I hope this information proves useful to you, my dear. Please accept our deepest sympathy over the loss of your beloved son, and know that we are thinking of you.

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