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March 30, 2009, a date that changed my life forever when after work I found my husband at home, he had taken his life. I am being tossed in the waves of grief and trauma. Currently I am numb and feel like the world is happening around me. If anyone has experience with healing after a suicide I would be grateful for help and suggestions.

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Dear Pier,

I am very sorry for your loss. I don't have personal experience with suicide, but the numbness and the world spinning without me was a common part of my experience after my husband's death. I think what is important, in any situation, is to talk about your loss in a safe environment. It seems people are always afraid to talk about suicide so the ones mourning end up going through their own private hell. My dear, we all have experienced the pain of losing someone we loved deeply. OUr world's are forever changed because of it. I think the best thing you can do to heal is to keep talking here. We'll help you as best we can, with love, understanding and cyber hugs.

Please take good care of yourself.


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My dear friend,

I'd like to share with you the contents of a message I posted in this forum some time ago, in response to another woman whose husband completed suicide:

Posted by MartyT Nov 11, 2004 @ 9 am

Please know how terribly sorry I am to learn of the tragic death of your husband four weeks ago. 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 some useful information.

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

It may help for you to know that anger and guilt are the two most common reactions in grief, and most especially so when the death is by suicide. Anger at God is very normal too. If you are like most suicide survivors, you may be wondering whether your husband is united with God or forever alienated from Him. I am neither a cleric nor a spiritual advisor, so I wouldn't presume to tell you what to believe in this regard – but as a bereavement counselor I can assure you that, when we lose someone we love, it is perfectly normal for us to question all the spiritual beliefs we may have held since childhood. Death forces us to puzzle over the biggest questions in life: Why are we here? Is this all there is? Where do we go when we die? What does all of this mean? I encourage you to ponder these important questions -- and know that finding your own personal meaning in this loss is one of the most important tasks that lie ahead of you, as you come to terms with your husband's suicide.

For whatever reason, your husband obviously believed that life in this world was just too much for him, and at the moment he took his own life, he saw suicide as his only option, as the only way to end the emotional pain he felt. If as mere human beings, you and I can see the tragedy in that and forgive your husband for being human and at his weakest, it just seems to me that God can do so, too. I can't tell you what to believe, but I'd like to think that, since God's heart and mind are a lot bigger than ours, He must be at least as capable as we are of giving your husband the sort of understanding and forgiveness he needs.

I also 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. For reasons known only to him, your husband acted on an impulse and, as someone once said, his suicide became for him 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 his action.

There is no right or wrong way to do the work of grieving, and each of us must find our own way – but I believe very strongly that the first step in coping with grief is to educate yourself about it, so you know what to expect and what tools are available to help you manage it. It is especially important that as a survivor of suicide, you learn all you can about this subject. Read what others have written about it (see, for example, No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving the Death of a Loved One by Carla Fine; you can go to Amazon.com to order it or ask for it at your local library). I hope that you will continue to use the Internet as one way of obtaining the information, comfort and support you need and deserve as you continue on your own grief journey. See, for example, an on-line e-mail course on grief that I wrote, The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey. Take the time to explore some of the links I've posted on the Suicide Loss page on my Grief Healing Web site, http://www.griefhealing.com/suicide-loss.htm. See some of the articles and books I've written and others I've listed on my Articles and Books page, at http://www.griefhealing.com/articles-columns-books.htm. [Note: Just this morning I found this article on the Open to Hope site: In Pieta, Michelangelo Captured Pain of the Bereaved, and several additional articles on the subject of suicide are listed there as well.] There is an abundance of help out there just waiting for you to find it – and if you haven't yet obtained all the help you need, keep on looking! You might ask your primary care physician for a referral to someone who specializes in grief therapy or bereavement counseling – or try calling your local hospice or funeral home and asking for a referral.

Grief is something that we get through and learn to live with, my friend, not something we ever get over. Death may end a life, but it does not end a relationship. The bond you have with your husband will remain with you as long as you choose to keep his memory alive in your heart. Always remember that your husband's entire life was much more than those few final moments when he chose to take his own life. I promise that the day will come when the good memories you have of him will outweigh the bad. As anyone walking this path will tell you, 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.

I hope this information proves helpful to you, and when you're ready to do so, I hope you'll let us know how you're doing. Meanwhile, please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Wishing you peace and healing,

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This must surely be the hardest thing anyone can endure. I am so sorry for your loss, and all the more so for how it happened. I have a friend whose husband did this years ago, he had a lot of pain and felt he couldn't take it any more, but it left her and the children alone. Another friend of mine had their grown son commit suicide, I'd known him since he was little and even worked with him. Please know that it is not your fault in any way. Sometimes we look for answers where there are none. It is just a very sad painful situation that you are left behind to deal with. You will find a lot of caring and support here on this site, please come back and post, it is good to get your feelings out.

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My heart goes out to you. I did not lose my husband to suicide, but I did lose my Dad that way. I was only 13 but I remember it like it was yesterday. I know you have and will many questions that go unanswered. I've had them for many years and don't have the answers. What I do know is your husband choosing to leave had nothing to do with you or your family. It wasn't a lack of love, so don't even think it. There is nothing you or anybody could have done to stop it. It must be a terrible place to feel that is your only option.

I agree with Kath 100%, for a lot of years I didn't tell anybody how he did. Don't do that, get it out. It is nothing to hide.

I'm here for you at anytime

Love and prays to you


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