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Tuesday my cousin who I grew up with went missing around 3 p.m. They started searching for him that night. This search continued all through the night and into the next day until around 4 p.m. That's when they found his body. He had died from internal bleeding by taking 50 perscription pills.

I don't know how to deal with this. He was only 36, and he left 3 children, a younger brother behind, and two parents behind. I've been talking to his younger brother on and off since yesterday. I feel so bad for him. They lived in another state and I wish so much that I could be there for them. I will be traveling there in the near future I just don't know what to do in the meantime.

It's like I don't even know if it is real yet. I want to wake up and things be normal. The moments when I realize that it might be real I feel so different, no longer myself. Like the person I once was has changed with this gritty knowledge. Like life isn't what I thought it to be. I had this picture in my mind of how everyone's life would be. I was pretty close to these two cousins and I always pictured our lives being happy. Our parents would die and we would raise our children and one day, it would be up to us to continue the traditions that our parents created. But now what?

Suddenly one of my cousins is an only child. Suddenly the little net of people who you base your life around is drastically different. Suddenly three kids are fatherless. And for what? What is worth taking your own life? I suppose I am angry that he didn't think about how this would effect all of us who loved him.

I have this idea that he made the decision on impulse, without really thinking it through. Due to the factors involved surrounding the death, he might have second guessed his decision, but at that point, it was too late, the pills were already taking his life. I can't imagine how scarey that would be. But then I realize I don't even know. I don't know how much of this he planned beforehand. I don't know if he was resolute about his decision until his very last breath. No one can know exactly how this happened. But to think that he was all alone... I can't even imagine.

I am lost. What do I do?

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Spika, dear, I am so terribly sorry to learn this awful news about your cousin, and I can only imagine how it has knocked you to your knees. Of all the ways we human beings die, this is probably one of the most difficult to understand ~ and of course, as you say, no one can know exactly how ~ or why ~ this happened. So many unanswered questions. So much heartache in the wake of a death like this.

I want you to know that there is a wealth of information online about the subject of suicide, and all sorts of resources to assist survivors of this horrible loss. Availing yourself of some of this information and support is what will help you get through this and come to terms with it ~ and please remember that this is a process, not a single event. This will take some time and some hard work on your part ~ but I believe strongly that when you arm yourself with information you can trust, you soon discover that you are not alone, and you learn that there are many things you can do to better understand and manage your reactions. My blog post, Grief Support for Survivors of Suicide is a good place to start.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you MartyT...

I don't know exactly how I feel yet. Seeing him at the funeral I thought would make me feel a cetain way but it didn't even look like him in the casket. I mean I feel so many different emotions but they are hard to express. I grew up with him but in recent years we weren't as close. Because of this I wonder how much right I have to express my emotions regarding this when so many people who saw him every day are so much more effected. I hadn't seen him in person for two years.

This past year my dad died, and now him - I just feel like these deaths have put me in a pretty dark place. I don't know exactly what to do with myself or where to turn. It hasn't been this hard in a long time just to get myself out of bed. I can't focus or concentrate and the whole time I am questioning myself why? I hadn't seen him in two years but yet my body feels the effects of the stress and my mind is all jumbled with thoughts surrounding his suicide.

I normally am really able to empathize with people's feelings, maybe too much. But this is something I don't understand. I feel a threatening deep and depeserate sadness that might be what he felt - but I have never been as low as he was so I can't really understand and I don't know if I want to. My logic says that he was out of his mind; of course I don't even know what that means to a person, so I can't understand that either. One thing I do understand is how much all this scares me.

Our family will never be the same. Death changes people, we all know that. But what does suicide do to those of us left trying to pick up the pieces? I always felt like I could deal with anything that came my way but this is something that I never thought would happen to someone I loved. And to realize that it has, well that is something I guess I haven't fully come to terms with yet. And I don't know what that means.

MartyT, thank you for your kind words. I have read them over and over trying to help myself, and I will visit your blog post a second time. I feel like if I can just get rid of the confusion maybe I will have an easier time. It is jarring to me, that everything is the same yet so different now. I have continued doing everything I did before this happened because it is what I know and what I understand - yet it feels like I am just going through the motions of it. Someone said to me yesterday, "We go on because we have no other choice..." and that is how I feel. I don't think my cousin felt that way. But I go on because to me, it is the only other thing to do and hopefully... eventually it won't feel so forced and so empty. I know from my dad dying that time is the ultimate healer so I guess I just have to wait it out. It's just that this is so different from the way my dad died. His natural death didn't prepare me for suicide.

Anyway, thanks again.

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Spika, dear, let me assure you that you have every right to feel whatever you feel in response to this horrific event, and every right to express those feelings, too. I strongly encourage you to consider seeking the support of a grief counselor, if only for a session or two, just to give you an opportunity to sort through and come to some understanding of all your reactions to this traumatic death. From what you have written here, I get the feeling that you are passing harsh judgment on yourself for whatever you may be feeling, and as a result you wind up stuffing those feelings, never resolving them, staying totally confused, as if you're just going in circles. An event like this shakes your perception of how the world should be, and challenges everything you've always believed to be true and just and right. To think that just letting the time go by will fix this is unrealistic and unnecessary. Time doesn't do a thing to resolve grief ~ it is what you do with the time that matters. I urge you to find someone to talk to about this ~ someone who knows about traumatic loss. Your local hospice should be a good referral source, and I hope you will give them a call.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I couldn't agree more with Marty. It is how you spend your time during moments of grief that can make all the difference in the world. Finding an outlet is very important. For me it has always been my running but for others it might be music, therapy, writing, etc. There is no time frame on grieving, how long you grieve, how long it takes, etc. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and my most sincere condolences.

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