Suicide: Left Behind to Pick Up the Pieces

Quoted below is a recent comment on a post I wrote on suicide.  I think it gives us real insight into what it’s like to be left behind to pick up the pieces.

My husband made the same decision a few weeks ago. One of the hardest moments of my life was telling our children. How do you explain to children that their dad killed himself and make it okay? I did my best, but…we still hurt.

I understand that he wanted to be rid of his pain. The problem with pain is that it never really ends – it only transfers. Now I feel as though I’m trying to hold back a wall of pain, trying to keep the pain from seeping down through the generations. It’s impossible. I have one child who is terrified that I will disappear also. Will they ever recover? Will I?

I’ve felt desperate to make sense of this. I’ve searched and searched everywhere for a note, checked phone records, examined receipts, reviewed all of the clues I missed, felt guilty for not being able to stop him, hated him for the things he did, loved him for the person he could have been, been angry with God, been angry with myself, begged and pleaded for one more day, wished our last words could have been different, felt that the thing I want the most is just beyond my reach, felt betrayed, felt forgotten, felt his hatred, imagined again and again his last few hours/moments/seconds and felt his pain. And yet it changes nothing.

I get tired of being strong. I don’t want to care, or think, or feel. I don’t want to deal with the rude comments and the people who avoid us in the grocery store as if suicide might be “catching”. I don’t want to hear the false rumors about what “really” happened that night. I don’t want one more teacher to ask my children to tell the class about their family or to write about their summer vacation. I want the time/space/permission to fall apart and let someone else pick up the pieces. But I can’t. I don’t have that choice. I have to be here, taking care of things – telling my children that everything will be okay and one day we will hurt less. And I try to convince them that the things I say are true. I try to convince myself.

  1. This is so powerful, Jim–I admire the commenter for being able to tell herself…and the rest of us…the truth. May God grant her and her children healing and peace and Everlasting Arms underneath as she walks through this valley.
    .-= Amy VanHuisen´s last blog ..Kind People Doing Their Jobs =-.

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