Suicide: One Month Later (Pt. 1)

Last week, a wife whose husband had taken his own life wrote a comment here, and to insure wider readership, I put it in a post. By private correspondence, she has written about her thoughts and feelings one month after her husband’s death.  She does a wonderful job helping all of us understand her grief.  She has given permission to publish her thoughts in the hope they will benefit others, both those who are going through what she is, as well as those of us who are wanting to minister thoughtfully to those who are in her position.  Because of it’s length, I’ll break it up into several posts this week.

It has been one month now. Most people expect me to be “over” it. I’m not sure that ever really happens, but I’m finding that right now, a month later, I’m just starting to feel that this is real. The hurt is starting to overwhelm me at times. In the first few weeks, I was angry. Angry at my husband, angry at God, angry at myself, angry at the world. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. A month later, I’m just sad… and beginning to want to talk (I think.) and yet…it’s old news. Nobody wants to hear about it now. Nobody wants me to cry now. A month ago, I couldn’t and everyone said I should. Now, people act like I shouldn’t. Everyone has moved on with their lives. My life is stuck right here.

Sometimes I look around and realize that the sun is still shining, people are still enjoying their normal everyday lives, and I am surprised that the world still turns and functions as usual. Some days I want the whole world just to stop, so I can catch up (or at least catch my breath). Sometimes I just want the whole world to feel as sad as I do, or at least validate the sadness I feel.

Speaking about breathing…I have to remind myself to breathe sometimes. It’s as if I must will myself to inhale and exhale. A heaviness settles in my chest and simply breathing takes extra effort. It’s also difficult to speak at times. The words are in my head but refuse to exit my mouth.

People told me to call if I needed something or needed to talk. It won’t happen. I will never call you. If you call me though, I will feel that you are interested and concerned. Ask me questions. I will answer the best I can. I might even share my struggles. But don’t feel offended if I don’t. I don’t always know how I am feeling. It changes from day to day, hour to hour, situation to situation. I have to feel that you really want to know before I will share my thoughts with you. If I sense you really don’t have the time, (when you continually glance at your watch), I know you feel obligated to ask me how things are going but you’d really rather not ask.

Continued tomorrow

  1. You have given this dear lady a place for some healing to happen. Please thank her for unveiling her heart.

    I see much here that is not different from grieving done by others who have experienced deep loss. But one thing I note that seems present to a greater degree–reticence. What else, though, might we on the outside looking looking in expect when our sister’s experience is peppered with more than the usual number of question marks loss writes into the sentences of our existence? (I base this on her original comment from your last post on this subject–the things she longed, after the fact, to know about what was going through her husband’s heart and mind prior to his death, but which she cannot now discover).

    I pray that this dear lady will know the comforting, healing gift of a friend (or friends) who will just simply be with her in this season–listening not only to words but to the sometimes necessary silence of a heart that lacks all the raw material with which to process its grief. Her sharing has lifted the curtain in such a way that, if in the position to do so, I would hope I might be that kind of friend to one dear to me.
    .-= Amy VanHuisen´s last blog ..Kind People Doing Their Jobs =-.

  2. john dobbs says:

    How familiar those expressions are … yet from each person’s perspective they take on a uniqueness. No one can say “I know how you feel” … even if they’ve been in the same place. I am appreciative of her sharing her heart.
    .-= john dobbs´s last blog ..Different Styles … Same Message =-.

  3. My prayer is by her sharing the pain she’s experiencing, we will all become better listeners, and help people that are in our lives, when they are in need.

    It saddens me that people have the “it’s time to move on” feeling. Typical of society. We’re so focused on the here and now, that huge events have to be put into their proverbial boxes.

    Continue praying for her!

    Blessings to all.

  4. Jim Hughes says:

    Michael — Thanks for your comment. What she is sharing can teach us much. Interesting insight about the “It’s time to move on” statement: It usually expresses the speakers desire to no longer feel the discomfort and see the pain of the person grieving. It’s also an indication of how little we understand about grief.

  5. Jim Hughes says:

    John — I know you must know many of these feelings and thoughts well, brother. You too have taught us much in your grieving John Robert’s death last year. You continue to be in our prayers as God works his healing in your and Maggie’s hearts.

  6. Jim Hughes says:

    Amy — Thanks for your tender heart, and your thoughtful comment!

  7. Julie Whaley says:

    I know this was a post from months ago, but I read back from your most previous post. One of her comments really stuck out to me:
    “Sometimes I just want the whole world to feel as sad as I do, or at least validate the sadness I feel.”

    It has been over 4 years since Noah’s death. (Man, how just typing that brings tears to my eyes) I remember that feeling of the world going on though we were stuck in grief. But I don’t think I recognized where some of my anger came from… and it was from others not validating what I felt. Of course their life went on as normal, but in their attempt to not “upset” me more, they ignored. They didn’t want to bring it up, but never realized that the lack of trying translated to lack of caring to me.

    I am always amazed how God has created us. To hurt and to heal. Thanks for these words that bring more understanding to my grief and also show me how far we have come.

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