This final “One Month Later” segment has some very practical things for us not to do in reaching out to the family of a suicide victim. Thanks again to our anonymous writer for her clear words that can be so helpful to us in wanting to help people like her.
Please be mindful of the things you say or ask, when my children are present. They don’t always need to hear all of the facts. If you want me to be honest, don’t ask sensitive questions in front of my children. I may have to give you a false answer for their sake.
Please don’t share your views concerning my spouse’s final destination. You are not God. It causes even more heartache for me when you imply that he will pay for eternity for his choices. I still care about him.
Please don’t tell me that the death of my spouse has somehow made your life better in some way – by causing a positive change to occur, for example. Not yet. I’m happy that it has worked out that way for you, but I’m not ready to hear it – my life is falling apart. As wrong as it sounds, it is too early for me to hear how his death has made things better for you.
Forgive me when I seem cold ,or angry, or indifferent. My emotions change quickly. I can’t always identify them myself or understand them either. All I know is that sometimes I feel hurt, anger, sadness, confusion or nothing at all.
I feel hurt that we weren’t enough to keep him here. I feel hurt because I can’t erase the pain that my children feel.
I don’t expect you to have the “right” words to say. I don’t know the right words to say either. I am thankful for your effort and your willingness to try. Try not to avoid us. It’s noticeable… even when you don’t realize it.
If you have a good memory or a funny story about something he did, share it with us. If you have a picture of him, we’d love to see it. We still talk about him. Add to our memory bank.
We are just trying to survive suicide. We are going through the motions right now. We are surviving day by day. Sometimes hour by hour, moment by moment. Be patient with us.