I have read many comments on my social media groups of people who take their loved one’s suicide personally. I know it’s easy to do, because I did it, too. I think it is all a part of the grieving process.
I learned from years of reading books how the word SHOULD ought to be taken out of our vocabulary. That word will get you every time… I should have said this or done that. What I have learned after studying suicide and depression is most of those things wouldn’t have changed their mind. I also looked at the situation and asked why he would do this to our family. Reading about people’s lives that have tried, but not succeeded in committing suicide, they say they weren’t thinking about others- just themselves and how much pain they were in and how desperately they wanted the pain to stop. Is that selfish- I don’t think I can say that anymore- they are in extreme pain and have been there probably for many, many years.
Now that I can look back and have more awareness and knowledge about mental illness, I see that taking his own life was an option for more than 20 years. I didn’t know that all those little signs would add up to this decision. But I am not going to think I SHOULD have done anything because I didn’t. The only thing I can do now is to mourn with those that mourn and tell you that it wasn’t your fault. They made this decision and no matter how much we want it to be different or wish we could go back in time, it doesn’t change the outcome. We are in charge now of what we make of the situation. We get to decide how we respond now. I have found meaning in the loss. I have found some of the good things that have come from it like having immense compassion for others. I feel we are all in this together and would do anything to help. Pain is real and it hurts, but suffering is a decision we get to make. Make the choice that the suffering you have is now over. Find a way to make yourself a better version of yourself because you went through this. If you look for the positive you will find it. Stop taking your loved one’s decisions personally. From what I have heard, he wasn’t thinking of me. He had lost hope and no matter what I said that morning wouldn’t have changed his mind. It came down to one thing- it was his choice. I would have never chosen that, but he did. I don’t understand it, but I will give him whatever justification he needs. I will not hold this against him. (That took years and years to be able to say that).
Regret is not a good thing. I don’t believe they are in the place where they want us to feel this sadness. I believe he wants me to be happy now. So that’s what I am going to do.