Suicide, An Irreparable Pain For The People Left Behind

March 21, 2018

Our mind will fill up the moment it processes what happened with millions of questions, doubts, and other possible options to have not “allowed” that kind of ending. Accepting that the person we loved decided to leave us is a truly hard thing for the human mind to comprehend. 

The shock that hits us can last for a long time. Disbelief shows up on this gloomy scene and stays around for a long time. Denial will show up too. “He didn’t want to go, something must have happened, because he didn’t want to go. No, I don’t believe it. He wouldn’t have wanted to leave his parents like that.”

questions

Suicide makes us feel to blame in a very limiting way

We’ll seek out every possible explanation, every one except that our loved one has decided to leave of their own will. Every one except that they’ve consciously made that decision and accepted all the consequences that come with it. If we think of these things, we might be flooded by a feeling that we didn’t matter enough to make them want to stay on the other side, the side of life. That’s when anger will appear, because we feel betrayed or treated unfairly. We’ll feel to blame for not doing more, for not mattering enough.

You didn’t make the person you loved want to leave. You aren’t the cause of their desire to go. You’re not responsible for their suicide. These are all words the people left behind need to hear. They also need to integrate them into their new narrative about what happened, and verbalize them.

woman thinking about suicide

A lot of the time the feeling of blame comes from not having “seen” those warning signs. It comes from not having been able to avoid the loss of our loved one. “How could I not have realized? It would have been so easy if I’d been there for them. That day…that time.” We put ourselves in a place that’s not true at all. Unfortunately we couldn’t have done anything more. A person who needs to leave because they can’t take the anguish of being alive anymore will find a way to go whenever they can… However they can.

Anger and dwelling are very common for people left behind

This is the hard truth to accept. Without blaming yourself. Without feeling and knowing yourself to be responsible for their loss. It’s internal work you have to encourage right from the beginning, and take seriously. Because irrational and unrealistic feelings of blame can make this pain you’ve just lived through longer and harder. 

Anger towards the deceased person is also a very common human feeling. “How could you leave me here? Did they not even think about me for a second before they did it?” A kind of hate fills up our empty spaces. Anger towards something inexplicable is one of the hardest feelings to direct. We can’t direct it at anyone because there’s no one to blame.

Dwelling is your supremely inseparable companion when you’ve had an experience like this. How long were they in pain? Did they have any tiny moment of regret? Did they suffer? And the eternal, discouraging WHY. It’s the kind of unresolved issue that can’t be easily solved. It requires a lot of internal work to be able to live through it a little more peacefully.

Fear it will happen with another loved one paralyzes people’s life

Fear will show up too… Fear that another loved one will do the same thing. Fear that the blame some of us feel might be so unbearable. This fear ends up taking over a lot of people’s lives. They try to anticipate any tiny amount of suffering just in case it leads to another tragedy.

suicidal woman

And lastly but no less importantly…the stigma. The x-ing out a lot of families feel in their lives. The shame they feel because they were “unable” to prevent this tragedy. The silence this creates. The huge taboo that comes alongside these kinds of deaths.

They’re all natural, completely human feelings we have to analyze and validate. It’s natural to feel all of those feelings, but we have make sure we get rid of all our irrational feelings of blame and shame that don’t need to be there. That way we can finally put an end to this silence that’s eating away at our souls. Because our souls need to talk, express, and feel like they’re not alone.

We’re sending out all our love and support to anyone who is, tragically, more than familiar with suicide.