My husband’s mother committed suicide when he was in his mid-teens, and due to the stigma attached to such a death he was discouraged from talking about what had happened, and didn’t attend the funeral.
Years later he suffered bouts of depression, always hinging on her death. Later, triggered by stresses in other areas of his life, he again became anxious and depressed. Three days after being admitted to hospital he walked out and took his own life.
The legacy of his mother’s death is now our inheritance. The impact of his sudden, untimely and unexpected death is still sorely felt. He had everything to live for and he was dearly loved. The decision he made to take his own life was at a time when the balance of his mind was severely distorted and he was truly not in his right mind.
The decision he made to take his own life was at a time when the balance of his mind was severely distorted and he was truly not in his right mind.
Suicide is a double blow for the survivor. It is like bereavement and a divorce combined. The person you loved most in the world has died, but they have also chosen to leave. There is no time for questions or goodbyes. Two small children have inexplicably lost their daddy and it’s so difficult telling them why someone who loved them so much has abandoned them.
Suicide still carries a huge stigma. Some have suggested that, because he took his own life, my grief is less or more deserved. This could not be further from the truth. It is different in its horror and its unacceptability, but the grief at the loss is just as real. There is no preparation time, but every day I am reminded of the importance of giving individuals the time and space to grieve, even when the horror of what has happened makes the rest of the world turn away.