Guilty as charged. Part of my charm.
This one is for those of you who turn away because the subject of suicide is too much.
You don’t want to read my posts.
You do sometimes with one eye shut.
They make you squirm.
They make you uncomfortable.
They make you sad.
They make you cry.
They are too raw.
You don’t want to be reminded that this awful thing happened to someone. It’s your worse nightmare and you fear the same might happen to you.
Or you think it couldn’t possibly happen to you. It doesn’t touch your life so why bother? It’s more comfortable to do what you’ve always done–avoid it. You’ll think about it tomorrow.
I understand but I wanted to point something out.
When you ignore pain and avoid “unhappy subjects” you end up skating the surface of life without ever really digging deep.
Sometimes the path to happiness is through pain. Through agony. Through struggle. It teaches us to appreciate what we have.
By not talking, we miss out on learning from each other. We miss opportunities to prevent awful outcomes. The result of conversation is resources, innovative ways to deal with problems and money to help families afford care for their loved ones. It brings us closer. It deepens relationships.
Twenty five percent of our population suffers from mental illness and/or addiction. That’s one quarter of our population.
Unless you live in a cave under a rock in Peru with llamas, someone you know and love suffers from addiction, mental illness or both. Someone you know has attempted suicide. Even if you don’t know it.
I’m in your face because our quest to avoid the subject is creating an epidemic of deaths
I know your kids are hurting, some even suicidal, because so many of them write to me about it.
They have beautiful smiling faces on their Facebook pages.
They appear to have everything to live for.
But they are hurting inside and don’t want to tell you because they think you’ll think their souls are too ugly. You are so important to them, they don’t want to burden you with their pain because they are ashamed of it
It might be your child, your friend, your niece, your brother, your parent.
We are sweeping things under the rug that need to be out in the open so they don’t keep getting worse. So they can talk about it and get help. So we don’t keep losing those we love when many of them can be helped.
I know we can’t save everyone. But we can do better
Yes. I am on a crusade. On a mission. Possessed even (not by the devil). And I am never, ever giving up this fight until the day I die.
Please share. Please talk about the triple stigma: addiction, mental illness and suicide. Get educated. Don’t wait.
I have lost one of the most precious things in the world to me–my 20 year old son Charles.
I don’t want it to happen to you. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking it can’t.
12 thoughts on “Relentless”
Hi, I read your posts and look for strength. Somedays I ca find it and other days I am too exhausted. My daughter died at 28 by suicide. She drove down a one way street the wrong way and had a head on collision. She was a mom of 3 at the time. My SIL passed away 8 months later, in a motorcycle accident. I am raising my 3 grandchildren now 8, 9 and 11, 2 girls and the oldest is a boy. I struggle with bring honest with them when they ask questions, they look things up on the internet and I avoid the questions. I feel like a failure as a mom. I k we she was depressed she had ppd after each child and after the last one it never left. I had supported her as best I could as her husband worked out of town. The night she passed, I saw her, I wanted her to stay over but she said she’d come back in the morning. The kids were staying st my place and her husband out of town she said she wanted some alone time. I hugged her said I love you, said good bye and 6 hours later was greeted by the police and notified of her death. It was Thanksgiving weekend and I tried to fake it but it was a struggle. I keep her memory alive and talk about her just not her death. Fear holds me back. I know I need to approach the subject the kids are getting older and one day it could be them if I dont let them talk. But…..how can I get over the fear, fear I was a bad mom, I could have done more,….
Deborah- I know how busy you are but I hope you connect with a support group on suicide loss. There are virtual ones, too. I know how hard this is and I hope just being part of the emotionally naked community helps. You have to be exhausted. So much loss and then the added responsibility of raising these kids. As soon as you can, do have that conversation with your grandkids. It’s OK to admit how much you miss their mom and how much you struggle with guilt. Those coulda, woulda, shouldas in suicide loss go on for a while. The book below will help you frame the conversation. Give yourself time to forgive yourself. If you make that intention, one day you will arrive at a place that allows you to move forward as an imperfect human being with grace and peace. But since we hear “suicide is preventable” we tend to blame ourselves. The truth is Suicide can be prevented but isn’t always. Because we cannot control the actions of another human. Below is a link to the book I mentioned. This is hard, Deborah. Really hard. I’m here, OK? I will respond.
Books for kids on grief and grief from suicide loss
Some days, I delay reading your blogs because I hope I won’t hurt as much for a short while from our most recent heartbreak. July 27th, 2020, my gentle, kind nephew took his life. He was my twin brother’s son. Earlier this year I had written you about his(my twin’s) suicide many years ago. The phone call from my niece telling me of his death was one I had tried to steel myself for later in my nephew’s life. He had just turned 43 and was the father of two boys, five and eight.
Your words today about talking hit a tender spot. For years, I have tried to have meaningful conversations with my twin’s wife, but she avoids anything substantive by saying she doesn’t like to talk on the phone. I had no idea her son was having such serious problems, both mentally and physically until too late. I’m trying not to feel resentful and angry.
Hope you know what a positive difference you’re making as you continue to ache from your loss, yet reach out to others again and again who have been felled by suicide in the family.
Many, many thanks.
Oh Libbie what an awful outcome. I remember the story. Losing a twin is hard enough. I’m so sorry you also lost your nephew. It’s so hard when a family member puts up a barrier between you and a family member. I’m so sorry. Thank you for commenting and I appreciate your message.
“Families everywhere are lumpy, with dysfunctional pieces and parts. That’s normal. Perfection is not.”
Words to live by! Thanks for sharing this and keeping it real.
Thank you Laura.
I am living this right now. I lost my oldest son to addiction 14 years ago. He was 23. My daughter is 36 and has for a long time had issues with some form of addiction but she has found her best with meth and has been on it for 2 years. Last month she left with her boyfriend (who has the same addiction), left her kids with me and went to a big city where he is from. I called the kids father and he has them for now and she is in denial that she has a problem or that when she and her boyfriend get it together, she will get her kids back. The boyfriend is now in jail and she is staying with his parents. She won’t talk to me and tells anyone that will listen that I am a drama queen and causing problems for her….because I have been here for her, because I have opened my home to her and her children , because I have even given her boyfriend a chance to stay here but under the condition they not use and try and get to meetings etc. , this is her definition of me being a drama queen. I love my daughter and I have done everything that I know to try and help her and because I made it clear that no drugs would be allowed here or to not come here under the influence, she choose to leave. Also has mentioned to me and her father on two different accasions that they had a Suicide pack with each other. I am beyond words to describe my fears, I pray to the Lord for her and I am lost in this situation of fear, grief, and loneliness for my daughter. Please pray for her and her boyfriend ( Nicolle and Chris) and if anyone has a word of wisdom to help me help her I will be forever grateful. In Christ love and name, amen
Oh Denise, the heartbreak of addiction. You are setting boundaries and supporting recovery, not the habit. We can’t cure this thing called addiction and it’s so ugly and complex. Their brains are literally telling them they can’t live without the drug. I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you that providing them a roof and food and all the comforts of life is not an incentive to change. Being uncomfortable is. So I feel like you’ve done what you can and you’ve reached a point that you can’t support this habit. All we can do is hope they come around to find recovery. But you can do something for yourself. My husband and I attended Families Anonymous. Best thing we ever did. In there you will hear horror stories that end up in amazing recovery stories. You will find hope. You are doing the best you can and the truth is their journey is not our journey.
Amen! Well said, AM!
You are right on the money! The incidence of addiction, mental illness & suicide is increasing at an ever alarming rate. It is rapidly destroying our families & our nation. As comedian Earl Pitts used to say, “Wake Up America!” We must fight this together & stop burying our heads in the sand.
You are so right! Keep doing what you are doing!❤️
Wow!! Always powerful!! Thank you.