At some point, you have to ask yourself, what is that baggage doing for me?
To move forward after Charles’ suicide, I had to let things go.
Like anger. Guilt. Shame.
Unlike other suicide loss survivors, I never felt a lot of shame. When we first started seeing signs of drug use, I did feel shame but as I educated myself, I came to realize addiction was an illness.
So I let it go.
I had some flashes of anger after Charles killed himself but I never thought he died by suicide to hurt me. I never felt anger at anyone else either. I didn’t blame anyone or think someone else was responsible.
Easy to let that go. Poof! Gone.
Guilt is another story
No magic wand for that one.
That took a lot of work. A lot of time. A lot of faith.
Until one day, I just had to forgive myself.
It was time.
I wanted that “let go” feeling to come sooner because the guilt tormented me. I wanted to just push a button and make it so.
But I had to wait until it came to me. I had to arrive at that place that allowed me to understand his suicide was beyond my control.
No one could do that for me.
After a suicide, it’s natural to blame yourself and agonize. We all do it and many will tell you not to but it’s part of the process. Letting go of the coulda woulda shouldas takes time and it takes willingness to absolve yourself. And the two have to meet.
I will ever be completely released from guilt.
But for now, I feel pretty good about where I stand with that one.
Writing, sharing and time have helped me find peace. I hope you find what works for you.