Learning to let go of regret after suicide

by Jon Farrow

Sometimes it’s a feeling in the middle of the day. Sometimes it’s passing a restaurant we used to frequent or a song that comes on right as I’m about to reach a destination. Other times it’s a memory-inducing warm breeze on a mild summer day. No matter what brings him to mind, even after five years, I still feel the twinge in my heart.

Searching for an escape has been a race that I can’t win

No matter what I do, the feeling overwhelms me like the shadow caused by a setting sun, one that extinguishes the light on the ground of a clear horizon. I wish I could forget what I felt the morning I found out he was gone. I wish I could erase the immense guilt I felt as I stood in his dining room looking at his self inflicted destruction.

I have been trying to learn to accept that there’s nothing I could have done. Even with that muddled affirmation, it has done nothing to ease the pain.

So many things have changed in my life that I wish I could share with him. I would have loved for my daughters to meet their grandfather. I know he would be proud of the woman I chose to spend my life with. I get lost in thought about the relationships they could have built with one another. Every day I think about everything that could have been.

I have been running from the sadness, guilt, regrets, and anger from losing him to suicide. I have been running from the reality that he really is gone–that no amount of day dreaming or wishing will bring him back.

What I am truly running from is accepting that I have to let go. I have to forgive myself, but more importantly I have to forgive my Dad.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and my book, Diary of a Broken Mind, will be published in the fall. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website

One thought on “Learning to let go of regret after suicide”

  1. I was hoping to be the first to reply. It’s not your fault! Please say that to yourself a few times and mean it. Then take a few deep breaths. Your dad is always with you in the way that he shaped you. I want you to do those things like your father would have wanted you to. I don’t know what happened in his life, but I do know what’s happening in yours. Teach your kids about how their grandfather was, not the unfortunate imagine that I can’t even imagine. I’m so sorry. I should have said that first. So now my wives father was a Vietnam war veteran and a wounded warrior. I believe that is what eventually took him from us the day after Valentine’s day 10 years ago and our two oldest boys knew him, but our youngest son was a baby and wouldn’t have memories of him so my wife was crying. I looked at her and said of course he will because we’re going to show him things that his grandfather used to do and tell him stories about him. Guess which one of our boys talks the most about pop pop now as our boys used to call him? You guessed it! Our youngest! So here’s what I’d like to see you do if you haven’t already. 1. Talk to a Grief counselor. They must specialize in loss. (This is not a weakness. You don’t have a psychological disorder. This is just to help you with the memory because that’s tough.) 2. Write down as many fun things as possible as you can that you did with your dad. Do at least one of these things with your family and one without. (No bars or anything like that by yourself yet until your finished with the grief counselor and then if you guys would have seen who can stay on a mechanical bull longer bring a friend along.) 3. Don’t leave your wife out take her to his grave and introduce them already. Play the part of your dad.

    He lives on through you and either they know the man that died by taking his life or you can teach them all. It’s your choice! Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the best.

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