Hello, my name is Anne. in 2006 my husband of 9 years died of pancreatic cancer. I was 40 and a widow with three kids. The outpouring of love and support was amazing. Two years later I remarried. On January 5 my husband took his life. This time around it seems as though people want to ignore my husbands passing. Many people don't even want to make eye contact. Now, don't get me wrong I still am getting love and support but I see a marked difference in how acquaintances are reacting. Is this just me or has anyone else experienced this?
It’s been 13 months since my son took his life. We did lose a good amount of friends since his passing. I’ve been told it’s because they just don’t know what to say. I’ve have learned from talking to other survivors and a few friends I still have that it’s not that people are ashamed to talked to us it’s because it’s such a shocking devastating death that unless it has happen to you those people could only imagine what we are going through and how our pain is different. So avoiding you in some cases is just because they are so scared of saying the wrong thing and upsetting you more. We did get a few friends back when we told them it’s ok to say hi to us. We still know how to say hi back. Being shunned by your friends & family during such a devastating time for you is so painful. My heart and prayers are with you.
Thank you Carin, Tamika, and Jennifer. I was wondering if I was just going crazy. I honestly do feel like I am going crazy sometimes, but that is just a part of my sorrow and grief. I really am starting to feel alone. The silence is awful. One co-worker just walked up to me, gave me a hug and walked off. That meant the world to me after all the people just ignoring me.
Dear Anne - You are right in the difference of how people react to us - the survivors of suicide. I don't think it is intentional or meant to be hurtful, but 1) they don't know how to act around just overwhelming pain, 2) the are afraid of bringing up our loved one - as though it would cause us more pain; for me it is just the opposite if some remembers Michael or talks about him to me - too many people act as though he didn't exist, and 3) they are very afraid of the same thing happening to them. It is because depression is not thought of as a disease just like cancer - which it is - and sometimes it kills - just like cancer or a heart attack. Until people start understanding depression and sometimes its end - we will continue to have to deal with we this type of reaction. Our son is gone just over three years and it hurst as much as day one and it hurts as much now when people act that way. But please know there are many of us who understand completely what you are going through and prayer for you.