On September 21, I received the worst news of my life. My 22 year old son, who had been suffering from depression for 9 years had taken his life. I had moved to my new home in August. My son lived with my ex-husband since the divorce 3 years ago, and we had a close relationship. On Friday, Sept. 20th I was at work. I am an RN and had started my new job on Sept. 3rd. So many changes in my life at once. It was supposed to be a happy time. I left work and didn't get very far and ended up in a car accident that did some significant damage to my car. It had to be towed and I was 3 hours late for getting home due to organizing the repair with the auto shop and picking up a rental car to hold me over. I received a call from my ex husband saying my son had left the house in a bad mood and he wanted me to call him to see how he was and what was going on. I called my son at 6:41... no answer. My son's car was found by his ex-girlfriend at 10:30pm at their place of work. She ended up calling the police because he was no where to be found. The police set up a K-9 search team and searched for him throughout the night all while keeping in contact with me to keep me updated. this had never happened before, and he never not came home at night - ever. He also never declined a call from me... ever. I called him 81 times that night.... left messages and texts... no reply. At 12:30 I received a call from my sister saying he was found alive and well. I called the detective in charge of the search and he told me that the state police were involved and they were going to call me right away... ten minutes later, they pulled up in front of my home. That is when I was told that he was found and not alive.
I am lost, I have no idea how to move on. I feel like I am in a tunnel and the world is going on... and I am not. I don't know how to deal with it. I feel like I am going backwards. As the days go on, I feel darker... more lost. I don't know what to do.
I, too, am deeply sorry for your great and precious loss.....I'm so sorry. My son ended his life on July 17, 2013, he was weeks away from his 18th birthday. One moment at a time....that's all I can say. May God comfort you, and I will pray that you have loving, supportive people surrounding you as you walk through this dark time. I wish I had more to say....only that I grieve along with you....my heart is heavy for you.
Tammie - I don't know how to deal with it, I feel like I am going backwards, I feel darker, more lost - I don't know what to do. My 23 year old son was missing in December of 2010. My son was my world - an old soul - who filled my life. He took his life - I have been frozen ever since - in a fog - And I know this is probably not what you need - you need people that have pulled through - been shining stars - survivors... but I just had to write, I felt so connected with your grief.
Julie - in Indiana
Those were, by far, the worst 16 hours of my life... waiting to hear if he was safe. I cannot even imagine how I am going to move on... everything is moving so fast around me and I feel as if I am in a tunnel watching. I don't understand the people around me. They act as if Michael never existed. I think that is because of the way he died. Suicide is so traumatic. There is a stigma attached to it. I think I will vomit if I hear one more person say to me "it's admiral how strong you are"... I am not strong. I am dead inside. I am numb.
My Dearest Tammie - Please accept my sincerest of sympathies. I can only tell you that I and far too many others know exactly how you are feeling. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make every ones hurt and pain go away but I can not. I can offer my shoulder should you need to sort through everything. You are describing shock. I still find myself reliving it, trying to make sense of it, trying to find some way I could have stopped my brother from leaving us. But I am always brought back to the same ending. My experience - the pain and loss never goes away but each day gives me some changes. The tears still flow but not as often or as long as they used to
The dreams have turned to good ones instead of nightmares and I can talk about it now. My advice - talk about it to anyone who will listen and be honest. What I mean by "honest" is addressing the anger as well. I didn't do that and I found myself angry at everyone. My heart weeps for you and your loved ones. It pains me to know so many others are walking this broken road...but it also comforts me to know that others understand and have found a way to cope.
Please reach out here, to friends, to relatives and let them walk with you down the road. I do hope my words give you some hope.
Thank you for your kind words. I have reached out to relatives but honestly, my six siblings were there for about 5 minutes. I am super close with them but this has driven a wedge between us and I honestly think it's because nobody knows what to say to me. Michael attempted to take his life the last week of June by taking a bottle of pills that were prescribed for his depression. He ended up in the ICU for a week. Even with that, I still felt confident that it was a cry for help and that he didn't intend on killing himself. He told both his father and I that he had taken them. What makes this so hard, is that 3 days before his death, he texted me a note saying Hi Mom... things are going well. No worries, I love you... then he called to to talk for a bit. He did sound good. Which was something I hadn't heard in his voice in a long time. I am an ER Trauma RN... I should have known. I did say to my ex that I thought it was odd that he seemed so at peace. I should have done more. Friday he went missing. He was found on Saturday in the woods outside of his workplace hung from a tree. He was so far in the woods it took over 16 hours to find him. I am heartbroken. I miss him more than you can imagine and I cannot get the image of him doing this to himself out of my mind. I have nightmares of me running through the woods desperately trying to find him. I wonder if I will ever feel normal again.
Thank you, Angel. I did everything I could for my son. He had been in counseling for 9 years on and off. Tried meds, therapy, etc. He threatened suicide since he was 14. Didn't attempt until 3 months before he succeeded. I tried everything. In the last 6 months I tried tough love and although I told him how much I loved him in every conversation, I believe he questioned that in the end. I have incredible guilt in that. I know I shouldn't, but I do.
There is so much hurt. In everything. We are hurt because people are so afraid to talk to us about our children and cause more hurt--and end up causing more hurt because we don't want them forgotten entirely. Suicide is so complicated. It's like we aren't entitled to grieve our losses. Tammie mentioned the compliments on strength--they are stomach churning. I'm 10 months into this and barely sleep at night, I can't keep up with everything and have frequent nightmares about the incident that happened right in front of me. I'm great at forcing myself to get through a day begrudgingly...that is not strength at this point, it is stamina. I too put Bryan through many treatment programs, thinking eventually counseling and therapy would stick and he would realize how important he was to us and his friends. Just last night, I attended my first Compassionate Friends meeting. I plan to go back. These are people who've lost a child--not all by suicide, but some have. They can relate to the pain and torment we are going through. What I heard last night echoes what I'm reading today. Even family members--sisters, brothers, parents--aren't capable of truly empathizing with us in a way that is healthy and helpful to healing. Perhaps participating in a group like this would help you find some peace and comfort. There's just something about sharing a hug and tears with someone who has truly climbed this mountain of grief.