Hi,

I am 19 years old, and just over a month ago, my Dad took his life. That night was a very traumatic experience, and even though I have gone and seen a counselor, she doesn't seem to help much

Lately, I have found that I avoid things that remind me of my Dad, which sometimes is everything. But, at the same time, I want to talk about him all the time and mostly I just annoy my family, or bring up memories/topics that they would rather not talk about.

The more time that passes the more lost I feel. I spent my first fathers day without a father last weekend, and it was overwhelming, but I try to put on a strong face for my mom. I was always the strong one in my family, and everyone expects me to play that role and just stay strong.

I just don't want to forget anything about him. I keep what if-ing everything that has happened leading up to this.

I just don't know where to go from here. 

Advice?

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Replies to This Discussion

Dear Lindsey and Meliza,
My heart breaks for both of you. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix or easy answers when a loved one takes his or her life. Prayer brings peace and time brings acceptance. You may never find the answers you seek until after this life is over. Only God knows why! All things shall be made known in eternity.
I encourage you to live everyday to the fullest. Enjoy the good memories. You both have a period of mourning that seems to be essential in the healing process. Experiencing death is the worst of all earthly experiences. Pain and suffering is like the refiner's fire. The heat(pain) is so great at times it makes you wonder if you can endure it any longer. Good thing that time passes and eventually you'll gain some perspective. I am so sorry you have been called to bear such a heavy cross. God Bless each of you.
I shall pray that you feel God's tender touch in your lives. He will carry you and strengthen you when you fell you haven't any strength left in which to go on. Many Blessings, Margo

The ifs kill you.  I'm 19 as well and this is my first major death. My brother jumped on this second, so I've had time to feel the ifs start as well. I can't imagine the loss of a parent, if the loss of a brother hurts this bad. Please don't hold in your emotions; find some way to cry or yell or whatever you need. Sometimes being strong is knowing when you need support.

 

Hi Lindsay

I just lost my dad to suicide too. On 19th Dec 2012. I'm 26. It is so horrible. I have no words of advice or comfort, its still too fresh to even try, but I do feel for you. It sounds like we're in a similar position, I've also always been the strong one in the family who sorts things out.

I hope you find some peace.

Nikki x

Lindsey & Nikki,

It can be hard to be in the 'strong one' role in a family. My brother was the strong one, the oldest, and we lost him to suicide 5 mos ago...6 mos after we lost our dad to a sudden heartattack.

Being strong gets confusing and can be construed in unhealthy ways. What we all have in common here is we need to grieve. It is as much a physiological as a psychological natural healing process, perhaps the hardest one there is...because it hurts so bad and can take so long. And if you have pressure on you from outside (or inside) to hold against it for 'strong' image sake, it will take even longer...or cause you to bury your pain (like perhaps some of your family does who have a problem with your need to talk about your lost loved one, or just feel miserable about it).

I find it shocking that this is such an 'average' response--to hide the suffering, especially when there's every reason in a family it should be shared as openly as possible. (But then I'm convinced we live in a way too emotionally repressed society.) Perhaps your families look to you to give them an image that helps them hide their pain. Or maybe they look to you for someone to lean on, as we find it so hard to lean on each other in our grief.

But that's what we're doing here. Supporting each other in our SHARED grief. We all cry. Get angry. Feel guilty. Feel empty, depressed, anxious, afraid. Lonely. Lost. But here we are sharing at least that with each other. And see how many of us remark it helps to do so. How many of us feel 'strong'? Probably zero. But we find strength and support in just sharing, not hiding away, not putting on a face.

Maybe we've got it backwards when we worry about being strong. If our most important job in life now is to let our grieving happen, not get in the way of it, then maybe we're not being strong to keep up facades. It can be hard to see ourselves as 'strong' when we're suffering like this, but I know it takes courage to let yourself fall to pieces nearly every day and get back on your feet again each time. But with support, we can. It's helping me to share here, and to read your stories, hear your emotions, feel them strike chords in my heart where I'm suffering just like you.

We all have to hold back to get things done, job, chores, parenting, just going out. But the real struggle, and the real strength, as far as I see it, is in having the guts to get out of the way of the storm...and let it flow through us as it must.

Greg

P.s. There's a wonderful song by an artist, Holly Near, that my Psych friends in school used to share called, "Sit With Me." If you can find it, get it. It's raw and emotional...strongly so. I think of the 'strength' it takes to fall to pieces when I hear it. And I think of the relief after the storm, too, that we need to find a way to look forward to...even if it's a few blessed moments, hours, days.

Hang in there. Respect your grief.

Greg, thank you for your post - I will be rereading it. My dear sister shot herself just two weeks ago, and I can hardly bear thinking of how she was feeling and me thinking she was doing well.  We were close and I never imagined she was even considering suicide. I have joined a support group and seen my therapist and have been supported so well by friends, but I can see that this will be about being grief struck and still doing the dishes and going to work. Frankly, my biggest concern is being a good partner to my husband. He keeps trying to make me smile - not in a creepy way, but I can see he wants to know that I'll be okay, but I know I've been changed and I'm not sure that I will be okay. 

Greg said:

Lindsey & Nikki,

It can be hard to be in the 'strong one' role in a family. My brother was the strong one, the oldest, and we lost him to suicide 5 mos ago...6 mos after we lost our dad to a sudden heartattack.

Being strong gets confusing and can be construed in unhealthy ways. What we all have in common here is we need to grieve. It is as much a physiological as a psychological natural healing process, perhaps the hardest one there is...because it hurts so bad and can take so long. And if you have pressure on you from outside (or inside) to hold against it for 'strong' image sake, it will take even longer...or cause you to bury your pain (like perhaps some of your family does who have a problem with your need to talk about your lost loved one, or just feel miserable about it).

I find it shocking that this is such an 'average' response--to hide the suffering, especially when there's every reason in a family it should be shared as openly as possible. (But then I'm convinced we live in a way too emotionally repressed society.) Perhaps your families look to you to give them an image that helps them hide their pain. Or maybe they look to you for someone to lean on, as we find it so hard to lean on each other in our grief.

But that's what we're doing here. Supporting each other in our SHARED grief. We all cry. Get angry. Feel guilty. Feel empty, depressed, anxious, afraid. Lonely. Lost. But here we are sharing at least that with each other. And see how many of us remark it helps to do so. How many of us feel 'strong'? Probably zero. But we find strength and support in just sharing, not hiding away, not putting on a face.

Maybe we've got it backwards when we worry about being strong. If our most important job in life now is to let our grieving happen, not get in the way of it, then maybe we're not being strong to keep up facades. It can be hard to see ourselves as 'strong' when we're suffering like this, but I know it takes courage to let yourself fall to pieces nearly every day and get back on your feet again each time. But with support, we can. It's helping me to share here, and to read your stories, hear your emotions, feel them strike chords in my heart where I'm suffering just like you.

We all have to hold back to get things done, job, chores, parenting, just going out. But the real struggle, and the real strength, as far as I see it, is in having the guts to get out of the way of the storm...and let it flow through us as it must.

Greg

P.s. There's a wonderful song by an artist, Holly Near, that my Psych friends in school used to share called, "Sit With Me." If you can find it, get it. It's raw and emotional...strongly so. I think of the 'strength' it takes to fall to pieces when I hear it. And I think of the relief after the storm, too, that we need to find a way to look forward to...even if it's a few blessed moments, hours, days.

Hang in there. Respect your grief.

lindsey im srry for your loss sweetie i lost my dad as well and people get annoyed with me cause i wanna talk about my dad as well..and i also what if alot of things as well like what if i woulda called him like i wanted to that night and just things like that things are hard especially with suiceide

Hi Lindsey. My name is Dianne.  I have not been on this website but glad to be back on. I recently had brain surgery amongst other things but I just thank God that I am alive. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I was 15 years old when I lost my Dad to suicide.  I witnessed my father shot himself and the thought of guilt remained with me until age 57.  I am not 61 years old. I am not sure if you are still willing to talk about your situation, but your loss is so fresh. The pain is going to be there and the grieving. It does take time, but it does not have to take as long as mine did.  The only reason being that long for me is because counselors were not that well accepted amongst Black families.  We always believed that you suck it up and go on with life.  But it only tares you up and you eventually start to act out in different ways later in life and you may not know why you are acting the way you are.   Don't just go to a counselor, but get into a grief support group through a church.  They have them all around.  OMG they are so helpful.  It wasn't until I got into one that I eventually forgave my father for taking his life.  If you need the name of a grief support group let me know where you live and I will send the information back to you.  There is help out there today where we do not need to suffer we just need to heal and understand the healing process.  And then from there we can help someone else who will must definitely come along in our shoes and we will have to give an answer.  Hope to hear back from you.

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