A member of my community took his life. It was a sudden and traumatic loss and while some people treated his widow with kindness, she shared that she was unprepared for the hurtful actions of others. For example, she saw a friend walking towards her one morning in our small town. The friend saw her too and she quickly crossed the street to avoid her. A colleague also shared a hurtful experience following the suicide of her physician brother. Though she was a child, she vividly remembers the sound of her neighbor’s footsteps as she crossed their wooden porch. When her mother answered the loud knock, the neighbor asked, “Jean, how’d he do it?”
It’s shocking to hear that someone has taken their life but even more shocking to learn that people do not give the bereaved the same support they give for other deaths. Why should we shy away from someone who is grieving just because their loved one took their life? As one widow states, “My husband was a good man and lived a good life; he just chose to end it badly.”
When you learn that someone has died and the cause of death is suicide, please do the same things that you would do to comfort and support the bereaved. They’ll need your support now and for a long time to come. It’s just the right thing to do.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store. Click here to order.
Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons/foundphotoslj
HI, MY SON HUNG HIMSELF. HE IS 31 YEARS OLD. HE LEFT A WIFE AND THREE BEAUTIFUL KIDS. I AM HAVING A HARD TIME DEALING WITH IT.I WANT TO BE STRONG FOR MY GRANDBABIES,BUT I CANT.I FEEL LIKE I AM DYING INSIDE. I WANT TO SLEEP ALL THE TIME. I WANT TO DREAM ABOUT HIM, BUT I HAVENT YET. I KNOW THE FAMILY NEEDS SOME COUNSELING,BUT I JUST HAVENT WANTED TO DO ANY RESEARCH.I KNOW I AM GOING TO COMPASSIONATE FRIENDS, BUT I HAVE TO FIND SOMETHING FOR MY DAUGHTER IN LAW AND GRANDBABIES. ANY ONE HAVE ANY IDEAS FOR ME..I HAVE SO MUCH ANGER INSIDE. PLEASE HELP ME... MISSING MY SON
Hello my Brother hung his self on a\April 17 of 2012. It is still so new.Like so many my brother was my favorite baby doll. I was 2 when he was born. My family have all the questions and none of the answers. The only thing that we can come up with is. By the time he was 40 he had buried two wives. were diabetic and both had kidney transplants. He got married a third time and that ended in divorce.
Well he said that he would try it one more time, and she is 20 years his jr. not saying that is is her fault or anything but they were having problems both financial and personal she told himshe was going to go to the lawyer and file for a divorce. he was driving a truck over the road. He step out of the truck and hung him self on the headache rack.
I am the only girl out of 6 and the oldest he use to call me and ask for my advise. But Tuesday night I guess he had just had enough. Now Saturday we are having the memorial, I am mad, hurt, and I really wish that I could hold him and cry with him. Why could he not call one of us it didn't have to be me just one of us. We were so close and we never thought he would do this.
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