Moving beyond the question of “WHY?” when a loved one commits suicide can be the single most challenging obstacle to face.
Coming to terms with the suicide of a loved one is a long winding road. Though you may find comfort from others who have lived this horrible experience, everyone is different. We are different in the way we grieve. We are different in the way we heal. How someone came to the conclusion that suicide was the answer for them is also different than others.
Answering the question of “WHY?” is easier intellectually for some because they see red flags. Other’s had no idea, noticed no red flags and were totally blindsided. Suicide is a shock and instant trauma no matter whether there were red flags or not.
There are so many feelings that occur when trying to process the suicide of a loved one.
For many the first and longest lasting question is “WHY?”. Why did they do this? They didn’t they come to me for help or seek out help elsewhere? “We couldn’t we save them?”
The guilt comes pouring down on us. “If I had only been there sooner.” If I had made them get help when I knew they were struggling.” We start to hold the weight of the world on our shoulders feeling as though we failed to love them the way they needed. The weight of responsibility for another’s life and decisions becomes a burden too heavy to bare.
Anger can occur as a bi-product of grief. Angry at yourself for not being able to save them. In some circumstances police must ask questions you are not ready to answer. It may feel like an intrusion into your life and very private moments of grief. These moments can create anger and frustration because you don’t want to face the answers to the questions. You may get angry that the officers treat it simply as a matter of business. For you it has changed your world and is the darkest day you have ever felt. Matters of business don’t matter to you anymore.
You may even feel angry at your loved one for making such a selfish choice that is causing you more pain than you have ever known.
As time goes on complicated grief may rear its ugly head. Your grief turns into mental and physical health issues. Letting go is not a possibility. Weight gain or loss. High blood pressure, depression and anxiety have taken over your life. The images of your sweet loved ones lifeless body will never leave your head. This is reality for many who have lived through a loved ones suicide.
If you are experiencing complicated grief that has impacted other areas of your life it is time to get help. Finding a therapist or counselor is a great first step.
Moving beyond the question of “why?”
It may feel impossible and it takes time, a good support system and some hope. The answers to all your “why” questions may never be answered. It is hard even torturous for some to simply accept that there is not an answer. Life will forever be different but that doesn’t mean it will lack hope.
Turn your “WHY” into What?
What will I do now? Join a support group. Talk with friends and loved ones. Your loved ones life was more than their suicide and its time you start to treat it that way. They had many amazing qualities, they were so loved and so wanted. Even if they didn’t feel that way. You now have the choice to carry on their legacy and help others. Your trauma is painful and will never feel good, but it can help others.
Moving beyond the question of “why?”, when a loved one commits suicide allows you to live.
Find more grief support here.