by Julia Rajtar, M.A.P.S., BCC
A loved one who struggles with depression once said, “I know you are doing everything to can to help me and keep me from ending my life, but, sometimes no matter how hard you try, you can’t stop me. If I feel that’s what I need, I will end my life, and you cannot always prevent or stop me.”
Another person likened suicide to cancer. They proposed that when someone is stricken with cancer, one of three things can happen: sometimes doctors can treat the disease, and in essence, cure it. Sometimes the disease cannot be cured but managed enough to give the person a quality of life they would like to live. Sometimes, the cancer is of a kind that cannot be cured or treated, and medicine and treatments are helpless to effect healing or quality of life, and the person dies. Certain kinds of emotional depression work the same way. Sometimes the person can be treated and cured, sometimes they live with the depression having a quality of life that is acceptable to them while living with this disease. Sometimes, just as with certain types of cancers, the disease is untreatable, unstoppable, and no intervention by anyone or anything can halt the advance.
A death by suicide leaves in its wake family and friends who struggle not only with the grief most of us feel when someone dies, but with all kinds of questions, emotions, thoughts. Sometimes, we don’t talk about it, thinking that, in holding it tight within, we deny the shame that we might feel with the tragic event. Sometimes, others don’t talk with us afterwards. Talking with the bereaved under normal circumstances can be awkward, after a suicide death, most of us experience such helplessness and sometimes even judgment, that we do not know how to support or what to say to the bereaved, so after the funeral, we don’t even reach out.
The Bakken-Young grief groups have been helpful, yet we have found that suicide loss has its own distress that would be better addressed with a specific group directed toward specifically focusing suicide loss. On Thursdays, May 7 – June 18, 2020, Bakken-Young will offer a Suicide Loss Grief Support Group. If you or someone you know, is bereaved by a suicide, consider joining us for this group, to be held at the Roberts Public Library.
May you know that absence is alive with hidden presence,
that nothing is ever lost or forgotten.
To Bless the Space Between Us, A Book of Blessings, John O’Donohue