My father's senseless death in 2001 left my life in shambles. Finding the strength and dignity to go on for myself and my children proved to be the most difficult feat ever.
Suicide is a nightmare for survivors of loved ones. Death in itself is hard to cope with but when someone you love intentionally takes their life, this pain is somehow multiplied many times over. Your mind races with unanswered questions and your heart pounds in shock 'then it hits you. They are GONE, taken from this earth by their own actions, and there is nothing you can do to get them back.
Most people struggle with the ultimate unanswered question 'WHY?
Why would they do this? Why didn't I help? Why didn't I see it coming? Why was I not there for this person? Why didn't I call more, visit more, and pay more attention? Although there can be a multitude of factors that made this person's life difficult, nobody truly knows what drives a person to take their own life. For many survivors this 'why' question will haunt them forever.
After all the whys and flooding tears comes reality. The emotional rollercoaster of reality; the time you realize it's too late for prevention, too soon for comfort, but yet somehow you need to cope with what has happened. So many thoughts, emotions, memories, solutions, all of which bring no comfort to the persisting finality forced upon you.
There is some truth to the saying that 'Time Heals All Wounds' as somehow in the aftermath of death and tragedy, the sharpness of the pain wears itself down. Grief and sorrow withstanding; the aching dulls with the passage of time. Although counseling is an effective healing method for some, it does not work for everyone. Each person needs to somehow find a place for this emptiness somewhere within the layers of their life. Finding the psycho-philosophical layer that allows you to accept this affliction and move forward is the most challenging of the surviving factors.
I urge anyone suffering from the aftermath of a suicide to seek whatever help necessary to assist in coping. Things will never be the same but you can control your own destiny. You must choose to accept the tragedy and move forward with your own life.
My heart and sympathy goes out to the many people affected by suicide and other family tragedies. I speak from experiences encountered from the suicide loss of my father, a 17 yr old sister who died in a car accident, an older sister who narrowly survived a severe traumatic brain injury, and a younger sister I watch struggle with the evils of alcoholism.
Take care of yourself and your family and remember to ALWAYS hug and cherish the loved ones in your life. I have chosen to leave the corporate world to stay home and spend more time with my family 'life is too short 'even if you live to be 100!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
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