Suicide – Those of us left behind


Woman Grieving

I am so, so angry.

Someone I cared about killed herself last week.  What a waste. Why did she do it?

I feel a roller coaster of emotions.

How could she end her life when she was such a vibrant, dynamic, beautiful young woman?

How could I have let her down? Why has society let her down? Why didn’t she tell anyone how she felt? Why couldn’t she feel as though she could reach out to someone … anyone?

I feel so sad. She must have been in such despair; such overwhelming emotional pain to believe that taking her life was the answer, the only answer. I can’t bear to think of her in that place.

How dare she give up on life?

Why couldn’t she have waited? Suicide is such a final solution for what is more often than not a temporary problem. She might have felt better a few hours later.

If she had reached out to me, what would I have said?

I would have desperately tried to think of something, anything to take her pain away, to solve her problem. I think that’s only natural when dealing with someone you care about. Would that have been what she needed? Not necessarily. Perhaps she would have just wanted someone to hear her pain, to understand why she felt that taking her life was the only answer. Someone to listen whilst she processed her anguish enough to take the edge off; to make it more manageable, more surmountable, less overwhelming, solvable.

Could I have done that?

To be honest, I don’t know. I probably would have panicked. I would have wanted to take her pain away. The one thing that would have overwhelmed me would have been my anxiousness to give her a solution. To find the right words to make her realise that life is worth living. I don’t think that would have been right. I am too involved. I cared too much. Her pain felt that bad she wanted to die. My pain of potentially losing her from my life would have added even more to hers.

I know I wouldn’t have given her platitudes. “Everything will be alright” or the “but think of all the things you have, your job, your home, your family, your friends”. I know that doesn’t help when you are already in despair. It makes things worse as you are then adding guilt to an already insurmountable level of emotional pain – not good. Or worse “there are a lot of people far worse off than you. Think of the ‘real” victims in the world, the starving, people living on the streets, in war zones, etc, etc, etc”.

I wish with all my heart that there was some way in which I could have prevented her terrible death, but sometimes there is nothing anyone can do. Perhaps she didn’t want help. Perhaps this was the right solution for her. I just hope that her pain died with her and that she is at peace. I can hope.

Now I have to deal with my own feelings. I have imagined she is sitting in front of me. I have shouted at her and screamed at her, explained my anger, my guilt and frustration. I have written pages and pages about the waste of life, the tragedy, the futility, the pain and sadness. I have allowed myself to grieve. I am so, so sad that there was no other option for her. There is no blame, not of her or anyone left behind. We all suffer.

Rest in peace beautiful. I will miss you.

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