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Old 07-30-2013, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Newport Beach, California
31,439 posts, read 18,451,347 times
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Thank you Don.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:16 AM
 
Location: WA
604 posts, read 528,234 times
Reputation: 2050
As I may have posted before Lily, I am truly sorry for your lost.

Remember years ago, a woman told me to say one, or all of three sayings:
1. Am sorry for you loss.
2. I love you.
3. You are in my thoughts/prayers.

Sorta laugh at myself, as my husband went to Heaven last year. Now I try to remember the three sayings, though I feel at a loss to say the "correct thing."

Before my husband's transition, I would bring a meal, send a card do something. Especially now, I know to give some flowers, bring a meal, send a card, telephone and say I am thinking of you. (For myself, I got tired of hearing, "If there is anything I can do for you, call me. His stage 4 cancer lasted 6 months, I did not know what we needed)

Sympathy cards that people took time to write what they remembered about my husband meant so much and there were very few that did write a memory. The most memorable were from the dentist's and doctor's office ! Also, a card shop I frequented, sent me another card many months later, saying I was still in their thoughts. It meant a lot to me.

In my opinion, even though you may have moved on, your boyfriend still lives in your heart. Be gentle with people Lily; I have found I am the one that is comforting the ones
that are trying to comfort me!
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Newport Beach, California
31,439 posts, read 18,451,347 times
Reputation: 12159
Quote:
Originally Posted by sera View Post

In my opinion, even though you may have moved on, your boyfriend still lives in your heart. Be gentle with people Lily; I have found I am the one that is comforting the ones
that are trying to comfort me!
well, I have been there done that. But sometimes, I still need to vent. Suicide grief is not regular grief. People don't view me the same as a "normal" widow. When people still ask me, "What did you say to him the day he killed himself? Gee, what did you do to him?" It is kind of hard to comfort others and why should I?
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
15,612 posts, read 9,671,076 times
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You are probably right, Lily, while the death of a loved one is never good, in the case of a suicide there must be additional issues to deal with. Things like, "Could I have prevented it? Why did they do it? Why didn't I see the signs? etc, etc." Those additional issues have to weigh heavily on the loved ones they leave behind and in some ways are so unfair of the person who died. They may be out of their pain but it creates new pain for their families. They say it is a personal choice, but it certainly does affect everyone they leave behind.

An ex GF found her Father dead in the basement , he had hanged himself. It changed her life forever and I can only imagine how the memories of that can be for someone. Hell, I even tear up when I think of a lost pet, so something like that must be devastating.

I hope time does help heal some of your pain, Lily. I know it must be rough.

Don
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:51 AM
 
2,890 posts, read 5,157,794 times
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People really don't know what to say about death, regardless of the cause. People stick with standard phrases. My most hated one is, "I'm sorry for your loss." It's not a set of keys that were misplaced - it was my friend, my parent, a person that I truly loved. But it still boils down to a loss of words. Their intention are good, so just accept that, in all their ineptness, they do care.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:59 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,287,097 times
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People rely on platitudes b/c they simply don't know what else to say. They think what they are saying will give you something to hold onto and mostly - they don't want you to feel you HAVE YOURSELF TO BLAME.

Folks can only imagine what it would feel like to have a loved one make that decision -- and they assume that they would feel angry at the deceased. They also assume they would somehow feel they had not "done all they could" or "been there in some way" or "let the deceased down" . . . so they assume that to some extent, those left behind blame themselves at least to a small degree.

So, people want to say something that imparts that they know you can "get through it" without holding yourself responsible for your loved one's death. Now, that may not be true in ALL cases, but it sure is typical (from what I have observed over a lifetime).

I don't know that this comes from a judgmental place . . .

Of course, for those who think suicide is a sin, they may be coming from that place . . . however, that still doesn't mean they aren't sincere in trying to comfort those left behind.

You are right - folks do not understand mental illness and unless they have dealt with deep depression and have considered ending their lives . . . they have no clue what it means to deal with that level of hopelessness.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,287,097 times
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Pastor Rick Warren talked about his son's suicide this last week or so . . . I don't know if there is anything here that might be of assistance . . . he is committed to helping erase the stigma of mental illness.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mNI1VVcP_8

How We're Getting Through
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:41 AM
 
4,750 posts, read 3,318,961 times
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Lily, what you're experiencing is emotionally devastating. Please remember that it is not your fault. Something that helps me is a journal where I right down how I was feeling that day. Every anniversary and birthday will be hard. Unfortunately, he couldn't take it anymore and decided that it's better for him to just exit the world. The comments that you hear from people is their way of being generous and sympathetic, even though their words hurts. Take it one day at a time. *here's a big long virtual hug*

I get sensitive and defensive when people try to be nice to me. I'm not talking about losing someone to suicide, but my battle with depression and eating disorders. I know they aren't the same thing, but I get annoyed when people say things like:

"Oh, your depressed? I've been depressed, too" (Usually they haven't, and if they have I don't care)
"Just eat in moderation" (I can't! I either starve or binge!)
"No one said life was fair/easy!" (*screams in anger*)
"Have you tried _____________?" (You think I haven't tried anything?)
"Do you feel like crying?" (No, I feel like making you cry.)
"Some people have worse things to deal with" (You think I care about other people?)
"You have to stop feeling sorry for yourself and move on!" (There is a chemical imbalance in my brain! I can't just move on!)
"Have you tried not being depressed?" (Again, it's a chemical imbalance. Even taking meds doesn't make me better. It just helps me function)


I like getting a really good tight hug and holding on for a few seconds. Then prefer for them to say something like:

"Let me know if you need to talk"
"Just remember that you are loved"
"I'm here for you"
"You're so important to me"
"Even though this may feel permanent, it's not. I'll be by your side as you get through this."
"I don't know what it's like to be depressed, but I'll listen to you."
"I can see how the pain is affecting you. Feel free to cry on my shoulder."

Last edited by Pinkmani; 07-30-2013 at 11:53 AM..
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:44 PM
 
1,263 posts, read 2,646,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyflower3191981 View Post
Fair or not fair, I am still struggling. Don't know how to cope with it.
If that's how you feel after 4 years (and he was an ex-boyfriend at the time?), then maybe you're subconsciously holding on to this depth of grief for other reasons. Honestly, your friends and relatives probably have multiple concerns for you at this point. You yourself say you are "struggling" and being "unfair" to the people around you...there is nothing your friends or relatives can do in the scenario you describe.

You should see a therapist and figure out if you are unintentionally replaying some other trauma in your life through the framework of this suicide. Therapy can help you find coping skills and salve multiple psychic wounds. Go with an open mind.

I wish you well.

Last edited by LOL_Whut; 07-30-2013 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:12 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,906,069 times
Reputation: 7531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkmani View Post
"Let me know if you need to talk"
"Just remember that you are loved"
"I'm here for you"
"You're so important to me"
"Even though this may feel permanent, it's not. I'll be by your side as you get through this."
"I don't know what it's like to be depressed, but I'll listen to you."
"I can see how the pain is affecting you. Feel free to cry on my shoulder."
I like all of these - if they are said with sincerity, I don't know what else could be expected. Lily, do any of these touch your heart at all?

I think everyone that posted is probably right - we on the outside are struggling to connect, struggling to do or say anything that might be helpful, when the truth is that there is nothing that will truly help other than to be there....and if you say you will be there, then do it....and don't wait on the grieving party to reach out and say "today I need you". I'm sure some days are worse than others, but I'm also pretty sure it's hard for the survivors to say "could you please drop your life and listen to me for a while?". If we are just there, whether it be daily or just from time to time, perhaps it will all come together and we will "be there" during a time of great emotional distress.

I think the hardest part to grieving is that it seems to go on interminably, but while I'm still raw and hurting, the rest of the world goes on and tends to business and life is whatever passes for normal outside my circle. That's always been bewildering to me - how I can experience a deep and profound loss to the point of being almost nonfunctional, but the rest of the world cuts their grass and runs carpool and goes on vacation.

If we on the outside say "I'm here for you", we need to either be prepared to be there or don't say it at all....and be prepared for whatever happens or whatever is said, be it the profound grief, anger, confusion, or just overwhelming sadness. I'm not saying the supporters have to have the answers, I'm just saying - don't promise to be a rock if you can't or won't be.

Thanks for the reminder, Lily and everyone else...."call me if you need me" seems to be thrown around a lot but not really, truly sincere - and I'd imagine the last thing someone who is grieving wants to do is pick up the phone and actually call. Maybe we as the supporters should be more proactive in caring for those we love who are going through a personal hell of their own.

That may not make sense - I know what I'm trying to say, but sometimes the words just don't come out very well.
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