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Old 11-24-2013, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Newport Beach, California
7,488 posts, read 3,362,696 times
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Default Have you been blamed for your loved one's death? If so, how do you cope with it?

I lost my late boyfriend almost five years ago to suicide. Long story short, one of his family member blamed me very harshly for his death because I was the last person spoken to him over the phone.

well, I understand that there will always be a stigma associated with the word suicide, I also understand that many survivors have been blamed for their loved ones' death.

Last week, I met a lady who lost her husband to a natural death. She has also been blamed for her husband's death. I guess the son and daughter blamed her because in their eyes, she should have taken the man for a second opinion.

I can understand why do some people blame others for their loved ones' death. They are lashing out because they are hurting. However, as a survivor, how do I deal with this? How do I cope with other people's blame?

It is the time of the year again, and here I am, once again, have to deal with the empty chair in the house, a permanent loss in my heart. Have you been blamed for your loved one's death, if so, how do you cope with it especially during holiday season?

Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,031 posts, read 2,453,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyflower3191981 View Post
I lost my late boyfriend almost five years ago to suicide. Long story short, one of his family member blamed me very harshly for his death because I was the last person spoken to him over the phone.

well, I understand that there will always be a stigma associated with the word suicide, I also understand that many survivors have been blamed for their loved ones' death.

Last week, I met a lady who lost her husband to a natural death. She has also been blamed for her husband's death. I guess the son and daughter blamed her because in their eyes, she should have taken the man for a second opinion.

I can understand why do some people blame others for their loved ones' death. They are lashing out because they are hurting. However, as a survivor, how do I deal with this? How do I cope with other people's blame?

It is the time of the year again, and here I am, once again, have to deal with the empty chair in the house, a permanent loss in my heart. Have you been blamed for your loved one's death, if so, how do you cope with it especially during holiday season?

Thanks.
Sorry that you were blamed for your boyfriend's death. (By one of his family members.)...No one has blamed me for the deaths in my family. But I've had regrets (at times) and blamed myself for certain things...I won't let myself stay in the "blame mode" forever and ever. (Because it just isn't healthy!)...I agree with what you wrote. I think people who get caught-up in blame are "hurting." And they need a "target" or "scapegoat" for their anger...Your boyfriend's death isn't your fault. And you don't deserve to be "persecuted."
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:25 PM
 
Location: southern california
47,963 posts, read 43,402,587 times
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by carefully reviewing the past and seeing the untold efforts u made to prevent it.
be fair to yourself and others.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:57 PM
 
420 posts, read 180,467 times
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The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929


One day when I was feeling bad, my mom read me a poem by William Blake to make me feel better. I used to tell her it was like a Scarlet Letter from one man to another. Below is the "Poison Tree" It was always a poem that gave me great peace and used to put a smile on my face.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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It was a long time ago, 1985. I was 23 years old. I was apsolutely crazy in love with my boyfriend, who was 31. We were together for 4 years. We were living together three weeks after we met, and broke up alot. It always tore me apart. I was the one who had to move out, the apt was his. Then we would always get back together a few weeks later.
After the third time I had to move out, we got a place together, and I told him if he wanted to seperate again it was him that would go.
And he did, a year later this time. We still talked every day, and one day he stopped by to see me while on a work break, I was getting ready to go to a party with friends later. He was very upset, sad, begging me to not go, and to see him later.
I thought this was the usual way, get back together,...break up,...so although it hurt me to see him nearly crying I told him I was going to go to the party, and I would see him tomorrow, we could talk then.
When my friends pulled up to drop me off at my apt, I had a weird feeling all the sudden, and I saw his car a few spaces up, I told them to wait a bit.
As I walked up to the front door, I opened the screen, and there was my journal, between the screen and front door.
At first I was weirded out because, we both kept journals, and we would do alot of things to upset each other, but never had either of us read the others..ever.
I didn't open the door, I went back to the car, and spent the night at my friends.
The next morning, Sunday, Mother's Day, I woke up feeling so sad, and I just wanted to speak to him, and to be with him, I really missed him alot.
I called his mothers house, where he had been staying, since I had been the one to keep the apt.
She never liked me, why?? I never knew. When she answered the phone I asked her if I could speak to him.
She said "He's dead."
Of course I thought, jeez...why is she so mean to me?
I said"are you kidding?"
She said "I wouldn't kid about a thing like that", and she hung up.
I don't know why it just didn't register that she was telling the truth, I went home, and nothing looked messed up, or missing, and I went to her house, just a few blocks away.
After knocking on the door for awhile, a neighbor saw me, she told me yes, there had been a body taken out of the house early in the morning.
Eventually I called my mother, so she would make calls to find out, and it was true.
He had killed himself.
I really don't remember the next day or so, I do remember going to the funeral, with my brother and my sister, but they stopped me at the door, and would not allow me in.

So it's nearly 30 years later, I have never got over this, I still think of him every day, and I never got answers to why everyone blamed me.
I have heard rumors that he left a note, I would do just about anything to read that, I still can't grasp what happened?
You can say of course its no way your fault, and its not, I know this. But it doesn't change anything.
It ruined my life, I can't stay in a relationship, as soon as they even begin to act like I mean anything to them, I have to get away , I guess I fear being responsible for anyone elses feelings.
Im mad at them, very mad inside, and I think they are horrible people for blaming a 23 year old girl for such a thing.
Why was this break-up any different from the others?
Was he in the apt when I stopped and saw my journal ?
If I would have went inside, what would have happened, would I have been able to stop this?
Why did he leave the journal at the door?
I have alot of questions, and I will never have the answers.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,515 posts, read 40,003,623 times
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CHALKTIQUE: they blamed you b/c your relationship with him was so volatile and they felt that if you had been a more stable person (without all the fighting, break ups, etc) he wouldn't have been so upset for years over his relationship with you. It sounds as though he had chronic depression issues that went untreated. If they had focused on THAT, instead of blaming you, that would mean that they should have intervened and helped him seek help.

So it didn't fit their own feelings of guilt and loss to take the burden onto themselves . . . but it fit nicely to put it all on your shoulders.

Suicide is never one person's "fault" . . . including the person who completes suicide. Suicide is an act of desperation to stop the pain and the pain is internal. A person who successfully completes suicide (professionals no longer use the term "commit suicide" btw) makes a decision to do so and then follows through because at that moment, they felt this was the only choice they had. It is completely impossible for anyone to understand the depths of hopelessness a suicidal person feels at the moment they decide to make that decision to exit the world.

Although it is understandable that this has haunted you on some level, you should seek counseling in order to put a situation at 23 in perspective and allow you to move on with your life. You state that this has impacted your entire life and it is evident you blame your boyfriend's family for causing you to have a lifetime of relationship issues . . . but that is not fair, either. No one else can be blamed for how you process information, how you develop coping skills and what impact one event has on how you relate to others for decades into the future.

For your own future, you need to resolve these issues with a professional therapist rather than allowing this to affect the years you have ahead of you. I say this only out of concern and in no way criticizing you. I know this was a traumatic event.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of SW MO
18,301 posts, read 14,442,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
CHALKTIQUE: they blamed you b/c your relationship with him was so volatile and they felt that if you had been a more stable person (without all the fighting, break ups, etc) he wouldn't have been so upset for years over his relationship with you. It sounds as though he had chronic depression issues that went untreated. If they had focused on THAT, instead of blaming you, that would mean that they should have intervened and helped him seek help.

So it didn't fit their own feelings of guilt and loss to take the burden onto themselves . . . but it fit nicely to put it all on your shoulders.

Suicide is never one person's "fault" . . . including the person who completes suicide. Suicide is an act of desperation to stop the pain and the pain is internal. A person who successfully completes suicide (professionals no longer use the term "commit suicide" btw) makes a decision to do so and then follows through because at that moment, they felt this was the only choice they had. It is completely impossible for anyone to understand the depths of hopelessness a suicidal person feels at the moment they decide to make that decision to exit the world.

Although it is understandable that this has haunted you on some level, you should seek counseling in order to put a situation at 23 in perspective and allow you to move on with your life. You state that this has impacted your entire life and it is evident you blame your boyfriend's family for causing you to have a lifetime of relationship issues . . . but that is not fair, either. No one else can be blamed for how you process information, how you develop coping skills and what impact one event has on how you relate to others for decades into the future.

For your own future, you need to resolve these issues with a professional therapist rather than allowing this to affect the years you have ahead of you. I say this only out of concern and in no way criticizing you. I know this was a traumatic event.
Quite right and good advice as always. This is a perfect example of the fact that guilt is a gift only you can give yourself. That's especially true in cases like this where it is totally unwarranted. None of us are responsible for how another feels because of the way they process information. That the boyfriend's manner of dealing with his emotions was to take his own life is not and never has been Chalktique's fault yet she's blamed herself for almost 30 years and stifled her life in the process.

In the end, suicide is a lone and selfish act and that's especially true in cases like this. Boyfriends struck at Chalktique in a very ugly manner and it worked. It's permeated her life, colored all subsequent relationships and in the end left her sad, vulnerable and in need of a great deal of professional help. That's neither loving nor caring. Rather, while certainly unfortunate, it's also small and mean. He committed a horrendous and desperate act to get back at Chalktique for what; for not putting her life on hold for him in that brief moment and succeeded. Her life's been on hold ever since.

I find it all very sad
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Newport Beach, California
7,488 posts, read 3,362,696 times
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On top of all the grief that people experience after a "conventional" death, suicide survivors must walk a gauntlet of guilt, confusion, and emotional turmoil that is in many ways unique to survivors of suicide.
I have learned a long time ago that suicide grief is like no others.

Society still attaches a stigma to suicide, and it is largely misunderstood. While mourners usually receive sympathy and compassion, the suicide survivor may encounter blame, judgment, or exclusion.

The moment my late boyfriend chose to hang himself, part of fate is already sealed. Ignorant people will always blame me for having something to do with his death. After all I was the last person talking with him over the phone. I should have spotted the suicide warning signs. If onlys, what ifs. I have replayed that day on my mind so many times.

Well, I have been on this journey for almost five years. I can honestly say that I got through it. I don't know how, but other people's blame no longer bothers me. I can love again and laugh again without much guilt. There is a life after loved one's suicide.

I received an angry email right before Christmas from a family member of his, but I could be able to reply that email very calmly. well I pity the family member because obviously that person was still in such a dark place. But my loved one's suicide has nothing to do with me. All i have to do is remember how much we have loved. Life does go on.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
34,515 posts, read 40,003,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyflower3191981 View Post
On top of all the grief that people experience after a "conventional" death, suicide survivors must walk a gauntlet of guilt, confusion, and emotional turmoil that is in many ways unique to survivors of suicide.
I have learned a long time ago that suicide grief is like no others.

Society still attaches a stigma to suicide, and it is largely misunderstood. While mourners usually receive sympathy and compassion, the suicide survivor may encounter blame, judgment, or exclusion.

The moment my late boyfriend chose to hang himself, part of fate is already sealed. Ignorant people will always blame me for having something to do with his death. After all I was the last person talking with him over the phone. I should have spotted the suicide warning signs. If onlys, what ifs. I have replayed that day on my mind so many times.

Well, I have been on this journey for almost five years. I can honestly say that I got through it. I don't know how, but other people's blame no longer bothers me. I can love again and laugh again without much guilt. There is a life after loved one's suicide.

I received an angry email right before Christmas from a family member of his, but I could be able to reply that email very calmly. well I pity the family member because obviously that person was still in such a dark place. But my loved one's suicide has nothing to do with me. All i have to do is remember how much we have loved. Life does go on.
Blessings to you, Lilyflower. Always stand within your truth.

People struggle to explain a suicide and the easy way out is to assign blame to someone else other than the deceased. The saddest part of this is that assigning blame is non-productive towards healing. My personal observation is that if someone close to the deceased is experiencing feelings of guilt about actions they should have taken (an intervention, or seeking professional help) they will often try to alleviate those feelings by placing "blame" on someone else. When you know you did what you could, the questions may remain--the what ifs, the whys--but there should be no guilt and no need to assign blame.

Getting past the anger towards the deceased can also be life-altering, as the act of suicide leaves others with questions about how much the deceased "valued" the relationship. Many times, we think-if he/she truly loved me, how could they leave me this way? That is why counseling can be so very important, to help those left behind come to some level of understanding about the nature of suicidal depression and how the brain is not functioning properly when a person is this severely depressed.

I know getting that email had to be difficult but I commend you for being able to separate yourself from the struggle the writer is still having. I hope that person will come to a better understanding about the nature of the act of suicide, and no longer feel the need to blame others. Healing can't begin when holding on to that much misdirected anger.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Taxachusetts
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Good for you, lilyflower. May you and your SO have a wonderful New Year and keep going forward.
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