Suicide. It’s unexpected and it’s harsh. Something we have to talk about behind closed doors, we can’t let the rest of the world know the truth of a death by suicide. How would look? What would people say? What would they think of us? Sadly, this is how people view suicide. I realise that suicide is taboo in many cultures and religions, in fact in a lot of places it is also illegal. I guess that’s why we aren’t honest about it.
A few years back someone I love took his own life. With his life went so much more than just him. The family were very quick to cover up the true facts of what happened and called it an accident. We all have to play our part and keep the secret. Hush, don’t tell anyone. So, to this day those of us who know what happened carry this burden of keeping a lie alive.
When someone takes their own life, they leave behind so many unanswered questions, so much guilt and so much pain. I am filled with “What ifs”, If onlys” and the big question Why. What did I do wrong? Why didn’t I see it coming? Was I not paying attention? Did he say or do something that I should have noticed and taken seriously? He’s gone, but I am left with the guilt, the pain and the questions. We all are, if we are honest with ourselves.
The only people who can really understand what I deal with are those who knew him and loved him. Yet, they are the ones who deny what happened, who call it an accident. I don’t know if that’s truly what they believe or if that’s what they are trying to believe. Unfortunately, the very people I need to talk to and share my grief with are those who deny the facts. They are the ones who know how much you meant to me.
I often wonder if by lying about the way he died are we not dishonouring him? And if we are, doesn’t that mean that we are also dishonouring his life? There was something in his life that led him to end it way he did and by lying about his death we are denying that part of his life. Would it not be better to be open about it and try and understand the Why? By doing that we might be able to help someone else to overcome the same problems. We could be saving a life. We could be learning from it.
I know I will never forgive myself nor forget what happened. How can I forgive myself when I don’t know what I did wrong? Logically I know it wasn’t me, but emotionally I will always hold myself responsible for what happened. Admittedly it doesn’t help that someone did blame me for it. I’ve been for therapy, I’ve talked it out but the scars remain, the pain remains and worst of all the guilt remains.
How do you get people to understand the guilt you feel if it was an accident? After all, an accident is blame free.
Why can’t we be open about suicide? Think, if it was acceptable and not taboo, just like any other death, how maybe those left behind might be able to cope better with their grief and guilt. How they could honour the death of a loved one instead of having to pretend.
I’m not angry at what you did, I’m angry at what I didn’t do. I ask your forgiveness for failing you in your time of need. You will always be in my heart. Until we meet again be at peace. I love you.