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  1. #1
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    Mar. 10, 2009
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    Default Suicide. Has it touched your family?

    Two years ago, on July 31, 2008, my 38 year old sister hanged herself. Her husband, who absolutely adored her, was the one to find her.
    While the shock has long ago worn off, I find I miss her more and more as the days pass. There are SO many things I want to share with her. She really was my best friend.
    It never stops hurting, I've found. You go on, and life is not one long depressed string of days, but it still smarts.

    We sort of know why she did it. She was a fragile diabetic, and the last five or six years prior to her death had been one diabetes-related problem after another, culminating in renal failure a couple of months before she killed herself. She was on home dialysis, all night, every night, and they had started work on getting her onto a transplant list. But even transplant is iffy at best - I didn't know until then that there's still a high failure rate of kidney transplants. Assuming, of course, that a donor can be found. T
    There were other factors at work. She was a total perfectionist who always put everyone else ahead of her, and that does cause its share of anxiety. She worried constantly that her health problems were a drain on everyone, particularly her husband, though he married her knowing full well the extent of her diabetes and he never. Once. Complained or resented her for it.

    I don't know why I am making this thread. I guess I'm just wanting to make some connection with someone else who's had a similar experience? My mom and I tried going to support groups, but for some reason we were always the only ones there.



  2. #2
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    I don't know, seems like she could not bear the pain anymore, putting things on her terms.

    I lost my sister 2 years ago to cancer. Though we were never really close I, too, fin I miss her at every turn.

    Many times I see something I know she would have liked - or at least I think so, we had very different tastes.

    She loved Gone with the Wind, her all time favorite movie, so any time I see something about that, it gets to me.

    They say 2 years is about the time it taks to come to terms with the loss, true, but the hole is always there, even with thousands of miles and lightyears of differences between 2 people, it is so final, it hurts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2003
    Location
    ontario
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    285

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    My cousin commit suicide because she could not face the idea of having a colostomy bag. Her friends tried to stop her & thought they had her convinced & she was going to lie down for a nap. Unfortuantly she was not convinced.
    "Marty, Quarter Horse Extraordinaire, Most Pleasant Packer, Companion To The End. May his suffering be little, his passing be easy and may we find each other again, drawn by love and kindred spirit."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2007
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    1,013

    Default

    A year ago (August 22, 2009) a friend of mine jumped from a bridge. He was three weeks short of his 21st birthday.

    I know what you mean when you say it never goes away. It gets easier, or it has for me; I can think of him happily and remember the (innumerable) wonderful things about him-- but it's never gone. Sometimes I get struck by certain numbers: the day when he will have been gone longer than I knew him alive; the fact that I'll turn 21 in less than two months and then I'll be older than he ever was, even though he was born a year ahead of me.

    It sucks. Suicide hurts in a way that nothing else does. Other friends have died, and while I've grieved for them and missed them, it's never hurt this badly. It is a bewildering, nauseous, terrifying kind of pain.

    One year later and I still can't cross that bridge without tears, but it's gotten easier, and I know that with more time it will continue to get easier. It takes work, but there is something very peaceful about the first time you can look at a picture and laugh instead of cry, or the first time you realize a few days have gone by without being sad.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, and sincerely hope you and all of her family are continuing to move forward. My friend's roommate had to identify his body, and from hearing about his experience, I feel very deeply for your sister's husband. I'm not the religious type, but you're all in my thoughts and well wishes.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2006
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    where the sun don't shine
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    My very good friend committed suicide the night of March 23rd of this year. Not family, but close enough. I miss her more every day than the one before.

    She hung herself as well. She had suffered from depression for as long as I'd known her, but never to the point of being suicidal until the last year. We went to University together, rode together, and had the same circle of friends. She was 26, beautiful, insanely smart and the kindest person you could ever meet. She came from a good family, was in Nursing school and seemingly had a great life but obviously had very dark demons she told no one about. She had been in and out of the hospital over the last year for a few attempted suicides, but no one thought she'd actually do it and she'd been in "remission" if you can call it that for ~9 months with no attempts. We were wrong.

    I saw her three days prior to her death for my bridal shower and she was telling me about the paper and finals she had to write that week. She had 3 friends and a brother getting married this year, and a million people who would do anything to make her better. I miss her SO much and wish she knew how many people who loved her that she left behind. But even if she did, I don't think there was anything stopping her.



  6. #6
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    Feb. 3, 2010
    Posts
    403

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    My grandmother Johanna committed suicide when my Dad was a baby. They lived in the Netherlands and it was during the war. My grandfather had gone to hide their Jewish neighbors underground. She suffered from postpartum depression. My Dad never has been able to get over the loss of his Mother. The people who leaves us in this way never realize the pain never ends.



  7. #7
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    I am so sorry for all of you. I've had a number of friends and one family member commit suicide, it is so hard to come to terms with.

    I really can understand tho' when someone is in chronic pain (mental or physical) or terminally ill and they choose to end their life.

    It's just a horrible situation with no winners, that's for sure.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    970

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    my father-in-law. 10 years ago, and the anniversary is coming up. VERY tough on his 2 kids, missed both weddings and countless more moments. he was facing retirement, and a very tough situation in his (second) marriage. so heart-breaking that he could not reach out for any help and seems to have felt he had no options.



  9. #9
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    Dec. 1, 2006
    Posts
    434

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    My first cousin, who was four years older than me and the object of my MAD crush as a teenager, shot and killed himself several years ago. He had a long history of depression, along with issues with an asshat father who was... challenging.

    Carl, I miss you.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 10, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    I am so sorry for all of you. I've had a number of friends and one family member commit suicide, it is so hard to come to terms with.

    I really can understand tho' when someone is in chronic pain (mental or physical) or terminally ill and they choose to end their life.

    It's just a horrible situation with no winners, that's for sure.
    That's one thing - with the exception of my paternal grandmother, who is still angry with my sister, no one has EVER "blamed" her for choosing to do what she did. Yes, we miss her terribly, and wish she were still with us. But going through what she did -
    -early menopause, at 35, complete with its companion osteoporosis
    -A broken foot that wouldn't heal
    -A near-miss with possible amputation for an ulcerated toe.
    -She couldn't be left alone when her husband traveled for work. She had a friend that would stay with her, or my mom would fly up to stay. No one minded, but my sis felt like she was inconveniencing everyone.

    She had made one attempt, a year earlier, but had gotten therapy and been put on Lexapro, and really rallied for a while. The last time I had seen her was Christmas '07, and she looked FANTASTIC. I really think she felt great then, as well. When the kidney trouble happened - it was just too much. We were all worried she might become suicidal again. But she was smart, and knew how to hide all the usual warning signs.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    One of my friends from college did just over 5 years ago. I only knew him for a relatively short time (about 2 years) but we became close very fast, and at one point semi-romantically involved, though that didn't last long. He was brilliant, a shining light. He was kind to every person he met and would go out of his way to help anyone in need. I didn't know until after I found out about the suicide that about 7 months prior to his death he started suffering from bipolar disorder. We had multiple classes together the 3 semesters before that where I saw him multiple days per week, but that last semester I didn't see him much. I had no idea how much he was suffering, and for some time after his death I felt a lot of guilt, the "what if I had known and could have done something". But now I know that there probably was nothing I could have done. His family knew, and supported him in every way possible.

    He was supposed to be hospitalized the weekend he killed himself, but was to be in his cousin's wedding so they decided to wait until after the wedding. Too late. His poor mother found him...It was awful, the gut wrenching pain and guilt for months after I found out. I would wake up some nights sobbing after having dreams of him. Now, it has been longer since he passed than the time that I knew him. I hate to admit that while I remember who he was, and all of the fun times we had together, I know I don't remember everything about him. I forget his voice..I forget some of his interests...but never how I felt around him. I guess I'll stop rambling.

    He was not a family member, so I don't think the pain (intensity or length) is comparable, but there are plenty of times I still miss him. Especially when certain songs come on the radio (#1 Kenny Chesney "Who you'd be today"). There are hard times, but it does get easier with time. So sorry to everyone else who has lost a loved one this way.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2007
    Location
    Jasper, GA
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    2,148

    Default

    My best friend died of cervical cancer in 1992.

    My gorgeous, beautiful and smart nephew blew his brains out with a shotgun at age 22 because he got a DUI and so his girl friend left him. This was in 1993. He was about ten years younger than me. My sister NEVER has recovered completely. She carries on, cause that is what us Brits do but such sadness. She was divorced at the time.

    My sister (not my nephew's mother) died in 1994 of lung cancer. She was 51 years old.

    Since then, both of my parents and just about all my aunts and uncles have died (except one aunt out of seven aunts/uncles). To put it into perspective, my parents had me when they were forty -and I am almost fifty now. So, they were all much older.
    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s



  13. #13
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    Feb. 16, 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
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    825

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    My first cousin shot himself two years ago. He was 25.

    When I first got a call from my mother telling me that he had shot himself, I didn't understand what she meant. I thought perhaps it was a hunting accident. I had no idea my cousin was suicidal. At first I was just incredibly numb. It seemed almost surreal. It wasn't real for me until I was at the memorial service and there was the casket. That's when it hit me. I crumpled and started bawling.

    His suicide was stupid, short-sighted and selfish. I am still incredibly angry at him for it. It's just easier for me to pretend like it didn't happen.

    I grieved over it and I do think about him. But it's pointless to ask "why" and try to rationalize it. I'm not going to forget my cousin but I just make myself upset thinking about it so I prefer not to.

    My cousin was an organ donor and he saved the lives of several people in his death. It also made me never take for granted when someone says they want to kill themselves. I didn't know about my cousins intentions, but his close friends did and they never said anything to anyone in the family.

    It's such a shame that people let their situations mire them down to the point of not wanting to live. Life isn't perfect but in most circumstances there is nobody or no thing worth killing yourself over.

    My cousin killed himself over a sense of helplessness. He had a struggling business and was in debt. He was also desperate to find love. He also had a huge chip on his shoulder.



  14. #14
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    Feb. 16, 2010
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    825

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    I don't know why I am making this thread. I guess I'm just wanting to make some connection with someone else who's had a similar experience? My mom and I tried going to support groups, but for some reason we were always the only ones there.
    We don't all handle pain the same way. Like I wrote above, with my cousin's suicide I prefer not to think about it. I think if my female cousin (who is as close to a sister as I will ever get) were to kill herself or die of something else I would have to be scraped off the floor with a spatula. Loosing a sister is heart breaking, especially if you two were close.

    I know one thing that was nice at the funeral and memorial service was to talk about happy things, funny stories and laugh. It's so sad, but laughing really made those two events bearable.

    Pretty much none in my family talks about my cousin now. While I don't like to think about his death, I wouldn't mind hearing about him. It's not taboo. I'm such a hypocrite because I say I don't want to think about him but on the other hand I'm annoyed my family doesn't ever talk about him.



  15. #15
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    Nov. 8, 2005
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    NC
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    There was a related thread last OT day. There is a lot of support to be derived from looking back. Some of us just lack the energy to repost now.
    "Things should be as simple as possible,
    but no simpler." - Einstein

    “So what’s up with years of lessons? You still can’t ride a damn horse?!”



  16. #16
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    Apr. 20, 2004
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    My heart goes out to all the survivors of suicide. God bless.......
    Last edited by yankeeclipper; Sep. 4, 2010 at 09:55 AM.
    \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup



  17. #17
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    Aug. 14, 2000
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    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
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    Unless the person is mentally ill, I think suicide takes an enormous amount of courage. IMO, it is not a terrible ending for a life that has become not worth living. Death is as much a part of life as birth. Many cultures have celebrated the honorable end to life.

    If the person IS mentally ill, then she/he needed treatment. Suicide, like all death, is much harder on the people left behind.

    And I do know of what I speak.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  18. #18
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    Feb. 26, 2007
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    454

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    I don't believe suicide is a selfish act. For those of us who have not experienced debilitating chronic illness or severe depression, it is hard to understand the personal hell they may be living in. I feel great empathy for the sufferers and the loved ones affected by their illnesses. Perhaps they feel by ending their lives, the one selfless act they can do is end the burden they feel they are putting on their loved ones. Although your pain is now so real, perhaps you can take comfort that your loved one is now at peace. The pain of losing a loved one does not go away, however, as time passes, it is not so severe. I lost a baby 16 years ago and the sorrow is still there but I do experience great happiness in my everyday life. My heart goes out to you and your family and all those affected by the loss of a loved one.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 28, 2008
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adamantane View Post
    There was a related thread last OT day. There is a lot of support to be derived from looking back. Some of us just lack the energy to repost now.
    Couldn't have said it better. But, I am in awe of how many have gone through this. How I wish I'd been on this board the two times my life was so affected by loved ones taking their lives.

    OP, I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister. I think in a sense we are lucky; I also never had to ask 'why....', if you are at peace with the 'why' and the concept that VineyRidge articulates; then I think it is possible to treasure the good memories and move on in a way that those with unanswered questions find much harder to do.

    I hope you have found the support you are looking for in this thread. If you are looking for support, please do PM one of us - sadly there are many of us here who understand.



  20. #20
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    Mar. 10, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doodlebug1 View Post
    Couldn't have said it better. But, I am in awe of how many have gone through this. How I wish I'd been on this board the two times my life was so affected by loved ones taking their lives.

    OP, I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister. I think in a sense we are lucky; I also never had to ask 'why....', if you are at peace with the 'why' and the concept that VineyRidge articulates; then I think it is possible to treasure the good memories and move on in a way that those with unanswered questions find much harder to do.

    I hope you have found the support you are looking for in this thread. If you are looking for support, please do PM one of us - sadly there are many of us here who understand.
    Thank you. I'm starting to come to terms with the permanence - I think it does take a while for that to really become tangible.

    Yes, it was in a sense less distressing to not have to ask "why". We knew why. And no one thinks it was selfish of her (save for the one grandmother, but she has to deal with it on her own terms). I mean, there's a big empty spot in our lives, but how much should we expect someone to endure just so that we can keep them around?



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