Why are suicides blamed?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by birders, Sep 11, 2012.

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  1. birders

    birders Member

    I sometimes feel intensely suicidal following the death of my beloved wife last May and things become more desperate every day without her. It is only what's left of my shaky religious faith which is keeping me alive in the hope that we will be together again one day.

    What disturbs me is the attitude of those who criticise the suicidal. If all goes wrong I have written letters to our sons explaining very carefully why what happened did happen and I am sure that they would understand. They are well aware of the intense love which my wife and I shared but I explained that carefully too. Given that, why would they blame themselves if I did choose to call it a day? There is nothing that they could do, short of being with me 24 hrs/day. Unless there is a major problem with a relationship where guilt comes into the equation I don't think the family/ relatives/ friends should take any blame. My wife and I were very happy with just ourselves and had very few friends so only close family know how we lived.
  2. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    My son died by suicide. It has left my heart barren and my life empty forever more. I can't change that feeling, the one that I loved is gone. I understand that you loved and miss your wife, but I can understand completely how your son's would feel after if you did such a thing. You say that they would understand, and perhaps they would, but that understanding would not fill the emptiness your actions would create within their hearts. You loved your wife. Do you love your son's too? Why would you want to leave THEM?
  3. birders

    birders Member

    Yes, I love our sons and grandchildren but my love for my wife is greater than any known thing on this earth and I would swap anything to be back with my wife.
  4. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    That isn't possible, but your children and grand children are in the here and now and you can be with them. I would find it hard to believe that your wife would have wanted you to hurt her children in such a manner. Your day will come, just as did her own, but your children and grand children need to be cared about too.
  5. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    hello birders.. yes i do understand how much it affects entire life losing your dear wife in may. but i do not believe in suicide.. understand how other people do though.. perhaps death does not reivive that life together so maybe the life you have now is all there is and ever will be.. do what you can for you adn your kids now..

    lots of other good people on here that have had losses that hurt some daily.. take a look at loved and loss forum to hear their stories and lives.. sorry to be a downer ehre birders..
  6. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    :hug: I'm so sorry for your loss, birders.

    Depression and feeling suicidal tend to block out our ability to think of a good future - we can get tunnel-visioned so that we can see only the pain we're in, losing sight of the fact that the pain will over time settle down and life will begin to be ok (different, but ok) again.

    Grieving for a lost loved one is a hard spot to be in. You could keep the love you shared with your wife alive and honor her memory and her life by staying alive now yourself. She would not want you to die now. Live so that her memory also lives. It sounds like it was a wonderful relationship. I'm sure she would want you to continue living so that you can be there for your sons and grandchildren and teach them to find the sort of love you shared with your wife. Keep it alive by staying alive, hmmm?

    Know that I'm thinking of you. I'm sure these are hard days. Feel free to PM me or to post. There are others here who have lost loved ones. By sharing and talking and allowing yourself time to grieve, you will find out how to keep going. :hug:
  7. birders

    birders Member

    I think the difference may lay in the circumstances. An ex-colleague of mine, late 20s, went home from work one day and found that his young wife had killed herself. No reason given and my colleague had no idea what could have caused her to do it. I can well understand what he went through.

    On the other hand... if an elderly person who was utterly devoted to their spouse explained everything to their relatives and then took an overdose I think the relatives would appreciate that the relative had been "reunited" with their spouse and maybe even happy for them.

    I don't wish to discuss this too far as I am unlikely to do anything serious... but it reminds me somewhat of the "advice" one receives in bereavement. I've been through a great deal in the last 4 months from people who honestly think they are helping but are, in reality, causing great pain. The only people who really appreciate how a bereaved person feels are those in a similar situation. For that reason, I derive more comfort from those I meet at the churchyard than I have done from the three counsellors I have seen.

    Thanks to all for your support, which is greatly appreciated.
  8. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    I lost a CHILD... Nobody understands bereavement better than I do. I know one thing for certain, my son would not wish for me to take my own life. I am sorry for your loss, I understand loss very well. I hope that you find an answer and solution to your grief. I work every day to do the same for myself, while still being here for the rest of my loved ones.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2012
  9. birders

    birders Member

    I lost my WIFE, the most important person in my whole life for 48 years.

    I don't wish to cause grief; there's enough about already, so I won't contribute to this thread any more.
  10. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    IMO, there is really no way to compare "pain" of any kind because pain is always subjective - the degree/depth, what it feels like, what it means to the person in pain - all subjective. The important thing here is that we acknowledge and accept the statement of pain that has brought someone to this forum for some reason.

    I'm so sorry for both your losses. Devastating to each of you, I know. I hope that you both can share here and find support so you can get through your grief. Many hugs to both of you. :arms:
  11. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    Brendan, hi - you may not even read this (as you say you're not contributing any more), and I'm so pleased to read that you do not plan on carrying out your thoughts in your very understandable grief and pain. But I would say, from someone completely objective to your situation, that, as understandable as it is that you wish to be reunited with the love you enjoyed for 48 years, your mind is longing to still be with her even to thinking of trying to organise this yourself. But there are some serious cautions here you must consider some of which have already been said - another one being that we can have absolutely no control what happens to our exact whereabouts after death - we are not supposed to know just for this reason that we would try to take things into our own hands in an area where we don't have the power to bring the desired effect out of self-managed causes.

    Your wife lives on in your family's DNA, their features and their thoughts about having grown up in such a loving, stable family with parents who adored each other. This is what can continue on, in honour of her precious memory - and as you do this, your thoughts about where she is can be directed to the prospect of her still loving you from where she is now, and you will receive your strength this way, knowing you are still doing your very best for your children and grandchildren who will not need to carry a burden in their psyche that it can be a worthy option to meet life's horrid trials with suicide. That is why there is blame attached to it hun, because of the legacy it leaves - even if well explained. Our explanations will not overwrite the legacy of the action. I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but its reality when we live in community. You have the opportunity now to help guide your family to strength and positive ways of meeting trials :)
  12. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    My Mom is dying of cancer. She and my Dad have spent their whole lives together--grew up on neighbouring farms, went to the same school, married each other young and have been happily married for 53 years. My 78 year old Dad has been utterly devoted to caring for her throughout her fight against cancer for 21/2 years. When she doesn't want to fight any more, he begs her to fight on for him. It wouldn't surprise me if they died within six months of each other, maybe him first with all the stress he's under. He may have just had a small stroke and has to go for an MRI. But if either of them chose to suicide after the other's death, I would totally understand. They've been completely inseparable since they retired with no close friends just as the OP describes his marriage. They had a number of aquaintances they hung out with, but since my Mom got sick those people have vanished and they have only each other and their kids who aren't really close to them either.

    I'd like to know how any of you know that his kids wouldn't understand.

    Not that I think you should kill yourself. I think you should do all the same things anybody else who has suffered a terrible loss and is suicidally depressed would do. Try some antidepressants. Try getting out and socializing, exercising, eating right, engaging in work, hobbies, life etc. and see if you feel better in a year's time. Some people can be amazingly resilient, bouncing back from the worst personal tragedies and finding meaning in living.

    And people who claim a special, higher order of grief because they lost someone by suicide are both victims of stigma and contributing to the stigma of mental illness and suicide. Better to accept that the person lost their battle with an illness, the same as any other possibly fatal illness. This is the only way stigma will be banished.
    To say that the person left you is to suggest they did a grievance to you rather than understanding that they were ill. But perhaps they got that all the time when they were alive as well, blamed for their illness and the problems it caused other people, instead of getting understanding, support and sympathy as anyone else with an illness would get. So why stop after they're gone?

    I guess, that's my answer to your question. People get blamed because of the stigma of mental illness. People can't accept that it's an illness that can be fatal and instead blame the person for dying of their disease.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2012
  13. birders

    birders Member

    Thank you AlienBieng. Very wise words...
  14. BlueBelle

    BlueBelle New Member

    Birders. I completely understand and my heart goes out to you. I am not married. Probably never will be. But I love my parents so much it hurts. I am so close to them. I can not imagine living in a world without them. So I totally plan to go with them. I'd love to go before them, but none of my other siblings would take care of them so I stay on, despite how much I despise my life and want to end it. I stay because I love them and care for them. But after that, there is nothing here for me. I am so sorry for your grief. Losing your greatest love (whether mate or parent or child) must be the greatest pain imaginable. I am so, so sorry for your loss.
  15. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    Thankfully that concept is not accepted in the world of suicide prevention and awareness. Extreme grieving due to a PREVENTABLE death is not the same as blaming the individual and it is ignorant to imply that it is. Suicide should not be promote as being somehow acceptable. It is not. It is understood that it is a disease and that the individual is not to blame, but with that said... those who care must all work hard to reduce suicides by education, awareness, and by implementation of preventative actions; that is how the stigma will be banished. Suicide is NOT the same as any other possibly fatal illness.

    That's insulting and it is exactly why you're wrong and that the true way to remove the stigma is as explained above; through education, awareness, and implementation of preventative actions. Accepting it is NOT an acceptable method toward a cure.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2012
  16. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    That's like saying we can't accept deaths from cancer because they are treatable with chemotherapy. Some may be treatable, but not all will survive. To suggest that all mental illness and all deaths from it are currently treatable and preventable is just ignorant. I have severe, treatment resistant depression and have tried everything there is to try and am at a huge risk for death from it. I have a possibly fatal illness and my death may not be preventable, no matter how much they try to treat it. And to somehow suggest that I am leaving people and hurting them by taking my own life is just not recognising the pain and severity of the illness. It's suggesting that I should live in agony so that other people don't hurt or I'm doing something immoral and wrong. That's just insulting to me and everyone who lives with the agony of severe mental illness. Education, awareness and preventative actions? They do nothing for me and my incurable pain. It's only when people come to accept that suicide is part of a sometimes incurable illness and must be accepted as such that the stigma of mental illness and suicide will be gone and suicidal/depressed people will not have to hide on an anonymous forum to get support. There would be fewer suicides if people who were depressed and suicidal could "come out" more and get support in their daily lives as someone with an illness, just like anyone else with an illness. Instead, they have to hide their "shame". Same with people who have lost people to suicide. They go to anonymous support groups and sites because to talk about it openly in their real lives is somehow 'shameful' due to the stigma. When people can say openly that they lost someone to suicide without shame or discomfort, the same as if they had died of cancer, then that's when the stigma of mental illness will be gone. The more brave people come out of the closet, both the mentally ill and those who have lost people to it, the more the stigma will go away. Those who hide on sites like these and remain isolated in real life are both victims of the stigma and perpetrators of the stigma. And that includes me because I am not brave enough to come out and face the existing stigma.
  17. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    I have lost a child to suicide and I speak about it openly constantly. I am often in the media, I am on TV, I am in front of community leaders and decision makers, I am in front of politicians, and I am forever telling my story and asking for more awareness and to educate people so that the 'stigma' can be removed.

    I know what it feels like to lose a child to this. I can speak truly about how it feels, as I have here in this post.

    Education and PREVENTION is the goal to lead toward a cure... or is at least steps toward it.

    NO WE WILL NOT ACCEPT SUICIDE. No, we do not want for you to die. Please do not trivialize suicide by trying to make it "acceptable." It is not. It never will be. Many of us who care about other people are working tirelessly to try to help those like yourself. I spend 24 hours a day 7 days a week sharing my experience and working hard in my community to make a difference. I am sorry, but I don't want for you to die. This does not mean that anyone is blaming you... it is understood that you can't help it and that you need help.

    Nobody is suggesting that you should not die by suicide because of the people you leave behind... The simple fact exists, however, that it does hurt and cause great pain for those who lose the loved one. How that affects you is your decision. There has been no statements made suggesting what you have stated. Only facts and feelings have been presented.

    In summary, we as a society do need to have more education and awareness so that more solutions for help become available for you. Would you rather that we accept and ignore your pain????
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2012
  18. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    Good for you for speaking out. Very few can do that. But I present quotes from you as evidence that you think he is at fault for the grief his family will feel if he dies of his illness and that their pain matters more than the pain he is in. Saying you cannot accept suicide is like saying you cannot accept death from any disease be it cancer or whatever. You are just not facing reality if you think we can stop death from mental illness. Accepting that people die of it is the first step to ending stigma. People who are suicidal need to have their pain understood and helped not to be told that they must not kill themselves because they will hurt others. That just invalidates their suffering.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2012
  19. pickwithaustin

    pickwithaustin Staff Alumni

    A fact remains that those who love him will feel very bad and feel very hurt. We cannot hide the facts for ease of pain, we can only speak the truth. We must help educate everybody about what suicide does because it affects so many more people than just the one who leaves. We can wish for it to not be true, but we live in a real world.
  20. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    Yes, and if he died from any other disease they would feel bad as well. Death and grief are part of life and the real world. Blaming those who died for causing it is just wrong. Why not command everyone to not die because it will hurt others? Also, see the last paragraph of my previous post as I was editing while you were replying. It's on what I think you should be doing rather than advocating for suicide prevention or ignoring the suicidal.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2012
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