About Those Anniversary Dates:
Today will be an anniversary date, for someone. It may pass without comment, or spoken of softly. As a friend remarked “you wake up and find . . . it is still true.”
Having an outlet is essential to share experiences that stack up, as the days rolls by. I no longer feel the need to escape. Having something to do makes these anniversaries easier. Just, speaking of the things that are bottled up inside, eases my heart and strengths my coping skills. Another one of those emotional exercises I have come to believe in.
As you will discover, the more time passes (from the suicide) it is natural for others, even family, to forget. This is something we never wanted to happen . . . but . . . it is inevitable. Life returns to routines things, as it should for others. But it is different for us.
For a long time, I would not let myself think that folks would forget. However, the truth is, I forget other folk’s losses as well. In this age of technology, there are too many things to keep up with.
In the initial days, I held unrealistic expectations, as though the burdens of the aftermath would suddenly vanish. I have learned that just made me more isolated. My coaching suggestion is to avoid setting specifics . . . you walk a path of permanent disappointment if you do.
I love to go to my friend’s farm, with the cold winds blowing. Sometimes I just stay home. Either one if fine after eighteen years.
So memories of Rebecca still linger and as long as I keep them to myself, I don’t disrupt things for anyone else. This will always be an awkward day for the family.
Like most survivors, I was ill-equipped for the emotional baggage left behind. It was imperative I establish some avenue so as the load did not over-run me. The Families Dealing with Suicide Facebook page - provided an excellent way to discharge the pressures of the moment. You will only create awkward situations for a general social setting. So, if you don’t bring the subject up, you spare your public contacts those uneasy feelings.
Any audible, visual or written reference to the suicide creates a downer mood for everyone and in the end lead to more isolation. I have come to realize how awkward this is for my relatives and friends. There is no way for them to respond that will lighten my load.
Taking one’s life is simply counter to the natural order of things. Suicide will remain counter to our expectations and aspirations forever.
Philosophy and religious views have never been particularly helpful to me. Not that they are untrue, but I have found their shelf life is momentary at best and afford little relief.
You have surely been exposed to the “they are in a better place,” “GOD needed another angel” and “time heals all wounds.” If these works for you, by all means, stay the course.
Over time I have developed a better grasp of the complexities of life. I’ve experienced thousands of practical lessons (formally and through example.) These encounters have mellowed my expectations. I can see clearly that expectations and goals compete with all the disappointments that living brings our way.
Combine all these elements with our genetic make-up, health conditions and possible disorders (not to mention all the addictions,) it makes it quite impossible to understand an individual suicide.
I have finally let that “why question” rest. I was told early-on in Survivor Sessions “Doug, you are never going to know.” It just took me a long time to accept that reality.
So it is, walking the trail of year nineteen. I am Okay and expect things to continue to improve and allow me to help a few others. Maybe it is only one person and that is okay.
For me, this is just objective information from an ordinary old man whose wife departed this life on mid-day Sunday, March 14th, 1999, dJ