HoW We Survive

Welcome to How We Survive, an online resource for survivors of suicide.  


A community for survivors of suicide.


Our journal of survival.

Dealing with Grief and Guilt

Julie Varley

We all seem to think that we could prevent losing someone to suicide.  I feel I am very intuitive.  The day my son died, I remember working on my lap top and all of a sudden pushing it away and thinking that I wanted to find out what my son, Chris, was up to .. was he okay.  It's strange that I felt that way because he seemed to be getting so strong.  I just had this feeling.  I  called him and left a message on his phone.  I still have his phone where that message is stored inside.  I was told from his friend that he was at work, so that was enough to calm me and think that all was fine, he just wasn't picking up.  The next day I am notified that  a police officer and a social worker are  in the lobby at my office ready to give me the awful news that Chris had died.  I felt so guilty as I was given the intuitive feeling.  I felt I acted on it and Chris still managed to slip away on me.

As a mother and for most parents, we feel we can protect our children from anything.  Suicide is even more difficult as the "what ifs"  keep coming back to haunt you.  I was told by the pastor that conducted my son's service, that  we get tricked.  When someone really wants to slip away, they will do it when you least expect it.  He also said that people dealing with mental health issues can get stronger and when they feel stronger, ironically, this is when they have the strength to take their own life.  I don't really know what to think of that.  There are lots of great sessions to make people more aware of individuals that are suicidal, but it is known that typically when someone wants to end their life, they don't broadcast it.

I do know that I did everything possible.  I have learned to push away the guilty feelings when they surface.  I have always been told... Guilt is a useless Emotion...I would rather focus on helping others and knowing that I did all that was possible.




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