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How do I live with my son's suicide?

                                                      

It was a lovely quiet Sunday morning, on 5 February 2006, when my life irrevocably changed in the blink of an eye. My husband and I were on our way to the shop when an emergency vehicle passed us with loud sirens and flashing lights.   In my ignorance I said to my husband I wonder who died now. In the meantime the vehicle was on its way to the scene where my son Emile, 20, hanged himself during the Saturday night or early Sunday morning in a weeping willow tree in a park near our house. I will never forget those words I uttered.   About a half an hour after we returned home children from the neighborhood called my youngest son to our gate. They informed him that a young man, who fit Emile’s description, committed suicide in the park. We quickly drove there. The area at the tree looked like a crime scene. Emergency and police vehicles and personnel were everywhere. The place where my son was lying was surrounded by police tape. I told the trauma officer I thought it could be my son. He led me to a body lying on the grass under the tree covered with an emergency blanket. I stood there looking at my son’s face in shock. It was like a dream, I could not believe my eyes. It couldn’t be true. I kept asking my husband if I was dreaming, it couldn’t be Emile lying there dead. Everything felt like a nightmare, the daylight was blinding and I heard a roaring noise in my head. The trauma officer spoke to us but I did not understand one word he was saying. We went home and I started phoning family and friends to tell them. Nobody believed me because I didn’t cry and told them in a matter of fact way that Emile hanged himself. The only thing that went around and around in my mind was: “It can’t be, it can’t be, my son can’t be dead. This is all a nightmare and I’m going to wake up any minute.” On the Sunday evening I returned to my senses and realized it was true. I never understood the meaning of keening, but that night I keened for hours and the weeks following Emile’s death.   It felt as if I was going insane. My thoughts were in disarray and I felt anxious the whole time. The next day we had to go to the mortuary to identify him. It was the most horrid experience I ever had to go through. I could not believe he was lying dead on that cold slab of cement. It didn’t look like my beautiful son. My heart was torn into pieces and I felt like dying of a broken heart! Every day was a nightmare. A part of me died with my son on that fateful day and I couldn’t function in a normal way.   I stayed in bed for weeks and all I could do was cry my heart out. Every night I was on the Internet for hours searching desperately for somewhere, where I could share this unbearable pain I was feeling. I phoned radio pulpit every day and told my story to Christian therapists over and over in the hope that someone could make it better for me. There was nothing in South Africa apart from The Compassionate Friends who helped me tremendously. There is no help for the unbearable pain a parent experience after the suicide of a child. Nobody out there understands what you are going through. There is nothing anybody can do or say to make you feel better. For months I ate almost nothing and didn’t cook or clean or did anything in the house. It felt as if I was all alone on earth. I couldn’t imagine a future without Emile. I couldn’t think properly or remember anything I did or said or what anybody else did or said. I didn’t remember anything that happened to me, I was on autopilot the whole time. The worst thing was that Emile didn’t leave a letter or anything to explain this to me. I searched everywhere like one possessed for anything that could explain why my son did this awful thing. I searched the area under the tree and in the tree for a clue. I scratched around in his clothes and searched every pocket and place for something to give me an idea why my son did this. The questions are still driving me insane. Why, what? What was wrong with my son I didn’t see? Was I so selfish and self centered I never realized there was something wrong with Emile?   I still blame myself that I didn’t realize what was going on in his mind, what he was planning. What did I do wrong in his life, where did I fail as a parent?

I look at other parents with big sons and I can’t believe that Emile isn’t here any more. I didn’t just lose a son to suicide, but a friend. The sorrow and despair is indescribable, and if you don’t find yourself it that situation, you can never imagine what parents go through. I started an e-mail support group for parents who lost their children called Loving Arms. We share our heartache and support each other with encouragement and understanding.

Nobody understands this hell and they don’t know what to say to you. People in their ignorance say all kinds of stupid things to a parent in this situation. They say things like: “Your son committed suicide and that means his soul will never find rest, you have another child live for him now, you need to get over it now and carry on with your life”. And it does nothing to change the destruction in your mind it just adds to the pain and heartache. On more than one occasion I just wanted to scream out at them: “please just leave me alone, you have no idea what you are talking about. My son is dead and I don’t know why.” I was on a suicide mission of my own for months and landed in hospital after I tried to overdose with tranquilizers.

Nobody can come through this pain without any help. It is an emotional roller coaster ride and you never know how you are going to feel in the next moment. One minute you are in this deep dark hole of despair, and the next you feel so angry that this abominable thing could’ve happened to you. Then there are days when you feel quite calm. On other days all you can do is cry uncontrollably and feel as if you will never ever be normal again. My perception of life changed completely, and things that were important in the past don’t mean anything any more.

Charles October 1, 2018
 
I’m a son
I’m an only son of my single mom. I’m 34, she’s 63. I chanced upon this page because I’m trying to work out how my mom is going to respond after I kill myself. I cannot bear to think of the grief it will cause her, so I plan to speak to her in advance, becore doing it. At least I do not want her to torture herself after I’m gone with thoughts of “if only I knew”. I plan to kill myself because I’m gay and cannot live withthat fact. Mom doesn’t know and will be deeply upset, but I promise (to whomever it matters) that I will not leave her with unanswered questions. Thank you for sharing your stories. I cannot begin to imagine your pain. 
Carl Sullivan September 29, 2018
 
My beloved son Sully is gone
image All,

I just went through this a few weeks ago; greatest son and friend, the most important treasure I had in the whole world, hung himself while working in Hokkaido Japan. 33 year old, handsome mountain climber and married to a wonderful wife Dez. He was reaching out some--I didn't realize that he was in this much trouble. There were a lot factors here, but I let him down. I don't know what to do; I feel like I killed my son. How could this be? We shared so much together; it is all gone now. Just going through the motion of memorials now--will spread his ashes on a mountain top tomorrow. I appreciate the words here--I am not the only one it looks like. I just can't say much more now. Thank you. 
Tracey Bailey September 4, 2018
 
12-17-17
I'm drunk on whiskey, so forgive my ramblings. My 17 year old took his own life on 12-17-17. I'm so deeply depressed. He left a suicide note that said "You should have talked to me instead of punish me. You killed me. You killed your son". That's what he left me. We took away his car for drug use and smoking in the house. How do I live with this. I don't expect any replies, but I'm drunk and will never remember this site. I'm just typing as I cry. He took 160 sleeping pills, and according to the autopsy, his lungs were full of fluid. So, I assume he aspirated as the drug took effect. As a parent, a mom, I failed the best thing I ever did. How do I live with this? I failed my son. He was such a good, wonderful person. He was in counseling and on anti-depressants, but I did not know, he did not talk to me, about how deep his struggle was. Today would have been his first day of his senior year of high school. I would have asked him about his first day of school, what he ate for lunch, who did he talk to, tell me one thing your learned today. I don't have that now.
Chip Hunnings August 31, 2018
 
Bryce Hunnings is missed everyday
February 3 2018 my son Bryce shot and killed himself at age 20 and tonight on August 30th I can't do anything but think about him. Everyday my mind goes to him in some way but tonight for some reason the thoughts are overtaking me completely. Unfortunately its not one of those times that bring a level of comfort from thinking of the great memories I have of him. It's one of those dark episodes where I can think of nothing but the awful things. The why, the senselessness of it, the future without him, the sense of never feeling joy, the gaps he left in this world as a son, brother, uncle, nephew, husband and friend.  
His suicide brings more heartache than I ever thought possible. I think about the pain and hurt he must have been feeling to take him to apoint of killing himself and it makes me mad as hell that my son had to feel that way.
A lot of those left behind struggle with understanding why their loved one chose suicide. In Bryce's case the why is very obvious to me on the surface.
The why I struggle with is why  he couldn't ask for help in dealing with his situation. Something so intense and he didn't feel he could talk to me about it. I struggle with what could I have done differently that would have created a relationship between us in which he would have felt comfortable coming to me about his troubles. 
I really miss him. Just miss hearing him talk to me about his day at work, what he wanted to do next to his truck to make it even more a reflection of him, hear him brag about how fast he knocked out his assignments at work that day. 

 
Pat August 25, 2018
 
My son Suicide one week ago
my son hung himself a week ago tonight !    How do I handle this pain
Ken August 24, 2018
 
Why couldn't my son see the hurt he woul
my son Chris, 19 on July 4 came home early afternoon from a party.no drinking or drugs, he was depressed on and off for years. When he was in 1st grade he was diagnost  with pandas after a strep infection. He was a great athlete and when the depression want around just a great kid. I went next door to my neighbors for an hour to have a burger when Chris came home. Went back to the house and found he hung himself. He had multiple attempts bug I stopped him every time. In the end he was getting violent cause all he wanted to do is leave this earth. Numerous specialist saw him, many drugs that did nothing. I can't forgive myself for going next door for a while , for a laugh when he came home and did this. All I do is think of why, why God, if here is one would torment a young man like this. I,my wife and daughter loved him so much. He left 3 letters saying he just can't take the pain anymore. I never understood his pain but now just want to end it myself and join him. A great good looking kid that whatever God there is choose him and destroyed us forever. Chris I love you so much, why couldnt you just realize how many people loved you. The fun neural had a police escort to shuts down major roads. This was how much the community loved him. Why didn't you listen, why did you do this. My life is over as I have no one to share baseball,or football games with. 19 years old, God has some since of humor. I love you buddy and may join you soon
Wendy Vanderbleek August 15, 2018
 
I feel so alone
My beautiful son died on May 29, 2018.  Eleven weeks since my whole life was changed when the policemen came to my door.  My husband and my daughter and myself are all in shock. We are not grieving together. We have our own ways.  Now I found out my mother in law who volunteers with the police, asked where he died and visited the park where he was found hanging. She did this very early after.  I have let her and my husband know that it is time in my grieving process that i want to see where he died.  My husband was shown by his mother a week ago Saturday and did not tell me.  I feel left out.  I feel something was taken away from me. I am shocked and saddened that they think this was the right thing to do and that I was not ready to face this right now.  I don't know how I can trust them again... how are we going to get through this and still be a family.....
Maureen August 11, 2018
 
I will never understand ...
It has been 2 years since my youngest son committed suicide.  He was married with two beautiful babies and a great job.  I will never understand why he couldn't talk to me about his demons ...  He is gone.  And it feels like it happened today.  God, help us all to understand ... why?
Susan Johnson June 13, 2018
 
My Babyboy
image I'm lost for words, My son TJ Merrifield 22  born May 20, 1996 commented suicide. He was Bi-polar,  depressed, anxiety. He self medicated as a teen til this happen. Was in trouble off & on. In & out of programs. He has son that's 4 yrs. Old. He went to jail 2015, lost his baby momma & son. He got out was doing real good try to win her back. Didnt work. But was able to stay in his sons life. So he was in out of girls life. But in January he started dating a girl he thought was his world. Before this girl I made him go to his sisters to get away from friends & drugs. But now that he was involve with this girl he comes back to our home town. He was happy then sad on drugs. He was a Mommas Boy. We had so many talks son u need to get help, ur anger is out of control.  I know mom but its things she does. I tried & tried to help him. Hed start on me if I said what he didnt want to hear. He had a gun, I seen him a couple times after a arguement with his girlfriend put it to his head. I could never find it. He always said u call the police mom I'd do it before they get in that door. I heard him talking to my nephew one nite, said I'd never do it cause I know it'll kill my mom. On May 28, 2018 I finally got my sons gun away from him. He lost his bullets, so he just handed it to me. I was so relieved. He had been drinking & on drugs. That weekend up til Monday morning,  I seen him before I went to work, I told him son u just need to sleep today, I'll see ya after work. Ok mom. He woke at 2:30pm, I got off work 3:30pm. 4:16pm my son called me said he was having a bad day. I said ok I'll be there in a few mins, I'm on my way. My son cried a little harder said i love you mom, i love you son I'm almost there. I walk in my home within 5mins of the phone call asked his girl what was going on. She said he's been arguing pick up knifes.  Where is he, in the shower, I went looking for my son. I didnt see him. I said go in there check on him. She ran downstairs said hes not up there. I thought, I remember the garage door cracked open, I opened the door, it looked like my son was standing there looking at me. I yelled his name, I went to him noticed the cords picked him up & screamed & screamed for help. I cut my son down. Me & my neighbors done everything possible to save my son. They wait til we got to the hospital & like hour later come to tell me they done everything they could.  I lost it!! I just buried him June 7, 2018. I wake every morning to his face, praying it was just a nightmare. Each day goes by I dont see him seems to get worse. I went to the crave site today & it still dont feel real. I'm struggling to pay his funeral. So when I'm at home I cry & cry, I'm so lost, so empty,  idk what to do. I dont want face my son is gone!! He took his own life over a relationship, mentally breaking & drugs. I was super close to my son, I pretty much raised him my self. He was a wonderful person with a BIG HEART. Always making us laugh. I have a son 30 & a daughter 27. 8 grandbabies. Who all loved him so much. I dont understand!! I try to stay strong but he was My Babyboy! I'm so lost for words, empty,  crushed!! Please help me with any advice. I read over other people's story's & we all feel this pain for are babies. But are So Lost. Please help us all!! My prayers are with any parent that has to bury their child. I dont understand how are children are taken. 
John Ursel June 1, 2018
 
Tegan Ursel 1996-2018
First off I can't believe the number of suicides amongst young adults ages 18-25.
This paticular age group it seems to me, are very affraid of this mad world we live in.
My daughter Tegan took her life by hanging herself April 15th 2018.
The impact of her death has left my wife Coleen incapable of taking care of herself.
She has been pretty much catatonic since the event with brief glimpses of the person she used to be.
Myself, I am a mess underneath my calm busy exterior and have thrown myself into work.
I would agree that no parent no matter how tough or educated they may be can understand the pain and grief
a parent feels upon the loss of a child by suicide.
I keep playing the whole thing over again in my head and thinking how something we did brought on our daughters need to commit suicide.
The bottom line is alcohol, it is a desease to be an alcoholic.
I know this because I am an alcoholic, but I quit drinking over 10 years ago.
We aloud our daughter to drink although we thought she had it under control.
Apparently she didn't and I believe the demons that come with drinking hard alcohol to excess cloud one's judgement to the point of caos.
Just like so many other stories here our daughter didn't leave a note and didn't seem upset or depressed on the contrary she seemed very happy in the days leading up to her death. We actually thought she was doing much better than the months before.
She had broken up with her first real serious boyfriend and she didn't take it well, but we thought she was past that, and she was.
It was a bottle of Jack Daniels that killed her, she consumed a 26 er in the hours leading up to her act of suicide and I truly believe it was the demons that come with getting black out drunk that led her to the decision to take her own life.
She was texting her friends that night and they all said the same thing, she seemed in good spirits.
I'm not going to spend the rest of my life fretting over why she did this. I think I know because I tried to commit suicde when I was 21 for I think the same reasons. Only difference before it was too late I reached out to my Dad and he called 911.
If my life is to have any meaning I must continue to be here for my wife and other daughter who is 3 years older (Chelsea) and my 17 yearold son (Jack).
It is a long hard road we walk on this Earth, may everyone walk it in peace and tranquility.

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