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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can You Help Me Understand

Yesterday my husband's brother in law committed suicide.

I know that things had not been great in their relationship, but he had 3 beautiful daughters aged 15, 16 and 19 - can someone help me understand how he could leave them behind.

I know that in his mind he probably thought he was actually doing the right thing by removing himself from their lives. But suicide is never the answer.

I understand that in the blackness that is depression that there seems that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I have never felt that way, but I get it. What I don't get is how you can choose to leave your daughters - when people get cancer, they fight. They fight hard to stay with us, they don't want to let go.

I'm not saying he made this decision lightly, I am sure he didn't. He took care in how he died, he left no mess, it was not violent - but he died and his eldest daughter had to be the one that dealt with the police and the coroner. No one should have to deal with that at 19. My sister in law and the other 2 girls live 3 hours drive away, so it was his daughter who is here at University (with support from her boyfriend and my hubby) that went to the unit and dealt with the result of his decision.

I don't believe he made the decision because he wanted to be selfish, I'm sure he thought he was being selfless - leaving to make their lives better. But it is not selfless, because someone has to deal with what is left, and that person, that sweet girl is 19.

So please can you help me understand, for I can't at this point.

And please if you suffer from depression, reach out for help, for suicide is not a selfless act, for those you leave behind will always struggle to understand. Death is final, there is no second chance. Please if you feel that isolated, that alone, find the strength to reach out. I know it is easy for me to say, I am not trivialising depression, I have seen it first hand and I know how hard it is, but my plea is for you to hang on.



  1. Oh Karen.

    I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

    I have seen what suicide has done to families, one of my closest friends lost both of her children (both aged between 20 and 18) to suicide, just a year apart. I know the devestation.

    And yet, it was less than 2 months ago I considered the unthinkable. ONly, considered isn't really the right word.

    I didn't want to die. But I wanted the way I was feeling to stop. I wanted the impact it was having on Joel and the potential impact on the boys to stop.

    I could think of no way to make it stop than to down 2 bottles of sleeping tablets and tranquilisers.

    I didn't do it, obviously. I posted on my blog and was talked through the following hours.

    But there is no reason. No logic. It doesn't make any sense because there is none. There is no long term reason.

    All there is, is impulse control. Or not. I still get the impulse to put a knife through my wrist. At this stage all I have is impulse control. My Drs say mine is strong, surprisingly so for how sick I have been.

    I pray, desperately, that it remains so.

    He had just run out. Selfish or no, he could no longer see a way out.

    I can't tell you how sorry I am.

  2. Hello Beautiful Lady....

    There are no words I can offer to give definitive answers to your questions that will console your pain.

    Know that I am thinking of you both and send my condolences to you and all the extended family.

    Please take a moment.. close your eyes, feel my arms around you and breathe in ... then out...
    Then, if you would, put your arms around your man and share our hug that is sent with love and gentleness.

    Loving you.... P

  3. Thanks Melissa and Pauline, we are doing okay and my sister in law and the girls are taking it a day at a time. I know I will never understand (well I hope I never get to that place in my life) but I thank you for sharing Melissa - please continue to hang on, I know you have that strength within you, even though you are struggling with the meds and the blackness. xxx



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