Adele Ryan McDowell
So much suicide is a result of intolerance. Think of all the heartache that is caused by simply not accepting people for who they are and where there are. Intolerance is a mighty powerful belief system. It prevents peace, contributes to suicidality, and causes pain across the globe.
Over my 30+ years of clinical work, these are the aspects of suicide I have seen in the consultation room and through crisis intervention lines. There are seven points on this spectrum, each with its own degree of severity. Clearly, some points are more intense and critical than others, but each is to be taken seriously and warrants professional help.
Loss hammered you incessantly. Grief hollowed you out until you were gasping for breath, empty and fully spent. Your heart was broken and battered into a heap of crumbled bits and pieces. And still, you stood.
There is no hair of the dog for the morning after. There is no specialized rehab. Copious amounts of water to hydrate your burned-out system are of little avail. As with any good recovery effort, you need to acknowledge that you have a problem. Yep, this is your problem.
You grieve your pet the exact same way you grieve any loved one. You cry; you laugh. You remember the moments, how you came together, and the good times and the tender times you shared. You try to make sense of this gaping hole in your life and, most especially, in your heart. You are asked to accept what you rigorously do not want to accept, but know to be true.
For loved ones left behind, suicide is not painless. It leaves you holding your heart in your hand, vibrating with emotion and reeling with questions. The ground has given way and you are free-falling through space. Here are seven things you need to know after losing a loved one to suicide; they can help you re-find your feet and piece together your broken heart.
Saturday is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide must surely be out of the closet by now. It happens. It happens every 40 seconds, on average, around the globe per the World Health Organization. Even more startling are the numbers of those who have attempted suicide.
Understanding suicide helps. It does not take away the horrific pain, but it can help make sense of the unimaginable. When we learn more, we have a basis for comparison. We learn, perhaps, that our situation, alas, is not so unusual. We comprehend more fully the biochemical or psychosocial elements that led to our teen's suicide.
It's hard to imagine there is life beyond your exploded heart. How can you possibly merge back into the cacophony of dailiness and demands when your life has been captured by grief? The hollowness, the memories, the break-downs, the images, the gut-wrenches, the what-ifs have kneed you into a tight, dark corner. You can, and will, get out, but it cannot be rushed. Here's how.
At this critical time in history, it is more important than ever for us to pause and remember the courageous Elie Wiesel, tireless defender of peace and advocate for the persecuted, repressed and disenfranchised. Wiesel, age 87, died this weekend at his home in New York City.