I recently lost a very dear friend to suicide …
She had been one of the first to arrive at my house after my daughter Jenny hung herself. She sat, cried with me and held me tight. Additionally, she took it upon herself to set up a roster for the neighborhood to cook meals for my family. Our fridge was filled to the brim and I was deeply grateful for the open-hearted community love this created.
She had to be one of the most caring, gentle and loving people I know. Not self-absorbed, not dramatic, not openly depressive, not acting out. So why did we lose her?
Over several years of dealing with my daughter and her disorders, I could never really understand or begin to relate to the depths of overwhelm Jenny often referred to. Two years after her death, I hit my all-time low. I found myself isolated within my emotional pain. It was crippling. Isolated, numb,overwhelmed I planned every detail of my suicide. I suspect that if it had not been for an unexpected phone call from my brother, I would have succeeded with my plan to end my life.
After my near death attempt, I began to understand the similarity between physical pain endured from illness or an accident, to emotional pain suffered through trauma, deep loss or from a sense of general overwhelm about life. There comes a time with illness where one can become so engulfed in pain, that dying feels like the only option for relief. Emotional pain is no different. I realized in the moment, facing my death that I did not actually wanted to die. Living the extreme emotional rollercoaster with no apparent solution or end in sight, was too much to bear and it felt as though I had no other option.
In the present years, I have utilized techniques and processes that assist me in healing my grief. It has been inspiring to realize that there are effective ways to overcome emotional pain and that there is hope. Through the experience of my loss, I have been able to step back into my power and make a difference to my life As a grief and trauma specialist, have subsequently been able to help many other people who have felt similar to how I once felt.
What my very special friend possibly lacked the day she chose to leave this planet, was the knowledge that there is a way to transcend one’s overwhelm.
There is always choice…