I lost my wife to suicide 6 weeks ago.
I'm not normally the type of person who posts in forums, or talks about my emotions, but my friends felt that I should reach out for some support.
My wife, whom I was with for 22 years took her own life, and to make matters worse, I also found her. The frustrating thing is that although my wife had a history of depression, there were no signs that things were headed this way. Her friends and family also had no indication. There were no notes left, no letters to the kids, nothing. She seemed to be very positive about life, she loved Christmas, my daughters 18th birthday was close, she was organising things, and getting excited, for my upcoming 50th birthday, and she was due to start a new job 2 weeks later. It makes absolutely no sense.
I have an 18 year old daughter (she turned 18, 2 weeks after my wife passed) who is absolutely devastated. Her mum was her best friend and she feels lost. She cries every day and cries herself to sleep most nights. She has also had the added stress of exams, which are now thankfully finished. My son is 15 and is showing little to no emotion. He has had the odd tear, but nothing much and that worries me. We have regular 'check in' chats but he just says he ok. My friends and family have offered to be there if he wants to chat, but he says he'd rather chat to me, if he needs to, which he doesn't feel that he does.
I just feel numb and empty. I don't sleep particularly well but when I do sleep, I often wake up soaking in sweat. I have gone back to work, although I'm working from home at the moment, more for a financial need. My manager has been really supportive but I feel as if I'm letting work down as I find it hard to concentrate, I can't retain information, and I often find myself just staring into space, not knowing how long I've been doing it for. I'm not sure how long my work will put up with me like this, and I guess that also adds to my stress.
Anyway, I'm not sure what to expect from this forum, but it feels good to get a little off my chest.
Hi second time. Thank you for responding to my message. My sincere condolences for your recent loss and for the losses in your past; my heart goes out to you. You must be an extremely strong individual to have come through your experiences.
I'm still searching for something/someone that my kids will engage with. They are very reluctant to talk to anyone they don't know but I'll keep persevering with them.I did discuss booklets with them but they weren't keen.
I'll have a look at Alliance of Hope, it sounds very helpful.
As you say, a loss to suicide is so unique that I think it takes others with similar experiences to fully understand. It's such a difficult thing to comprehend unless you have gone through it.
If I can give you just a small glimmer of hope, it's been 7 weeks for me and I now have days where the pain doesn't torture me for the whole day. My sleep has improved, albeit slightly, although I still feel constantly tired. I am also able to concentrate a bit better on work, although I'm nowhere near back to full activity. I just hope that you can get some relief in the coming weeks. Please take care of yourself.
Thanks for your response, I can only imagine what it feels like to lose your Partner (wife), and have to deal with the emotional impact of your two children. Its what my sister in-law is going through.
I guess from what I have read it is best not to push particular your 15 year old into therapy.
However at that age I feel most children at that age do not have the emotional strength or inner tools to deal with the feelings, and there is a danger in it being turned into a self destructive/medicated behavior as did my brother, when the trauma of our mothers death compounded in him just before his 16th birthday.
Mind you we were around a lot of alcohol influence in the country we grew up in, and the football culture at the time was also geared towards drinking.
Counseling was suggested to us but we were a poor household and we felt like it was going to cost a lot of money, it was not really gently pushed or re-approached with us. I think we also didn't quiet get what it was, and thought whats the point...and didn't really feel like talking to anyone as we didn't know how.
That booklet I mentioned could be a good one to print and just leave with him. It may just prompt him to ask or answer some of the questions by himself, he may also not want to burden you and add weight to your grief.
I guess the impacts of Suicide and the death of a parent at that age is such a personalized situation that there is no one fit all.
What I (or my brother) didn't have was somebody I and my brother felt like I could talk to, or the gentle space then suggestion and nudge towards doing it.
I feel that my nephew has that, at least an adult (Male) that he can talk to, even though he hasn't much there has been the odd txt. Even the txt here and there letting him know I am thinking of him helps I think.
The Alliance of hope (i use the same name) will have some wisdom from people who have been in a similar situation to you and what helped. It is a bit easier and quicker to use in some ways also.
For me (and likely you) even a msg like this helps us feel we can hold each other up in such a daunting time.
And yes if we process and express and transform it we can turn it into a beautiful strength and character that spreads joy and wisdom around us.