Life Is… Complicated Sometimes!

Posted: March 23, 2015 in Life Is...
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Today’s post expresses that “Life Is Complicated Sometimes” on so many different levels. This is not what i had written for the first post of the series titled “Life Is…”. i got a phone call on Sunday and found out that my grandson’s very first girl friend from last year committed suicide on Friday. She was 14 years old. i do not pretend to understanding what makes a child of 14 decide that they cannot cope with life. i have some understanding when it’s an adult… but 14! They haven’t lived enough of life to make that decision.

It’s said that a child should never die before the parent, but it happens. There are no words that can bring comfort. But when a child decides to end their life it leaves the parents decimated. Most often they didn’t have a clue and that makes things worse because as a parent we think we should know everything about our children. As hard as we try that just isn’t going to happen and so we end up having to deal with the aftermath of an event like this.

The Facts: In 2013, there were 41,149 deaths by suicide in the United States. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death; homicide ranks 16th.  It is the second leading cause of death for 15 – 24 year olds. There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors. There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 will die by suicide this year. i am so sorry to say that my grandson knows that one. 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide this year. 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide this year.

Common misconceptions about suicide.

Misconception #1 “People who talk about suicide won’t really do it.”

Not True. Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like “you’ll be sorry when I’m dead,” “I can’t see any way out,” — no matter how casually or jokingly said, may indicate serious suicidal feelings.

Misconception #2 “Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy.”

Not True. Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They may be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing. Extreme distress and emotional pain are always signs of mental illness but are not signs of psychosis.

Misconception #3 “If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop him/her.”

Not True. Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, and most waiver until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to end their pain. Most suicidal people do not want to die; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.

Misconception #4 “People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help.”

Not True. Studies of adult suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help within six month before their deaths and a majority had seen a medical professional within 1 month of their death.

Misconception #5 “Talking about suicide may give someone the idea.”

Not True. You don’t give a suicidal person ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true — bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.

What children might feel after losing someone they love to suicide:

  • Abandoned – that the person who died didn’t love them.
  • Feel the death is their fault – if they would have loved the person more or behaved differently.
  • Afraid that they will die too.
  • Worried that someone else they love will die or worry about who will take care of them.
  • Guilt – because they wished or thought of the person’s death.
  • Sad.
  • Embarrassed – to see other people or to go back to school.
  • Confused.
  • Angry – with the person who died, at God, at everyone.
  • Lonely.
  • Denial – pretend like nothing happened.
  • Numb – can’t feel anything.
  • Wish it would all just go away.

A child may have many mixed feelings or may feel “numb.” Whatever they are feeling, remember our role as an adult is to help them and be supportive. Reassure the child whatever feelings they might experience, they have permission to let them out. If they want to keep to themself for a while, let them. Don’t tell a child how they should or should not feel. Also, don’t discourage them from expressing negative emotions like anger. But most importantly… BE THERE FOR THEM!

Let them know that…

It’s okay to grieve. With the death of a loved one the pain cannot be described and no scale can measure the loss. We want so much for our loved one to return so that we can do something, and we ache knowing that it just can’t happen. It’s okay to grieve.

It is okay to cry. Shedding tears is not a sign of weakness-it is a sign of our human nature and emotions of deep despair and sorrow. It’s okay to cry.

UnknownIt is okay to laugh. Laughter is not a sign of “less” grief. Laughter is not a sign of “less” love. It’s a sign that many of our thoughts and memories are happy ones and our dear one would have wanted us to laugh again. It’s okay to laugh.

Life is… Complicated Sometimes and on that note i’ll close.


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