Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Love and My Father's Suicide

I wanted to share some personal feelings about suicide, dealing with this first hand, as my father killed himself many years ago. I know I have talked about my father's suicide before but in the wake of Robin William's suicide, I have seen a couple of facebook posts that really bothered me, and rather than commenting on what someone else feels, I decided to post here.

I want to say that the deep depression that leads to suicide is not something that a little love will banish.  It is not something that someone just "decides one day".  I have not done the research nor am I an expert, but I have dealt with this issue first hand.  Implying blame for any suicide, like it is a crime committed against the person taking his/her own life, on those that loved this person, is not the answer.

My mother's tragic death was the start of my father's downward turn.  And believe it or not he had support from the moment of her death, he had LOVE all around him, but he couldn't see it or feel it.  And nothing we said or did helped him see it.  He was blind to everything except despair.  I knew he was in that pit, as did other's, and we tried SOOOO hard to pull him out, but he just wouldn't/couldn't grab the rope. Instead he decided to end his own suffering.  It was his choice.  Survivors, you should not feel, in any way, responsible for another person's actions, you should not feel that you were not enough for that person.  You should also not feel that s/he didn't love you enough, or you did not love that person enough.  I believe it isn't about love. It is deeper than that.  It isn't because the person did not feel loved.  My father knew he was loved, he could tell you that, but his depression was just so great.  Love might not hurt, but sometimes it just isn't enough.  And to suggest that someone who kills themselves could have been saved with more love, is just a slap in the face to all of us who have loved someone that has committed suicide.  Also I want to say, not to stop suggesting that those who are depressed get professional help.  YES link to suicide prevention hotlines, that may just be the rope they grab onto.

I said the same thing when I heard about the death of Robin Williams as I did about my own father's death, "maybe he is at peace now, maybe he is no longer in pain."

Miss you Daddy


Sylvia said...

Oh, Pam, thank you for this. 4 yrs ago, my ex-husband, bio-dad to my oldest son, committed suicide. And my son struggles with depression -- he won't seek help, but calls out for me when things are bad; won't let me help beyond immediate triage, and I worry in those seasons about losing him. I've had to see depression isn't something my love can fix. And that's so very, very hard.

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

Depression is such a serious illness and I'm sorry you experienced this loss. Your words are so kind and thoughtful. I only knew Robin Williams through his work, but it saddens me so that he is gone. You are so brave and kind!