Losing someone to suicide


#1

Hello, this is really long and I appreciate anyone who reads and comments. If you think suicide is stupid or have something negative to say, even a pun, please don’t post. I’m begging you. Take the high road. Skip to the end if you don’t want to read. I don’t have a lot of friends to talk to and I know people here have posted lots of personal stories which I rarely do, so please give me a chance.

January 11th, 2010 I lost my mom to suicide. She was 61 (I’m only 22). My mom has always had a difficult, stressful life and had been depressed since childhood. She began to lose her hearing around 30 and was wearing two hearing aids for at least 15 years. She was a very succesful doctor and all around wonderful person; she was commited to helping people with HIV/AIDS.

My mom was kind of a rebel/radical person and this wasn’t always welcomed, so she lost jobs often. She would tell us that she left willingly, or that her boss was unethical or something, or simply tell us nothing and we would find out later that she’d been fired. She lived in three different states since 2004 and had maybe a dozen jobs, once three jobs at once.

But she only lived in the last state–Iowa–for six weeks. Her hearing had been getting worse and worse, she couldn’t hear her patients and she felt they thought she was incompetent and didn’t respect her. They thought she wasn’t listening. She was lost at meetings when she couldn’t hear. She was certain she would be fired, and she became terrified that soon she wouldn’t be able to work or live on her own.

I last saw my mom December 26th, 2009 on a miserable family get together in D.C. She was so thin and barely ate a thing the whole trip. She was like a ghost; we’d be in the same room but we wouldn’t communicate. She was in her own world.

The week before she died, every conversation I initiated with her was cut short. We wouldn’t talk for more than a few minutes before she would say “Okay, well I’m gonna go now.” One time I called her around 8pm and she said she was sleeping - my mom never napped or slept that early.

My last phone conversation with her was Saturday, January 9th:
me: Mom, you’ve been acting weird lately.
Mom: pause. I know, I have.
Me: Is everything okay?
Mom: pause. No. It’s not okay. Work isn’t going well, I don’t know if I can keep this job.
Me: I can’t remember what I said; maybe something generic. I’d had this talk with my mom a couple times before, but I’d never in my life heard her sound so utterly down and defeated. I couldn’t form words; I was too busy trying to figure out what the hell was going on.
Mom: Jackey, I’m gonna go now. But always remember that no matter what happens, I love you very much.
Me: Intense frown. wtf? (in strange voice): Of course, I love you too mom.
Mom: Okay. Bye.

I was dazed. In a trance - my brother commited suicide in 1999 when I was 11, and there was literally no warning sign. It was so random that when my sister and I saw him in his room lying face down on the floor with his pants pulled down and a pile of puke next to his mouth, we thought nothing of it. Just thought he’d gotten sick and napped. Seriously.

But that’s how suicide is. It’s so rare, so extreme that it never really occurs to you. It’s not something that most people consider possible of people they think they know so well.

I relayed the news to my boyfriend, who I’d been updating on my mom’s weirdness. I said, trying to make light: “I know she’s having a really hard time, but geez, don’t kill yourself (chuckle).” Then a lightbulb went off–never in my life had I considered my mom capable of suicide. She was the strongest, most confident, determined person I knew. I’d only seen her cry a few times. At her funeral, an old friend called her the socialist Wonderwoman :slight_smile:

Anyway. I immediately froze and asked in my head: “Would mom ever kill herself?” I pondered, and I dismissed the idea as quickly as it came. “No. She would never do that to us.” It was as simple as that. And that’s what most people think, that’s why it’s so unpreventable most of the time. We just think that people will or should always put others first and be strong for them, but sometimes it’s just not possible. So I made plans in my head to call my mom the next day and let her know I’d be visiting this coming Thursday. I knew she needed me and I didn’t want her to be alone.

But Monday, my very first day of spring semester after leaving my first class and work, I got the call. Fast forward.

Anyway. The real reason I’m posting this is because something new came up. My mom had a foster son from Rwanda named Emmanuel. He somehow didn’t know she died until a few days ago; he’d been worried about my mom so Googled her when he couldn’t get in touch and found her obit. Then, he immediately finds my sister on FB; they get to talking and he relays this info to her:

“Yes, I was in the US Dec 2009-Jan 16, 2010, I went to Boston, Houston and New Orleans and wanted very much to visit Mom so she can meet her inlaw (my wife). By that time, Lydie my wife was pregnant and I remember mom saying she’s counting on me for her first grand-child…I wanted her to hope for more since this was underway. I wanted to visit her in Iowa but she insisted that I do not come, that she was in a mess and thought her life was finished. I wanted to go any way but did not have the address.”

… her life was finished? What the fuck? That’s not all, either. She basically told him in so many words that she was going to kill herself, and it took him five months to put the pieces together/analyze that? He’s a smart guy. Whatever. I guess my family having first experience with suicide and mental illnesses makes the signs much more obvious to us. But seriously, knowing that she had no terminal illness, what else could “my life is finished” possibly mean? Didn’t he ask?

A few months earlier, my mom had told him she’d become “isolated and demoralized.” She’d been chronicling her downfall to him and he couldn’t put the idea of suicide together. And he got in touch with my sister the same day he found the obit, so he’s clearly connected and Internet savvy.

WHATEVER. It’s not his fault, of course, and the guy is a sweet kid who took my mom’s birthday as his own and calls us his sisters. I can’t bring myself to talk to him. I don’t know what to do or how to feel, but I’m not okay with it. Do you guys know how you would feel? Or what’s your knee-jerk reaction, at least? Share personal experiences with suicide; it’d really help me to know I’m not the only one with a crazy family/friends.

If anyone’s curious I’ll post what her suicide note said and her method and such later. Thanks again for reading all two of you <3


#2

God damn, RoninChaos is a fucking idiot! He’s gonna go find a cock to gobble.


#3

My condolences. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must feel like. This just made me realize how bad a son I am.

edit: don’t post what the note said or details on how it happened. Not necessary (or even helpful) on a forum like this.


#4

That sucks, try not to let it get you down.

Death is something that everyone has to deal with sooner or later. Shit happens. Not everyone can always predict everything and know everything and make the best possible choice. You shouldn’t be stressing yourself out with who or what to blame. Pull yourself together and live on.


#5

I am terribly sorry for your loss. Death sucks even more if it seems like something could have changed the outcome.

I seriously can’t express how badly I feel for you. Please take care of yourself and the ones you love.

In regards to your foster brother… well, sometimes people just don’t know what the fuck is up. It’s not intention. Sometimes people just don’t get certain things. You’re obviously looking for an answer and it’s very unlikely you’re going to find one that takes away the confusion. It sounds like you don’t want to talk to him because you feel he could have done something. And he didn’t. He didn’t put it together, but no one else did. Don’t blame him. It shows a pretty strong amount of character to deal with a foster child, and your mother obviously saw something in this guy, so you should give him a chance. The only way you’re going to heal is if you can let go.

I’m terribly sorry for your loss.


#6

don’t really know what to say. no point in dwelling on what could’ve been done just try to learn from what happened and keep it moving.


#7

Care to elaborate?

It’s nothing gruesome or weird–The story is pretty interesting, and I know some people are nosy! She handled it in the most calculated, clearheaded way possible, which is kind of ironic. Anyway.

Thanks again for the support. I’m not falling apart so no need to pull anything together - I took this much better than I ever could’ve imagined. My foster brother is a great guy with a great heart and I’m proud of his successes - I just don’t think I can communicate with him anytime soon until I get some closure on my feelings.

But even after 11 years with my brother gone, I still dream about him constantly and still am desperately searching for closure there too. I know it’s impossible, but the questions and guilt never go away.

Thanks for all the condolences, guys. It means a lot. I’m always here to support anyone in need; always feel free to contact me even just to chat. :tup:


#8

i talked to you about it a little on fb. i don’t know how i’d react to something like it, it’s pretty shocking and it would really mess with my world.
i hope you feel better about it.


#9

As usual, RC beats me to what I wanted to say.

It will take time to deal with it on your own terms though. But try not to blame the guy too badly. As you yourself said you don’t really think its possible. You write it off and the signs go over your head.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a parent this way. I’m very sorry for your loss.


#10

Whoa, you’re a way stronger dude than me… I don’t know what I’d do if this happened to me man… well in any case stay strong…


#11

A brother and a mother lost to suicide?

Damn, I don’t even have words. My condolences.

Take the time to sort your feelings out. Time may not heal all wounds, but it does add a ton of perspective and insight to memories of past events, which is what you may need to discuss things clearly with your foster brother. Take as long as you need before talking to your foster brother.

Again, so sorry for your loss… I feel like shit.


#12

so sorry for you man, suicide is hard when its somebody you know, but I can’t even imagine it being a relative, or TWO relatives, or my own mother :frowning:


#13

Neo is a female, for the record.

My sincerest condolences for your loss, Ne0phyte. I know this has to be extremely hard.


#14

/\ She’s a well, a she. Can’t fault you, you’re new. My Godfather commited suicide in 2005. He was pretty old though at 88 so I guess you can’t really blame the guy. According to my uncle(his caretaker), He just left his house one day and started walking towards the desert and basically walked until he passed out and died. His note said he was fed up being unmarried and having no legacy to leave behind. Selfish bastard didn’t realize that he’s the only reason why I play music. I got a tattoo of a violin to remember him. In case you’re wondering, this all happened in Mexico.


#15

wow, Im so sorry for your losses.

Im at a loss on what to say but I think RoninChaos covered what I wouldve said pretty well.

Hope you feel better sometime soon, stay strong.


#16

Absolutely sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine what that would be like. I don’t have much to offer in the way of the conversation, but I wanted to send my condolences to you and your family.


#17

What was DHevil’s post that he got banned for?


#18

Right below the OP post mang…


#19

I hope you don’t really think he’s a selfish bastard… suicide is irrational and almost always preceded by mental illness. I will never resent my brother or mom. I hope you can forgive your grandpa–remember, he was trying to help himself, not hurt anyone.

My brother was only 16 and was on drugs at the time. None of us believe he really wanted to die. Man was that a mindfuck.

More stories anyone?


#20

We had our disagreements before about suicide…I still stand by what i say but yeah my condolences, as i get older i learn to appreciate my parents more…I haven’t loss any of folks yet nor brother so i cant really imagine what you’re going through. I guess just surround yourself w/ family & friends & stay positive…