For years I wondered what I could have done to prevent them from losing their mom.
It tortured me.
They were 3 & 13, they need their mommy.
If I had only seen the signs and did something. I failed her. I should have seen it. I should have known better.
No one could have told me it wasn't my fault. They didn't know. I was with her for 26 years. I knew her better than anyone.
We all feel that way. It is a common reaction when we lose a loved one to suicide.
It even has a clinical name. 𝐇𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐁𝐢𝐚𝐬.
It is when we blame ourselves for something that we had no control over.
“𝙃𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙨𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙗𝙞𝙖𝙨 𝙤𝙘𝙘𝙪𝙧𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙣 𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙙𝙪𝙖𝙡 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙨 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬𝙡𝙚𝙙𝙜𝙚 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙛𝙖𝙡𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙧 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙥𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 (𝙖𝙣𝙙, 𝙗𝙮 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝙖𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜) 𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚.”
If I knew then what I know now, then yes, I 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 said something different, I 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 done something different, I 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 forced her to get her help.
But the facts remain. I didn't know. Only she did.... and she lied about it... to me, to her doctor, to her family, to the kids.
90% of people who die by suicide have a mental illness. It prevents them from being able to see any possibility for happiness. It is not a choice they make.
They are literally murdered by their own minds. No different than cancer. Her own mind turned on her. It made her the enemy.
No amount of education, training, magic, 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 changed that.
My feelings of self-blame prevented me from grieving and also from my healing. Instead I was angry at myself. I hated myself. I turned the grief from my loss into self hate.
I was obsessed with feeling like her life was something I had control over. Or a responsibility to control.
𝐈 𝐖𝐀𝐒 𝐖𝐑𝐎𝐍𝐆.
You are too. It was NOT your fault. There was NOTHING you could have done. Blaming yourself now is PREVENTING you from grieving and from healing.
Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Let it go. Choose love.
Your happiness depends on it.