Specific Situations > Suicide/Addiction/Mental Illness/Abuse

feeling exploited

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April:
My cousin asked me if he could for this up coming memorial day.. use my husbands story to bring awareness to veteran suicides.. I was like.. "f'ing NO!!"  That's extremely personal and my husband would hate you for that!  You are not exploiting my husband and my family for your need to get pats on the back!!  Am I over reacting.. am I terrible for not wanting to bring awareness to the 22 vets a day that commit suicide.. I don't know.

Mizpah:
Totally different circumstances, so I hope you don't mind my chiming in, but DH was hit by a car while standing on a sidewalk.  Not a month had passed when an organization that advocates for biker- and pedestrian-protective laws called me, wanting to come to some event and help hold a banner on the steps of city hall.  My response was exactly the same - are you f'ing kidding me?!  Of course I don't want bikers and pedestrians to be killed, of course you don't want veterans to commit suicide, but, yeah, I get it.  There was also a part of me that was angry - this is about HIM, not death, about who he WAS, not how he died.  I didn't want him turned into a cause, or into his death instead of his life. 

Portside:
There are some situations where no one is wrong and this may be one of them.

You are not overreacting - if it doesn't feel right to you then you are entirely within your rights to have said "No" to your cousin. However, perhaps your cousin felt that his suggestion was a positive and caring gesture to make in honor of your husband. We just don't know.

Best wishes - Mike



Mizpah:
^ I agree with Portside. 

April:
His words.. "I and my brothers want to participate in a social media project to raise awareness for veteran suicide. Would you be ok with us paying tribute to Erik as motivation for us to raise awareness for the 22 veterans who turn to suicide each day in our country"

To me that's not honoring him.. you honor somebody by all the great they did.. not their down fall.. I know my husband.. and I know this would embarrass him he viewed himself as invincible.. he was shot several times.. had 5 broken vertebra a paralyzed right arm.. and open skull fracture..  the only survivor in a couple missions..  I know that he's sorry and ashamed of how he left this earth because he survived so much.

I wasn't even going to tell my children how he died.. but the therapist said I needed to.. they needed to hear it from me not through the grapevine.

Mizpah.. I was agnry that he asked too.. I'm not ready.. don't know if I will ever be ready.. to be or have my husband or family be a poster child for a cause.. not to mention.. I absolutely HATE being pitied! 

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