Specific Situations > Suicide/Addiction/Mental Illness/Abuse

Still numb and in shock, but terrified of the guilt I will face

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My sweet love, Bubs, ended his battle with schizoaffective disorder a couple weeks ago. (Schizoaffective is schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.)

Did I see the signs? Of course! Red flags all over! There were always red flags. But I was probably in denial about how bad it got. I should have had him 5150d again. He would have lived a little longer but he would have been miserable in the hospital. He would have been angry. He would have killed himself eventually anyway.

So the guilt is there, but I know I'm not feeling it full force yet.

One thing a family friend said: It might help if you think about differently. He didn't kill himself. He was murdered by a disease.

The one thing I don't understand: "Suicide is selfish." What the fuuuh! Does not compute. If you can shed some light . . .

Hi Meemzi. I'm so sorry for your loss. My fiancé also died by suicide 4 months ago, and there are so many questions and so much guilt that comes with this kind of loss. It's so frustrating to constantly think of what you might have done differently but not be able to change it. And yes, i hate it when people say that suicide is selfish. It minimizes everything they went through to get to that point and everything we're going through now, and it just isn't helpful.

I don't know if any of this is helping, but I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. If you want someone to talk to, send me a message anytime.

First Widow:
I am so very sorry for your loss Meemzi.  I lost my husband of 20 years to bipolar depression 2 years ago.  The most helpful thing anyone said to me came from one of the local police officers who responded to our 911 call who had also been through a personal experience with suicide.  He told me not to focus on the guilt, but on how my love had helped to keep him in this life as long as he was.  My husband fought the disease for over 30 years.

I guess ''suicide is selfish" was coined to make those who are contemplating it to think about the destruction a suicide leaves behind, but I know how hard my husband fought his disease.  There are still days that I'm angry with him, especially when I see the kids having a bad day, but I know it was mental illness that claimed his life.

Wishing you peace.

My deepest sympathies.

My late wife of 20 years suffered the same disease and same outcome. Her symptoms were pervasive and out in the open for the world to see for 18 years. We tried everything to reach some level of her living without symptoms - medication, therapies, involuntary and voluntary institutionalizations, prayer, hypnosis and on and on and on. I guess because of our reaching out to every possible treatment, I never felt much guilt.

It made no difference in her case. T's final outcome appeared to be carved in stone. The coroner took pains to explain to me that there was no other possible outcome in T's case. That even if I removed every possible means she would have found a way - and she did.

As far as the selfish aspect - I don't know what to say about that. She did die in such a way and place that my youngest son (9) was  guaranteed to find her destroyed body. He was very affected by that for years but I tried to not blame her.

I chose to believe it was the illness acting, not her.

Sometimes I thought "Who in their right mind . . .  .?" To ask the question is to answer it.

No one. :(

Best wishes - Mike

My husband suffered from chronic depression. Though it was cancer- not suicide- that ended up killing him. Mental illness is just like any other disease- sometimes it's terminal. No matter how many cures we try to throw its way. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma involved. I have known a few people who died from suicide and I never got the whole 'it's selfish' thinking either- makes no logical sense.

For what it's worth- feeling guilty affects many widowed no matter how their partner died and more people than you imagine will 'help you' try to figure out how getting cancer was your spouse's fault. It's best for us to remember that other people's reaction to suicide - or cancer- says everything about them and nothing about our partners.

I'm so sorry you need to be here with us.


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