Will we look back several years from now, only to realize that because of the suicide of the comedian and actor, Robin Williams, there are more honest conversations about suicide? Will we see that more people have come forward with courage to share how they have coped with the loss of their loved one to suicide? Or, how they, themselves, have recovered from an attempt or even thoughts of ending their own life? I trust we will.
Because of Robin Williams I, for one, am mustering up the courage today to talk about my father’s suicide. It’s not easy, even after forty-six years. It’s very, very different than talking about a dad who died from a heart attack or cancer.
What I’ve learned is this: suicide’s repercussions don’t necessarily fade with the passage of time, yet, somehow, something can happen to your heart as a “loss survivor”. Love for the fallen has a wondrous way of growing even stronger with time . . . if you allow. Regardless of how much love you felt for them before they were gone (or didn't feel), the love and compassion you feel can grow. There IS beauty that can appear along the journey to recovery for loss survivors left in the wake of the trauma.
It’s not easy though. The people left behind after a loved one's suicide have years, often decades, to work through sadness, confusion, anger, feeling abandoned and unloved by the one who left them. How can one not feel those things? I can’t speak for others, but for me, even though time passes, the pain still comes out of nowhere on some days.
Sometimes you feel the pain a little bit and sigh. Other times