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From the Desk of...Father Rubey
Sunday, September 01, 2013 by Father Rubey
As we enter the autumn part of the year, Labor Day is the last of the summer season celebrations and the beginning of autumn. There can be a letdown feeling as we prepare for the shorter days and colder weather. Actually, autumn can be quite nice with warm weather and the changing of the colors. People love to be outdoors and soak up the crisp air and see all of the wonders of nature as the leaves change into vibrant and rich colors. This time of the year is truly a wonder to behold. I hope that many of you are able to enjoy the outdoors and witness the nature that is all around us –the wonders of creation.

One of the issues that survivors of a suicide often express is that their loved one had so many friends and supporters around them, and why was this not enough to ward off suicide? One of the reasons is that these tortured souls were unable to appreciate or realize how loved they were. Even though they were loved by many people, they were unable to realize and feel the love and support of these people. These loved ones were totally consumed by the pain from their illness. This pain prevented any other feelings to register, such as the feeling of being loved and admired by legions of people. It is not that these people were ungrateful for all of the support and admiration of people, it was due to the fact that their psyche had been clogged up due to the pain that had engulfed them.

Survivors oftentimes ask themselves “wasn’t my love enough to prevent this suicide?” The answer to that question is that this loved one was unable to absorb or appreciate the love and support of those people who cared greatly for this person. During this time of desperation these souls are absolutely consumed by the intolerable pain resulting from mental illness. Nothing can prevent this desperation, and the only relief that is possible is to do something very drastic to end the pain. There is no other solution to this excruciating and intolerable pain except to take one’s life. Does this mean that these loved wanted to die? Not really but the only way to end the pain is to either jump in front of this train or to take this lethal amount of pills or to do some other lethal means to get out of this pain. It does not necessarily mean that they wanted to die, but they just wanted to be rid of the pain. Were they thinking logically that the way out of their pain would mean their death? Not necessarily, but they were so desperate they just wanted the pain to end. It is very important to realize that these desperate souls are not capable of thinking through in a logical fashion. They are very troubled and this severe pain has blocked any logical thought process. They are truly panic stricken and they just want to end the pain. There can be a room filled with friends and people who have great admiration for this person but these loved ones have one thing in mind and that is to escape the pain. They are literally on a path to end the pain. They are on a mission to end the pain and their mission will not be completed until they accomplish what they have set out to do.

They are singularly focused, and there is just one thing on their mind, and that is to end this excruciating and intolerable pain. For these tortured souls it is not a matter of choice but a matter of decision. Choice connotes an either/or situation. Decision connotes “I will do this” or “I must do this.” At the final moments of decision making these people conclude that “I must do this”. “There is no other way out.”  This person has run out of all other alternatives and taking one’s life is the only other option. For these people who complete suicide, this was the only way to solve the problem of the pain in their lives. They might have tried other types of interventions such as counseling or medication or hospitalization and  none of these interventions worked. They must try something else, something more drastic and final. Unfortunately, once they have taken their lives there is no looking back or repairing the damage. Their pain problem has been solved forever. They have escaped from their pain and they are now pain free. I am convinced that had these people found another way to escape the pain, they would have tried it. Their final act gives survivors a hint at just how desperate these loved ones were.

One way that survivors can look at this is to switch places with their loved ones. I have often heard it said that the pain resulting from grieving a death from suicide is so bad that survivors wish that they were dead so as to escape this awful pain. Survivors might think of suicide as an option but then survivors catch themselves and say that they would never want anyone else to know the pain of grief from suicide. So they rule suicide out as an option. That is an example of logical thinking. Survivors would never want to pass pain on to their loved ones, so they banish these thoughts from their mind.  Such thoughts generally do not last long once survivors realize that they are thinking the way of their deceased loved ones. Survivors are frightened by having such thoughts. This is a very normal reaction. As long as the reaction is one of horror at such thoughts, survivors are on the right track. It is only when such thoughts begin to make sense that someone is in trouble. That is when further help is warranted.

It is important for survivors to come to the conclusion that their loved ones suffered from some form of mental illness. These loved ones were not selfish or cowards. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about people who complete suicide. People who complete suicide are not cowards or selfish, but they are severely mentally ill, and their illness is so severe that it can be life threatening. Mental illness can be fatal. For people who complete suicide their illness was the cause of their death. We hear a lot about fatal illnesses such as cancer or heart disease and it is about time that we add mental illness to that category because mental illness has the ability to cause death. Unfortunately, there are segments of society that refuse to believe that mental illness can cause death. Such people should just talk to someone who is in the ravages of an attack from mental illness. These people just want to be free from the pain. The pain is so bad that these people just want to die. They are not cowards or selfish, and because the pain is so bad and there is no relief they want what any person wants, and that is relief from pain. When some people are suffering from excruciating pain they cry out for relief and sometimes relief comes in the form of morphine. Once the drug is administered relief comes soon. There are other people who want relief from the pain of mental illness and their form of morphine is the taking of their life. The end result is the same for both suffering people. The only difference is that for the one who finds relief from morphine the pain goes away for a time, and there might be a need for more medicine if the pain returns. For the person who seeks relief from the pain of mental illness by completing suicide the pain will never return and, unfortunately, neither will this loved one return to life as we know it. They leave this life forever. They are permanently pain free and their loved ones lives are permanently altered.

As always, I want to assure each and every member of our LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers during my quiet time each day and I encourage each of you to do the same for each other –especially for those people who have recently joined our family.

Keep On, Keepin’ On,


Archives:

From the Desk of...Father Rubey
Sunday, September 01, 2013 by Father Rubey
As we enter the autumn part of the year, Labor Day is the last of the summer season celebrations and the beginning of autumn. There can be a letdown feeling as we prepare for the shorter days and colder weather. Actually, autumn can be quite nice with warm weather and the changing of the colors. People love to be outdoors and soak up the crisp air and see all of the wonders of nature as the leaves change into vibrant and rich colors. This time of the year is truly a wonder to behold. I hope that many of you are able to enjoy the outdoors and witness the nature that is all around us –the wonders of creation.

One of the issues that survivors of a suicide often express is that their loved one had so many friends and supporters around them, and why was this not enough to ward off suicide? One of the reasons is that these tortured souls were unable to appreciate or realize how loved they were. Even though they were loved by many people, they were unable to realize and feel the love and support of these people. These loved ones were totally consumed by the pain from their illness. This pain prevented any other feelings to register, such as the feeling of being loved and admired by legions of people. It is not that these people were ungrateful for all of the support and admiration of people, it was due to the fact that their psyche had been clogged up due to the pain that had engulfed them.

Survivors oftentimes ask themselves “wasn’t my love enough to prevent this suicide?” The answer to that question is that this loved one was unable to absorb or appreciate the love and support of those people who cared greatly for this person. During this time of desperation these souls are absolutely consumed by the intolerable pain resulting from mental illness. Nothing can prevent this desperation, and the only relief that is possible is to do something very drastic to end the pain. There is no other solution to this excruciating and intolerable pain except to take one’s life. Does this mean that these loved wanted to die? Not really but the only way to end the pain is to either jump in front of this train or to take this lethal amount of pills or to do some other lethal means to get out of this pain. It does not necessarily mean that they wanted to die, but they just wanted to be rid of the pain. Were they thinking logically that the way out of their pain would mean their death? Not necessarily, but they were so desperate they just wanted the pain to end. It is very important to realize that these desperate souls are not capable of thinking through in a logical fashion. They are very troubled and this severe pain has blocked any logical thought process. They are truly panic stricken and they just want to end the pain. There can be a room filled with friends and people who have great admiration for this person but these loved ones have one thing in mind and that is to escape the pain. They are literally on a path to end the pain. They are on a mission to end the pain and their mission will not be completed until they accomplish what they have set out to do.

They are singularly focused, and there is just one thing on their mind, and that is to end this excruciating and intolerable pain. For these tortured souls it is not a matter of choice but a matter of decision. Choice connotes an either/or situation. Decision connotes “I will do this” or “I must do this.” At the final moments of decision making these people conclude that “I must do this”. “There is no other way out.”  This person has run out of all other alternatives and taking one’s life is the only other option. For these people who complete suicide, this was the only way to solve the problem of the pain in their lives. They might have tried other types of interventions such as counseling or medication or hospitalization and  none of these interventions worked. They must try something else, something more drastic and final. Unfortunately, once they have taken their lives there is no looking back or repairing the damage. Their pain problem has been solved forever. They have escaped from their pain and they are now pain free. I am convinced that had these people found another way to escape the pain, they would have tried it. Their final act gives survivors a hint at just how desperate these loved ones were.

One way that survivors can look at this is to switch places with their loved ones. I have often heard it said that the pain resulting from grieving a death from suicide is so bad that survivors wish that they were dead so as to escape this awful pain. Survivors might think of suicide as an option but then survivors catch themselves and say that they would never want anyone else to know the pain of grief from suicide. So they rule suicide out as an option. That is an example of logical thinking. Survivors would never want to pass pain on to their loved ones, so they banish these thoughts from their mind.  Such thoughts generally do not last long once survivors realize that they are thinking the way of their deceased loved ones. Survivors are frightened by having such thoughts. This is a very normal reaction. As long as the reaction is one of horror at such thoughts, survivors are on the right track. It is only when such thoughts begin to make sense that someone is in trouble. That is when further help is warranted.

It is important for survivors to come to the conclusion that their loved ones suffered from some form of mental illness. These loved ones were not selfish or cowards. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about people who complete suicide. People who complete suicide are not cowards or selfish, but they are severely mentally ill, and their illness is so severe that it can be life threatening. Mental illness can be fatal. For people who complete suicide their illness was the cause of their death. We hear a lot about fatal illnesses such as cancer or heart disease and it is about time that we add mental illness to that category because mental illness has the ability to cause death. Unfortunately, there are segments of society that refuse to believe that mental illness can cause death. Such people should just talk to someone who is in the ravages of an attack from mental illness. These people just want to be free from the pain. The pain is so bad that these people just want to die. They are not cowards or selfish, and because the pain is so bad and there is no relief they want what any person wants, and that is relief from pain. When some people are suffering from excruciating pain they cry out for relief and sometimes relief comes in the form of morphine. Once the drug is administered relief comes soon. There are other people who want relief from the pain of mental illness and their form of morphine is the taking of their life. The end result is the same for both suffering people. The only difference is that for the one who finds relief from morphine the pain goes away for a time, and there might be a need for more medicine if the pain returns. For the person who seeks relief from the pain of mental illness by completing suicide the pain will never return and, unfortunately, neither will this loved one return to life as we know it. They leave this life forever. They are permanently pain free and their loved ones lives are permanently altered.

As always, I want to assure each and every member of our LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers during my quiet time each day and I encourage each of you to do the same for each other –especially for those people who have recently joined our family.

Keep On, Keepin’ On,