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From the Desk of Father Rubey
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 by Father Rubey
During the month of October Halloween has become a major holiday, second only to Christmas for decorations around people’s homes and in their yards.  It is also a time when there are all sorts of ghoulish figures that are supposed to scare people. It is also a situation that can be viewed as in poor taste for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. People erect fake cemeteries with tombstones that are supposed to be humorous, but for survivors of a suicide these are painful reminders of the final resting place for dear loved ones who found life too painful to continue living. There are also all types of dummies hanging from trees and this is a painful reminder for those survivors whose loved ones died from hanging. This is anything but funny for those survivors. My suggestion during this time of the year is to be prepared to have the pain of suicide stirred up as a result of decorations that are meant to be humorous, but that are quite offensive for those who are survivors of suicide.

Halloween is also a time when people dress up, put on masks and pretend to be some famous person who is either currently living or someone from history. It is a time when costume parties are the rage. People become a different persona and pretend to be someone that they are not. There is a lot of hilarity and jesting at such gatherings. People are pretending to be someone else. Survivors of a suicide often wear a mask to pretend that everything is alright when in fact their hearts are broken because of the ensuing grief and sadness that has become a part of their life. While survivors might not want to bare their hearts and souls to each person they meet during the grieving process, they do themselves a disservice to pretend that everything is fine when in fact they are downright miserable. It is alright to admit that the grief process is a painful experience and to say something such as, “this grief is very hard and painful.”  I am not suggesting that you share your pain with every person that you meet, but it is alright to let people know that you are in a lot of pain and you miss this loved one beyond imagination. Survivors do not have to go into all of the details of what their feelings are all about, but it is alright to admit that the pain is quite intense. Otherwise people are under the impression that everything is fine when in fact everything is not fine. Above all, survivors need to be discreet when deciding with whom to share their inner feelings. People want nothing more than to see survivors move on with their lives. Life is moving along and survivors are part of that movement but it is also important that survivors get the message out that life is not the same without this loved one and it does take time to make the adjustment to this new and different life that is unfolding as the survivor moves forward. It is alright to take the mask off to those people who count in the life of the survivor. It is alright to let the world around the survivor know that the pain of grief is excruciating and it lasts a long time. This is not something that is going to go away in a few weeks or months. The grief process is very lengthy. People in the world around the survivor want nothing more than to see the survivor get over this experience, but such people need to learn that surviving the suicide of a loved one is not something one gets over;  it is something that survivors learn to live with. This education will take place as survivors take off the mask that everything is alright and let people know that the journey is lengthy and painful but the survivor will survive and thrive –in time.

Survivors often mention that their loved one who died from suicide did not appear to be troubled. The fact of the matter is that these loved ones wore a mask that everything was fine in their lives. These loved ones went about their lives as if nothing was wrong when in fact their life was unravelling as they went about their business. Survivors beat themselves up trying to figure out how they could have missed signs that might not have been there or were there but were not viewed as very important. These loved ones wore masks most likely because of the stigma that is attached to mental illness or because these loved ones did not see any other way out except to end their life. There was no psychotherapy or medication that was going to end their pain. It was only by ending their life that their pain would go away. No intervention was going to work. Ending their life was going to work and end the pain –finally. No one knows how long these loved ones carried the burden of mental illness and the ensuing pain. It could have been months or years but because the mask was worn very effectively there were no signs that these loved ones were in such a desperate state of mind. It is only after the suicide that survivors come to realize the extent of the pain. The mask came off but then it was too late. The pain was gone and the life of this much loved person ended and they finally found peace –at last.
As always, I want to assure each and every one of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis and I encourage all of the LOSS family to remember each other in thought and prayer –especially those who have recently joined our family and also those who found life too painful to continue living.

Keep On Keepin’ On,

     




Archives:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 by Father Rubey
During the month of October Halloween has become a major holiday, second only to Christmas for decorations around people’s homes and in their yards.  It is also a time when there are all sorts of ghoulish figures that are supposed to scare people. It is also a situation that can be viewed as in poor taste for people who are grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. People erect fake cemeteries with tombstones that are supposed to be humorous, but for survivors of a suicide these are painful reminders of the final resting place for dear loved ones who found life too painful to continue living. There are also all types of dummies hanging from trees and this is a painful reminder for those survivors whose loved ones died from hanging. This is anything but funny for those survivors. My suggestion during this time of the year is to be prepared to have the pain of suicide stirred up as a result of decorations that are meant to be humorous, but that are quite offensive for those who are survivors of suicide.

Halloween is also a time when people dress up, put on masks and pretend to be some famous person who is either currently living or someone from history. It is a time when costume parties are the rage. People become a different persona and pretend to be someone that they are not. There is a lot of hilarity and jesting at such gatherings. People are pretending to be someone else. Survivors of a suicide often wear a mask to pretend that everything is alright when in fact their hearts are broken because of the ensuing grief and sadness that has become a part of their life. While survivors might not want to bare their hearts and souls to each person they meet during the grieving process, they do themselves a disservice to pretend that everything is fine when in fact they are downright miserable. It is alright to admit that the grief process is a painful experience and to say something such as, “this grief is very hard and painful.”  I am not suggesting that you share your pain with every person that you meet, but it is alright to let people know that you are in a lot of pain and you miss this loved one beyond imagination. Survivors do not have to go into all of the details of what their feelings are all about, but it is alright to admit that the pain is quite intense. Otherwise people are under the impression that everything is fine when in fact everything is not fine. Above all, survivors need to be discreet when deciding with whom to share their inner feelings. People want nothing more than to see survivors move on with their lives. Life is moving along and survivors are part of that movement but it is also important that survivors get the message out that life is not the same without this loved one and it does take time to make the adjustment to this new and different life that is unfolding as the survivor moves forward. It is alright to take the mask off to those people who count in the life of the survivor. It is alright to let the world around the survivor know that the pain of grief is excruciating and it lasts a long time. This is not something that is going to go away in a few weeks or months. The grief process is very lengthy. People in the world around the survivor want nothing more than to see the survivor get over this experience, but such people need to learn that surviving the suicide of a loved one is not something one gets over;  it is something that survivors learn to live with. This education will take place as survivors take off the mask that everything is alright and let people know that the journey is lengthy and painful but the survivor will survive and thrive –in time.

Survivors often mention that their loved one who died from suicide did not appear to be troubled. The fact of the matter is that these loved ones wore a mask that everything was fine in their lives. These loved ones went about their lives as if nothing was wrong when in fact their life was unravelling as they went about their business. Survivors beat themselves up trying to figure out how they could have missed signs that might not have been there or were there but were not viewed as very important. These loved ones wore masks most likely because of the stigma that is attached to mental illness or because these loved ones did not see any other way out except to end their life. There was no psychotherapy or medication that was going to end their pain. It was only by ending their life that their pain would go away. No intervention was going to work. Ending their life was going to work and end the pain –finally. No one knows how long these loved ones carried the burden of mental illness and the ensuing pain. It could have been months or years but because the mask was worn very effectively there were no signs that these loved ones were in such a desperate state of mind. It is only after the suicide that survivors come to realize the extent of the pain. The mask came off but then it was too late. The pain was gone and the life of this much loved person ended and they finally found peace –at last.
As always, I want to assure each and every one of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis and I encourage all of the LOSS family to remember each other in thought and prayer –especially those who have recently joined our family and also those who found life too painful to continue living.

Keep On Keepin’ On,