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From the Desk of Father Rubey
Sunday, February 01, 2015 by Father Rubey
During this month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and this can be a very painful day for people grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. The symbol for this day is the heart, which is a symbol for the love that people have for one another. If someone is grieving the death of a spouse, partner, fiancée, parent, child or anyone else for whom there is a bond of love, this is an especially painful day because there is not a Valentine’s card from this special person. Survivors can feel betrayed because of the death from suicide.

Survivors often express that there was so much love between them and the loved one who completed suicide. Survivors query whether their love was not enough to satisfy the longings of this loved one. I don’t think that this loved one completed suicide because they did not feel loved or that they did not love those who are left behind. There is absolutely no connection between the love that existed between these people and the fact that someone completes suicide. The act of suicide is completely separated from love. Suicide is all about the pain that this loved one was experiencing at one particular time in their life. People feel loved by the many acts of kindness that are showered on them by family and friends. Unfortunately, the love that exists between people has limitations and one of those limitations is that this love is incapable of penetrating into an individual’s soul and healing them from their inner pain. One question to be asked is whether love has the possibility of healing someone from the ravages of cancer? Someone who is in the final stages of cancer cannot be healed by the loved ones who are surrounding them trying to comfort them as they are making the transition from the here to the hereafter. Granted, there is sometimes a lot of time from the moment the cancer is discovered to the time when the cancer is in the final stages of ending this loved one’s life. There may be time to make amends and say all of those things that need to be said before the person departs from this life. The point is that all of the love in the world is not capable of healing this loved one from cancer. The illness takes its course and ends with the death of this loved one.

Mental illness progresses like any other type of illness. Sometimes those suffering from mental illness die from this disease. It catches survivors by surprise due to the fact that their loved one may never have expressed the depth of the pain that they were experiencing. This could have been due to the fact that those suffering souls might have been confused as to what was going on within their souls or their minds. They sought relief from their pain. They may have tried different tactics to relieve the pain that was engulfing them. Sometimes there can be respite from the pain and life may return to normal. Sometimes people suffering from mental illness seek the help of a professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or a clinical social worker. Medications might be prescribed and there may be relief from the pain. Sometimes there is success with such an intervention and the person is able to live a relatively normal life. There are times when the pain returns and ravages the mind and soul of the person. The person struggles with this illness and with their lives. They are seeking an end to their pain. All along they are trying to live as normal a life as possible –going to work and interacting with family and friends and all of the other activities that go with life. They continue to be distracted by the pain of their illness. It keeps getting worse and more severe and there seems to be no end to the pain, until finally this suffering soul finds that the only way out of this pain is to end their life. Could the outcome have been different? Yes, it is very possible that the outcome could have been different if the person stayed the course of treatment or remained on the medication that was prescribed. However, there is no guarantee that the outcome would be different. There are certain forms of mental illness that are so virulent that death is the only answer and the only respite. For those who complete suicide that was their view of their life. There was no intervention or treatment that was going to solve the pain or end the pain. For those suffering souls, death was the only answer to their pain. They wanted to rid their lives of this inexorable and excruciating pain. The love of their families and friends had no bearing on their decision to end their lives. It is all about the pain in their lives that would not let up. They literally could not bear another minute of their pain.

I recently read an inscription that was on a headstone in an Irish cemetery, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory that no one can steal.” I think that quote says it all. That is one of the reasons that I think rituals are so important during the grieving process. Rituals are ways to remember this loved one who found life too painful to be able to continue living. They were people who were loved deeply and are sorely missed. Their deaths had nothing to do with not being loved. Their deaths were a result of experiencing pain that was literally unbearable. They knew that they were loved by family and friends but this love was incapable of being a conduit whereby their pain would be assuaged. With death they were freed from the pain that had imprisoned them and would continue to imprison them until they broke the bonds and were released of their torture by dying. Those who complete suicide had great love for their families and friends. Again, their suicide is not an indicator that they did not love those close to them. The love that they had for their loved ones was incapable of stamping out the pain that had ravaged their minds, souls and brains.

As we begin another year, I want to wish each and every one of the LOSS family the best in 2015. I also want to assure all of you of my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis during my quiet time and I encourage 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, February 01, 2015 by Father Rubey
During this month we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and this can be a very painful day for people grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. The symbol for this day is the heart, which is a symbol for the love that people have for one another. If someone is grieving the death of a spouse, partner, fiancée, parent, child or anyone else for whom there is a bond of love, this is an especially painful day because there is not a Valentine’s card from this special person. Survivors can feel betrayed because of the death from suicide.

Survivors often express that there was so much love between them and the loved one who completed suicide. Survivors query whether their love was not enough to satisfy the longings of this loved one. I don’t think that this loved one completed suicide because they did not feel loved or that they did not love those who are left behind. There is absolutely no connection between the love that existed between these people and the fact that someone completes suicide. The act of suicide is completely separated from love. Suicide is all about the pain that this loved one was experiencing at one particular time in their life. People feel loved by the many acts of kindness that are showered on them by family and friends. Unfortunately, the love that exists between people has limitations and one of those limitations is that this love is incapable of penetrating into an individual’s soul and healing them from their inner pain. One question to be asked is whether love has the possibility of healing someone from the ravages of cancer? Someone who is in the final stages of cancer cannot be healed by the loved ones who are surrounding them trying to comfort them as they are making the transition from the here to the hereafter. Granted, there is sometimes a lot of time from the moment the cancer is discovered to the time when the cancer is in the final stages of ending this loved one’s life. There may be time to make amends and say all of those things that need to be said before the person departs from this life. The point is that all of the love in the world is not capable of healing this loved one from cancer. The illness takes its course and ends with the death of this loved one.

Mental illness progresses like any other type of illness. Sometimes those suffering from mental illness die from this disease. It catches survivors by surprise due to the fact that their loved one may never have expressed the depth of the pain that they were experiencing. This could have been due to the fact that those suffering souls might have been confused as to what was going on within their souls or their minds. They sought relief from their pain. They may have tried different tactics to relieve the pain that was engulfing them. Sometimes there can be respite from the pain and life may return to normal. Sometimes people suffering from mental illness seek the help of a professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or a clinical social worker. Medications might be prescribed and there may be relief from the pain. Sometimes there is success with such an intervention and the person is able to live a relatively normal life. There are times when the pain returns and ravages the mind and soul of the person. The person struggles with this illness and with their lives. They are seeking an end to their pain. All along they are trying to live as normal a life as possible –going to work and interacting with family and friends and all of the other activities that go with life. They continue to be distracted by the pain of their illness. It keeps getting worse and more severe and there seems to be no end to the pain, until finally this suffering soul finds that the only way out of this pain is to end their life. Could the outcome have been different? Yes, it is very possible that the outcome could have been different if the person stayed the course of treatment or remained on the medication that was prescribed. However, there is no guarantee that the outcome would be different. There are certain forms of mental illness that are so virulent that death is the only answer and the only respite. For those who complete suicide that was their view of their life. There was no intervention or treatment that was going to solve the pain or end the pain. For those suffering souls, death was the only answer to their pain. They wanted to rid their lives of this inexorable and excruciating pain. The love of their families and friends had no bearing on their decision to end their lives. It is all about the pain in their lives that would not let up. They literally could not bear another minute of their pain.

I recently read an inscription that was on a headstone in an Irish cemetery, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory that no one can steal.” I think that quote says it all. That is one of the reasons that I think rituals are so important during the grieving process. Rituals are ways to remember this loved one who found life too painful to be able to continue living. They were people who were loved deeply and are sorely missed. Their deaths had nothing to do with not being loved. Their deaths were a result of experiencing pain that was literally unbearable. They knew that they were loved by family and friends but this love was incapable of being a conduit whereby their pain would be assuaged. With death they were freed from the pain that had imprisoned them and would continue to imprison them until they broke the bonds and were released of their torture by dying. Those who complete suicide had great love for their families and friends. Again, their suicide is not an indicator that they did not love those close to them. The love that they had for their loved ones was incapable of stamping out the pain that had ravaged their minds, souls and brains.

As we begin another year, I want to wish each and every one of the LOSS family the best in 2015. I also want to assure all of you of my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis during my quiet time and I encourage you to do the same for each other –especially for those people who have recently joined our family.

Keep On Keepin’ On,