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From the Desk of Father Rubey
Monday, June 01, 2015 by Father Rubey

In June we celebrate Father’s Day which is a day set aside to honor our fathers or grandfathers. It can be a very painful day for those fathers who are grieving the loss of a child or grandchild from suicide. It is also a painful day for those people who are grieving the loss of a father or a grandfather from suicide. In the past there were gifts to be bought and cards to be sent and now that that key person has completed suicide there is a huge void that can never be filled by anyone. It is very important that the day be observed and the void be addressed and not to pretend that everything is the same. It is not and it never will be. The suicide of this person has permanently altered the family system and that system will never be the same again. Rituals are a very healthy way to address this. The purpose of the ritual is to address the fact that this key person in the lives of the family members is gone permanently and will never be a part of the family. The ritual can be a prayer or a lighted candle or a favorite song of the departed one. The ritual makes this person present in a different way. The purpose of the ritual is to make this dearly loved one present in a different form. This loved one has departed from the earthly scene, is still a part of the family but in a different form of presence. Remember that a tragedy worse than this person’s suicide is if this person were to be forgotten. As long as there are rituals performed in this person’s memory that person remains a part of the family –albeit in a different type of presence. We never want to forget those loved ones who have departed from this world.

The recent air tragedy in France that was perpetrated by the co-pilot has stirred up a lot of pain in the lives of people who are grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. One of the reactions is anger at having this tragic event coupled with the word suicide. There were some people who wanted this tragedy referred to as a mass murder. Was he thinking about the other 149 people who would die with him or was he so engulfed in his inner turmoil that he was completely oblivious as to the other 149 people who would die with him? I have said in the past and I repeat that people who complete suicide think differently than those of us who do not complete suicide. There was no logic in the thought process of this young man. There was evidence that he had suffered from depression and was treated in the past for this malady. There was some evidence from a note from one of his doctors that he was unfit to fly that particular day. Obviously, there was some tragic slip up with this co-pilot and 149 innocent people died as a result of his mental illness. Words could never adequately capture the horror and the tragedy of this event.

Some in the media referred to the co-pilot as a “rogue pilot”. This term could be used for someone who set out from the beginning to commit mass murder and who was in their right mind and just wanted to murder all on board. This would be a rogue pilot. The young man who perpetrated this tragedy was not a rogue pilot. He was a very sick person who was engulfed in extreme pain and saw an opportunity to escape from this intolerable pain. Did he set out that morning with the idea that he was going to crash the airplane into the Alps? I doubt that because he was not assured that he was going to be alone in the cockpit and that the pilot was going to use the restroom. Once the situation presented itself he made use of the opportunity. He seized on the opportunity as a way to get out of this intolerable pain. The tragedy is that there were 149 innocent people who lost their lives as a result of the co-pilot’s illness.

While he took his own life he also took 149 innocent people with him. Survivors do not want their loss to be associated with this tragedy. These loved ones who took their lives did not harm anyone else. They were alone with their pain and they suffered alone unbeknownst to anyone. They suffered quietly within their own souls and quietly departed from this world alone leaving behind loved ones who miss them terribly. These suicides are statements that the pain has become too intolerable and the only way out is to end their life. The only people suffering from the pain of this suicide are those people who loved this person in life and are now suffering the pain of this loss. No one else is involved. This tragic event caused great pain to all of the people who died in that crash –including the parents of the co-pilot.

It is very normal for such an event as this airplane tragedy to stir up the pain of those people who have lost a loved from suicide. It is the publicity of the suicide that has caused the pain to resurface. Seeing the word in print or hearing the word in the news is going to stir up the past experience of a survivor’s experience of suicide. The pain is going to resurface and the survivor is going to relive their own personal experience of losing a loved one to suicide. In time the pain should recede but this is a concrete example of realizing that the grief from suicide is never over. An event such as this can stir up past feelings of grief. This not regression.

As always, I want to assure all of the members of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis. I encourage all of you to do the same for each other –especially for those who have recently joined our family. I also want to assure those people for whom Father’s Day is going to be especially painful of my thoughts and prayers on that day.

Keep On Keepin’ On,
Rev. Charles T. Rubey



Archives:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Monday, June 01, 2015 by Father Rubey

In June we celebrate Father’s Day which is a day set aside to honor our fathers or grandfathers. It can be a very painful day for those fathers who are grieving the loss of a child or grandchild from suicide. It is also a painful day for those people who are grieving the loss of a father or a grandfather from suicide. In the past there were gifts to be bought and cards to be sent and now that that key person has completed suicide there is a huge void that can never be filled by anyone. It is very important that the day be observed and the void be addressed and not to pretend that everything is the same. It is not and it never will be. The suicide of this person has permanently altered the family system and that system will never be the same again. Rituals are a very healthy way to address this. The purpose of the ritual is to address the fact that this key person in the lives of the family members is gone permanently and will never be a part of the family. The ritual can be a prayer or a lighted candle or a favorite song of the departed one. The ritual makes this person present in a different way. The purpose of the ritual is to make this dearly loved one present in a different form. This loved one has departed from the earthly scene, is still a part of the family but in a different form of presence. Remember that a tragedy worse than this person’s suicide is if this person were to be forgotten. As long as there are rituals performed in this person’s memory that person remains a part of the family –albeit in a different type of presence. We never want to forget those loved ones who have departed from this world.

The recent air tragedy in France that was perpetrated by the co-pilot has stirred up a lot of pain in the lives of people who are grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. One of the reactions is anger at having this tragic event coupled with the word suicide. There were some people who wanted this tragedy referred to as a mass murder. Was he thinking about the other 149 people who would die with him or was he so engulfed in his inner turmoil that he was completely oblivious as to the other 149 people who would die with him? I have said in the past and I repeat that people who complete suicide think differently than those of us who do not complete suicide. There was no logic in the thought process of this young man. There was evidence that he had suffered from depression and was treated in the past for this malady. There was some evidence from a note from one of his doctors that he was unfit to fly that particular day. Obviously, there was some tragic slip up with this co-pilot and 149 innocent people died as a result of his mental illness. Words could never adequately capture the horror and the tragedy of this event.

Some in the media referred to the co-pilot as a “rogue pilot”. This term could be used for someone who set out from the beginning to commit mass murder and who was in their right mind and just wanted to murder all on board. This would be a rogue pilot. The young man who perpetrated this tragedy was not a rogue pilot. He was a very sick person who was engulfed in extreme pain and saw an opportunity to escape from this intolerable pain. Did he set out that morning with the idea that he was going to crash the airplane into the Alps? I doubt that because he was not assured that he was going to be alone in the cockpit and that the pilot was going to use the restroom. Once the situation presented itself he made use of the opportunity. He seized on the opportunity as a way to get out of this intolerable pain. The tragedy is that there were 149 innocent people who lost their lives as a result of the co-pilot’s illness.

While he took his own life he also took 149 innocent people with him. Survivors do not want their loss to be associated with this tragedy. These loved ones who took their lives did not harm anyone else. They were alone with their pain and they suffered alone unbeknownst to anyone. They suffered quietly within their own souls and quietly departed from this world alone leaving behind loved ones who miss them terribly. These suicides are statements that the pain has become too intolerable and the only way out is to end their life. The only people suffering from the pain of this suicide are those people who loved this person in life and are now suffering the pain of this loss. No one else is involved. This tragic event caused great pain to all of the people who died in that crash –including the parents of the co-pilot.

It is very normal for such an event as this airplane tragedy to stir up the pain of those people who have lost a loved from suicide. It is the publicity of the suicide that has caused the pain to resurface. Seeing the word in print or hearing the word in the news is going to stir up the past experience of a survivor’s experience of suicide. The pain is going to resurface and the survivor is going to relive their own personal experience of losing a loved one to suicide. In time the pain should recede but this is a concrete example of realizing that the grief from suicide is never over. An event such as this can stir up past feelings of grief. This not regression.

As always, I want to assure all of the members of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis. I encourage all of you to do the same for each other –especially for those who have recently joined our family. I also want to assure those people for whom Father’s Day is going to be especially painful of my thoughts and prayers on that day.

Keep On Keepin’ On,
Rev. Charles T. Rubey