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From the Desk of Father Rubey
Wednesday, June 01, 2016 by Father Rubey
In June we celebrate Father’s Day which is a day set aside to honor fathers in a very special way. It is a painful day for those fathers who have lost a child to suicide, for those children who have lost a father, a grandfather or a father figure. Such a day is filled with a void because that person is not here to be honored and there is pain or possibly guilt because those survivors might feel that they let this man down while he was alive or have regrets that the survivors could have been kinder and more loving towards this father, grandfather or child. With this death the time to be demonstrative of love and affection is over and the guilt or regret take over to torture the survivors. The “if only and I wish I had done this” for him take over because they are no longer here to hear or receive the accolades. One of the important questions to ask is what, if anything, has the survivor learned from this experience. How is the survivor interacting with those who are still a part of their life so as to avoid a repeat of the guilt and regret that followed the death of a father or grandfather or child.

Another important aspect of losing a loved one from suicide is how to deal with the aftermath of the suicide. There could be the tendency to cover up the fact that the death was a suicide. Admitting that it was a suicide opens the door to a lot of questions, such as what was wrong with the marriage if it was a spouse who completed suicide. What kind of parents were they if it was a child who died from suicide. The fact of the matter is that there was nothing wrong with the marriage or the parenting that drove this person to complete suicide. What drives anyone to suicide? It is the excruciating pain that results from mental illness. It is that pain that causes a loved one to take their life. The pain could be real or imaginary but for that loved one it was real. It was tortuous and led this person to complete suicide. The family or the marriage did not cause this person to end their life.

The first step on the grief journey is to address the reality of what happened. This loved one found life too complex and painful to continue living and the only way to end this pain was to end the life. There is no other avenue to pursue except to take one’s life and exit from the world to end the pain. For those who are left behind this is a harsh reality to absorb but it is the truth. It is important to call it what it is –a suicide. This fact should not be hidden or glossed over. It is very possible that there were no signs leading up to the suicide and survivors struggle with the unknown and want to find answers to this plaguing question. Ultimately some survivors live with this question unanswered. They struggle just to survive. This is what makes suicide a different form of death. If the death occurred as a result of an auto accident or a stroke or cancer those left behind know what caused the death but with suicide the reasons that caused the death are not that apparent. Survivors do not have the answer as to what precisely caused this loved one to take their own life.

It can be very painful to admit that this loved one took their own life and they left a lot of questions to addressed by those left behind. It takes a lot of courage to share with extended family members and friends that this death occurred and the survivors are bewildered as to just why this person took their life. What was going on in that person’s life that motivated them to want to end their life? There are many survivors who seek answers and never find an accurate answer to this question. No one can be faulted for being honest in the aftermath of a suicide. That is why it is important to call this death what it is and to be as transparent as possible in the aftermath of the death. All of the inquiries do not have to be answered because some of the issues can be very private and no one else’s business except the immediate survivors. There are some very inappropriate questions that people ask and such questions can be left unanswered but the basic issues surrounding the death should be answered and the suicide should not be covered up. Tell it like it is. That is a very courageous position to address. There is no hiding or misleading information. Such a form of death should not become a secret. It should be dealt with in a very open and candid fashion while respecting the person who has died. This is a very delicate issue to handle. A lot of thought and deliberation goes into this. The manner of death and all of the resulting issues should be handled with extreme caution and respect for the loved one who died and for the survivors who are left behind.

Another important point to make is that how this loved one died is not going to be their lasting definition of their life. These loved ones are much more than how they died. This is not going to define them and their legacy. They lived a life that was cut short by their untimely death but the important point is that they lived. They loved those people who were part of their life but unfortunately they ultimately found life too painful to continue. These loved ones had talents and made a contribution to the world. This was not a wasted life. These loved ones left a legacy and left memories for the survivors to cherish and remember fondly. This life ended tragically but their lives were not tragic. Like most lives these people shared many good times and challenging times. After the initial painful part of the grief journey survivors will be able to have positive thoughts and memories of their loved one. The lives of survivors are changed but not ruined by the death of a loved one from suicide. There are countless survivors who have traversed the journey of grief and have found joy and happiness in their future. The way forward is to admit what happened with all of its ugliness and to feel the feelings and process all of these feelings no matter what they are and to live life to the fullest carrying on the memories of this loved one.

As always, I want to assure each and every member of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a continual basis and I encourage all of you to remember each other regularly –especially those who have recently joined our family. Also, remember those whose Father’s Day is an especially painful day.

Keep On Keepin’ On,



Archives:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Wednesday, June 01, 2016 by Father Rubey
In June we celebrate Father’s Day which is a day set aside to honor fathers in a very special way. It is a painful day for those fathers who have lost a child to suicide, for those children who have lost a father, a grandfather or a father figure. Such a day is filled with a void because that person is not here to be honored and there is pain or possibly guilt because those survivors might feel that they let this man down while he was alive or have regrets that the survivors could have been kinder and more loving towards this father, grandfather or child. With this death the time to be demonstrative of love and affection is over and the guilt or regret take over to torture the survivors. The “if only and I wish I had done this” for him take over because they are no longer here to hear or receive the accolades. One of the important questions to ask is what, if anything, has the survivor learned from this experience. How is the survivor interacting with those who are still a part of their life so as to avoid a repeat of the guilt and regret that followed the death of a father or grandfather or child.

Another important aspect of losing a loved one from suicide is how to deal with the aftermath of the suicide. There could be the tendency to cover up the fact that the death was a suicide. Admitting that it was a suicide opens the door to a lot of questions, such as what was wrong with the marriage if it was a spouse who completed suicide. What kind of parents were they if it was a child who died from suicide. The fact of the matter is that there was nothing wrong with the marriage or the parenting that drove this person to complete suicide. What drives anyone to suicide? It is the excruciating pain that results from mental illness. It is that pain that causes a loved one to take their life. The pain could be real or imaginary but for that loved one it was real. It was tortuous and led this person to complete suicide. The family or the marriage did not cause this person to end their life.

The first step on the grief journey is to address the reality of what happened. This loved one found life too complex and painful to continue living and the only way to end this pain was to end the life. There is no other avenue to pursue except to take one’s life and exit from the world to end the pain. For those who are left behind this is a harsh reality to absorb but it is the truth. It is important to call it what it is –a suicide. This fact should not be hidden or glossed over. It is very possible that there were no signs leading up to the suicide and survivors struggle with the unknown and want to find answers to this plaguing question. Ultimately some survivors live with this question unanswered. They struggle just to survive. This is what makes suicide a different form of death. If the death occurred as a result of an auto accident or a stroke or cancer those left behind know what caused the death but with suicide the reasons that caused the death are not that apparent. Survivors do not have the answer as to what precisely caused this loved one to take their own life.

It can be very painful to admit that this loved one took their own life and they left a lot of questions to addressed by those left behind. It takes a lot of courage to share with extended family members and friends that this death occurred and the survivors are bewildered as to just why this person took their life. What was going on in that person’s life that motivated them to want to end their life? There are many survivors who seek answers and never find an accurate answer to this question. No one can be faulted for being honest in the aftermath of a suicide. That is why it is important to call this death what it is and to be as transparent as possible in the aftermath of the death. All of the inquiries do not have to be answered because some of the issues can be very private and no one else’s business except the immediate survivors. There are some very inappropriate questions that people ask and such questions can be left unanswered but the basic issues surrounding the death should be answered and the suicide should not be covered up. Tell it like it is. That is a very courageous position to address. There is no hiding or misleading information. Such a form of death should not become a secret. It should be dealt with in a very open and candid fashion while respecting the person who has died. This is a very delicate issue to handle. A lot of thought and deliberation goes into this. The manner of death and all of the resulting issues should be handled with extreme caution and respect for the loved one who died and for the survivors who are left behind.

Another important point to make is that how this loved one died is not going to be their lasting definition of their life. These loved ones are much more than how they died. This is not going to define them and their legacy. They lived a life that was cut short by their untimely death but the important point is that they lived. They loved those people who were part of their life but unfortunately they ultimately found life too painful to continue. These loved ones had talents and made a contribution to the world. This was not a wasted life. These loved ones left a legacy and left memories for the survivors to cherish and remember fondly. This life ended tragically but their lives were not tragic. Like most lives these people shared many good times and challenging times. After the initial painful part of the grief journey survivors will be able to have positive thoughts and memories of their loved one. The lives of survivors are changed but not ruined by the death of a loved one from suicide. There are countless survivors who have traversed the journey of grief and have found joy and happiness in their future. The way forward is to admit what happened with all of its ugliness and to feel the feelings and process all of these feelings no matter what they are and to live life to the fullest carrying on the memories of this loved one.

As always, I want to assure each and every member of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a continual basis and I encourage all of you to remember each other regularly –especially those who have recently joined our family. Also, remember those whose Father’s Day is an especially painful day.

Keep On Keepin’ On,