My cousin Frank committed suicide. At first it seemed unbelievable, a shock to all who knew him. How could this happen with no warning?
Then you start to talk to other family members, ex- wife, kids: none of them were surprised. Is this how all families hide or ignore depression? A few people knew he had struggles in the past, most of the family had no idea. Were we looking?
I believe this question has no good answer. Those who are left behind after a suicide get to all ask why, Why now? Why didn’t he reach out? Why did I not stay in better touch?
In my immediate family we share information, not emotions. We share general ideas, not struggles. We support each other by action and deed. We are not good at asking for help.
I got a flight home to NJ to be with family for the service and to re connect with those that I love. What I learned is that families can evolve. My brother struggled to process how anyone could reach that point of despair where you cannot see ahead and get stuck in the dark recess of your mind. The answer here is my brother has the ability no matter how difficult the situation to see ahead and be certain that he will be OK. Not everyone has that level of faith. Suicide touches all of us. Supporting each other in seeing ahead to the future is what we can do now. The next generation is asking more questions and sharing more real emotions with each other.
Ask and Listen
I believe when you ask better questions of each other, you get better information and honest sharing.
Share the whole messiness of your life with those you love.
Listen with your heart.