Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

what do you do when a friend commits suicide?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU
 
harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:26 PM
Original message
what do you do when a friend commits suicide?
I found out today that a good friend of mine is dead. I don't know all of the details, but I can only assume she drank/starved herself to death - It could have been something more dramatic, but that doesn't really matter.

I don't need "hugs" or anyone telling me things are going to be ok. I think I just need to have an outlet of some kind to express my bewilderment, even though I was pretty sure this was coming.

Usually when friends and family die, I'm really really shattered, but I've never known someone who died this way before. I feel really sad, of course, but I also feel really angry. I'm angry at myself and all of our other friends for not being able to do anything that would make this world a place where our dear friend wanted to live, to no be able to provide something worth living for.

I also feel strangely selfish for being sad. Her husband, who was one of my best friends and a sort of mentor to me, died in 2005 (also at a relatively young age - in his 50's, from a freak heart attack, after being in better health than he had been in years), and in the last two years both of their dogs died. They didn't have any children, and the dogs really took that place in their lives. She got a new puppy, but it wasn't the same.... now noone knows where it is - it ran away. I feel like I could never understand the pain she was going through, and that being sad now that she's gone is almost pointless. I think I might also be mad at her for doing this - for trivializing the feelings of all of those who loved her, for hurting us and for not reaching out and at least giving me the chance to not be able to do anything to make her feel better.

I've felt helpless before, but never this helpless - like helplessness confirmed. I feel like a failure. I feel like there's a wound that can't ever be healed.

The last time I saw her was when I moved away from California in '06. I was staying at her house because I was dirt fucking poor. When I had nowhere to go, she took me in. I gave her a hug and we said we'd see each other some time again. I talked to her on the phone this last Christmas. I knew things were really bad for her then and that she was drinking too much and not taking care of herself, but she at least put on a brave face, and we talked and joked and laughed and said we'd see each other soon.

I just wish I had my friend back. This is such fucking total shit.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
NJmaverick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. I am very sorry for your loss
Depression is a hidious disease. Perhaps the worse part about it, is there is little a friend or family member can do to help the person suffering from it. It creates guilt, where none should exist. Believe me I have tried to help friends with depression, there is no way possible that you can help them (anymore than you could help a friend who has cancer). Only those who reach out for help, can be helped. Mourn the loss of your friend, but don't beat your self up, there was nothing you could do.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. If you're like me, you spend a lot of time crying, and thinking,
and wondering "what if.."
:(

I've spent a lot of time in my life facing the fact that life is what it is, not what any of us thinks it should be.

I'm very sorry for what you're going through, and for what your friend went through.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I think you're right
I'm just crying and thinking in circles. I'm not running for the booze (victory for me), but I'm just not accomplishing anything either, which is bad, because I have to fill out this form for my 6 month revue, which should be successful, but if I don't get it done, or if I fuck it up, I lose my job, so that sucks.... it would be good if I could focus.

usually when someone dies there's something to do: someone who needs comforting or taking care of, but there really isn't anything like that to do here, just lots of friends feeling the carpet pulled out from under them.

If there is a funeral, I won't go to it (the problem with someone who has a lot of friends is that they're bound to have a lot of friends who hate each other's guts and wouldn't be above getting in a shouting match at a funeral), so it's just like I woke up one day to a notice that an important part of my life was gone forever, no ifs ands or buts.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. hang in there
My goddaughter's father killed himself, and it took several months for me to work through it...and I had not seen him or talked to him for several years.

It is the ones left behind that hurt the most. We always ask ourselves if there was something we could have done or said. The feeling of helplessness will soften in time. Know that unless she wanted to change, there was nothing you could do.

Suicide is a cry for help, but to live, one has to be strong enough to seek the help on their own. I know, I have been there. I promised my first therapist I would not kill myself. I have kept that promise, even though it was at times difficult. It was knowing the effect on those I would leave here that stopped me several times.

Take care. Give yourself time. :hug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bbernardini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. The first time this happened to me...
...I was a freshman in college. I posted some appropriate Rush lyrics on my dorm room door in tribute, as we were both fans (and had attended a show together in 1991). Other than that, I generally went on with my life.

Second time, it was the father of a friend who used to date the guy mentioned above. Bit of a double whammy, there. That time, I improvised on the keyboard for a while and wrote a nice piece of music (that only ripped off Todd Rundgren's "Utopia Theme" a tiny little bit).

Beyond that, I'm not quite sure what to say, other than to express my sincere sorrow at your loss.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bennyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. 4 of my friends have commited sucide in the past two years....
And it never gets any easier. There are the questions, could I have done something? Could I have been a better friend? Should I have stuck around even though being around them was making me very depressed?

But the reality is, there is nothing you could do. The pain is overwhelming for them and eventually not even the things they are doing to mask the pain help them. Seems like she could not see her way through the pain of the last couple of years.

I am sorry for you and her family, because they are asking the same questions.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. Console the family.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. there isn't really any family
her parents are still alive, but didn't really want to be bothered to help her and refused to believe the situation had been so bad. she has no siblings. Either way, there was some estrangement with her parents who would have rather she had done something different with her life. Instead of wanting my comfort, I think they'd just blame me for being part of the world that they didn't want their daughter being a part of. Her step dad also died this past year. He had to live to see his son die, and now her parents have had to live to lose their only daughter. Some times I just can't believe the world we live in.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. My faternity brother, and roomate for more than a year...
...killed himself after I had already joined the Navy. It so completely sucks, there really aren't words to describe it. We were quite close, and obviously grew apart after I left, but when I was home, he was one of the first 5 people I called to check in with. I miss him. I felt guilty for a while because I didn't keep in contact with him more, but I was deployed a lot, and this was way before e-mail was so common. At least that's the excuse that I use.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. that's what I'm afraid of
Making excuses, that is. I'm sorry that you had to deal with that, and still do. I know that my friends who were local to her really tried to help, but I would like to think that if I had been there that I could have done something..... probably not true, but this is by far the worst "you can never know for sure what could have happened" feeling in my life. totally sucks. You know, I can come to grips with death - I know I can't do anything about cancer or heart attacks, but this is something different. I just don't know how I can cope with this in that way ever.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. I guess the guilt primarily comes from the fact that, yes, I could have done more...
...or at least gotten to the point that I can say I really did enough. All of this with Steve came rather quickly (over the space of a week), so I really don't know, but I have doubts. And they don't go away- I've just learned to ignore what they're telling me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. I have spent six months wondering that...
Only it wasn't my friend, it was my life. And he wasn't depressed, or addicted...it was just a mistake.

You breathe. You breathe your way through each day. Some days I pretend I somebody else. Somedays I stare really hard at my children. But always I realize that there is nothing I can do about it...even though I wake up reliving those three days and finding the spots where I could have/should have done something different.

Remember how she lived, and not how she died.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. I'm so sorry for you, and thank you for the advice.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. My response in the soap thread is kind of a response to your post here too.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. Been through it with one friend, and 2 family members (Although one
didn't go through with it, but we lived under the threat for years.)

I found all I could do was just try to live with the feelings it brought up. But sad to say, more often than not I run away from the feelings and just climb into whatever food is nearby and eat myself into a stupor. :(
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. I'm so sorry.
I'm not sure what to tell you to do. But of course it's okay to be sad - you've just suffered a huge loss. It's also totally normal to feel helpless. And you're not a failure - there was nithing you could do.

Just take some time to allow yourself to grieve.

I wish you some peace. And my condolences to you and your friend's family.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
16. I've read all the posts and each has something to offer. Please know that I share your personal
grief.

We can't change the past but we can alter the future.

Be extra sensitive to another person you might meet, who may be on the same path as the friend you just lost.

Resolve to help that person if nothing more than a kind word of encouragement.

Do that deed in remembrance of your friend.

I'm sure she would love that.

Been there, done that.

Jody
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Apr 17th 2014, 05:05 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC