My 32 yr old son took his own life on 21st January this year and I can’t cope with how things are so 'normal ’ all around me yet nothing is, or will be, normal for our family ever again. It’s not real yet I know he’s gone but it doesn’t make any sense to me. I miss him so much, my chest is broken and the pain is so bad I don’t know to stop it… is there a new normal for us in the future?
Hello, I am so very sorry to hear about your son, my words don’t really help. The loss you feel is unbelievable and at 32 very tragic. We have two sons and I really don’t know how I would cope it it was one of them, my heart goes out to you.
I can suggest counselling and there’s websites dedicated to your loss if you haven’t explored them and we have a area just for people in your position plus we are always here just for you.
The question regarding normal, when a special person leaves us our life cannot be the same but we grow around the pain and loss. That special person is always with us because they are part of us and our memories. It’s those memories which we keep alive, which we need and support us in those dark times, those happy smiles that say how much they loved us. Hold on to those memories.
Take care S xx
This is the first time I have been on here for a long time and I see your post straight away and feel I want to reply as I really feel the pain you are feeling and recognise those all consuming agonising thoughts and feelings of disbelief and despair. Those first few months how I looked forward to sleep where I’d get a little respite and maybe I’d dream of my boy and for a few seconds all would be well again. Waking up in the morning to the adrenaline pumping and the anxiety of facing another day without my precious child. My son, James took his own life a week before Christmas in 2018 without any signs or hints that this was even a consideration. Even looking back with 20/20 vision I can honestly say I did not have any inkling and as much as I would go round and round in circles searching for answers and torturing myself with the what ifs and if onlys I realised there weren’t any answers as the only person who could provide them wasn’t here anymore. What answers would give me any relief or comfort anyway as my child would still be dead? I would plead to have just 5 minutes with him, I felt that I would go mad if I couldn’t speak to him, see him, hug him, hear his beautiful laugh etc. The guilt I felt, however misplaced, was overwhelming; what did I miss? I should have known; he’d lost his dad when he was 11 did I help him deal with that? I never bought him a new cricket bat; I had a go at him for not putting the bin out……….I as his mum ‘should have saved him’. What I have learned is that there is no ‘should’ as we would have moved heaven and earth if it was humanly possible to do so to change what happened. We weren’t given the chance.
I am over 3 years into this new ‘normal’ and although I think of my son every minute of the day and long for him to be living his life to the full and realising his hopes and dreams I have learnt to live very much in the moment as the future can seem such a scary place. It is a cliche but one I adhere to as it has provided me with a coping strategy and however small the increments are at the beginning, eventually you will find reason to smile again although that may seem impossible at the moment. One day I hope you will have brighter moments, moments when a glimmer of hope will return however fleeting at first. Talk about your boy, share stories and honour him as by doing so you will keep him with you.
I joined a group for bereaved parents after a few months as I was desperate to try anything and the comfort and support that can be gained from being amongst others who can share and empathise and make you feel ‘normal’ can not be overestimated. Perhaps that is a consideration for you at some point if you’re not already doing so. Sending you love and a support hug.
Thank you for your reply, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m finding that things change every day, in fact it can be every hour - I’ll remember some good things then it can go bad very quickly. I’ve had to go back to work and each person that speaks to me I react differently to… some people walk on past, they feel they can’t say anything to me. I don’t want anyone to ignore me, my son is real, talk about him to me, listen to me talking about him, let me cry, let me laugh. I just want to keep him real. I sit beside his grave every day and although I’m looking at it, I still expect to see him as per usual that evening. I can’t focus on anything for too long as thoughts always enter my head. His Dad and I found him, we had to cut him down from the bannister - it was horrendous, I’ll never ever forget seeing him from that angle, my nightmares are never ending. I’m sorry for rambling but I can’t think straight yet… thank you so much for letting me know I’m not alone in all this ‘unnormal’ world…
You never need to apologise and you are not rambling. I understand what you are describing. I too found my son and somehow managed to get him down on my own. I knew he was gone. Even now I can’t believe I lived through such an horrific experience but I am still here. Although I know he has physically gone my heart hasn’t accepted that he won’t come back. Maybe I never will. It isn’t for anyone else to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do. I have really noticed the shift in friendships; surrounded at the beginning then they drop off as their lives continue, their families still intact, it is hard for them to understand in fact impossible and it is easier for communications to become less frequent. In their blissful ignorance they probably believe that it is possible to move on and be happy if only we made a conscious effort to do so but that would mean leaving our precious child in the past snd that will simply never happen. We shall carry them with us as we slowly try and move forward in our new unrecognisable lives. Those that stay the distance while we fall apart and are not frightened off by the intense emotions displayed are a real gift. I have made new friendships with other parents who’ve lost children and together we feel heard, validated, supported and understood. It is a safe place to express thoughts and feelings that in ‘normal life’ would be completely off limits. In time you will find the places, people and things to do that help you to cope and as you say feelings change minute to minute hour to hour etc and when you feel so overwhelmed that it is hard to breath just know there will be calmer waters ahead for you to catch your breath. Even though I feel sad everyday and miss my boy so much I can also admit that recently I have laughed until I cried and that would have felt impossible in the early days. I am so truly sorry you are experiencing the horrendous loss of your boy. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this! Sending hugs x
Hi I am new to the site and I feel your pain. I am truly sorry you are going through this. I myself am going through it. I lost my son Theo who was 22 in a car accident. For about 4 months I was in denial and not dealing with my feelings and functioning well. Then my brother had a heart attack, in February of 22 but he is ok and that’s when my greiving began. I cry a lot, I am anxious, I am stressed and yes like you I wonder when will it end. I do go to work everyday with a fake smile, but I have to say work is a good distraction. We will get through this as painful as it is and I have made baby steps in the process and I am sure you will too. I just joined this site and it helps already talking about my pain and maybe helping someone with theirs.
Hi I’m so sorry that you too are suffering sometimes it does take something else to trigger the grief, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve stopped grieving, I feel so numb. Each day is just another one and it’s feeling so weird, I don’t know how to describe it. I go to bed each night hoping things will be different when I wake up but of course it’s not… I don’t know what I’m doing anymore
Yes I also go to bed each night hoping it will be a better day, but the mornings are terrible. I have my fiance and he supports me, but, he can’t take away the pain. I didn’t say that I had a daughter that was 32 years old and she committed suicide 7 years ago she was mentally ill. I loved her of course but that grieving process was much easier than this one because I felt that she was now out of her pain and with God. Don’t get me wrong I still grieved but I guess I had a different mindset at that time that made it not so rough.
I am so sorry for your loss and I really do understand.
It does seem wrong that others are getting on with their life and yet those of us who have lost a child of any age, seem to be stuck. I compare it to beig stuck in a washing machine… going round and round in endless circles and I can’t reach the stop button.
The new normal will be whatever you decide it will be. I was told that things get easier when one can eventually accept the unacceptable . For dome this is easier than for others.
Try to remember that grief is a natural but very personal response to loss. It isn’t an illness and cannot be remedied with medication but knowing others genuinely understand and offer their support can help a little. We all need someone in different ways and at different times. Try to be patient and kind to yourself.
Your “new normal” starts whenever you are ready. x
Beth I love what you said. It is so very true. I can get impatient sometimes with my grief and I have to remind myself that I am not in control of it it’s a natural process and I just have to take it a day by day and also pray to God that he helps me get through each day. My biggest hurdle right now is going out and feeling comfortable being out in public. When I do go to the grocery store I feel like I’m in a bubble. I used to go in the grocery store and shop around now I just run and get what I need and get out. I don’t know why I feel anxious being around a bunch of people I never was like this before. Hopefully in time that will change.
Hi, I too get anxious out and about when shopping - I feel as if everyone is looking at me and talking about my son doing what he did… I feel so guilty yet I know I’ve nothing to feel guilty for… other people’s family have been lost through illness or accident, my poor boy had his own mental illness which he couldn’t escape from and that’s why he took his own life - he wanted to silence the voices. I hate that people say ‘commit’ suicide - like it’s a crime. it’s not, it’s just desperately desperately sad. I feel so confused, on the one hand I go to sit beside his grave every day, yet I still expect to see him come through the door. I still buy some products that he used/ate in the hope that he’ll need it. I cry needlessly at nothing at all yet sometimes I can sit beside him dry eyed the whole time. it’s been 4 months now and yet it was yesterday… I just pray that he’s at peace now, it’s all he ever wanted.
I am so sorry that you feel others don’t understand and you feel judged because of your son’s situation. Nothing prepares us for losing our child, whatever age.
No one can ever warn us in any meaningful or understanding way about grief and loss. It is such a personal thing to have to deal with and that is why, it seems so hard to share it at times even though we so often want others to understand, they honestly can’t and not because they don’t want to, but because they genuinely can’t.
Time can make a difference, but 4 months is expecting too much of yourself. it is important to grieve in the early days in the hope that further down the line, though we can never make any sense of it, we can start to accept something we cannot change.
Anyone who decides suicide is the answer is not commiting a crime and those left behind have to deal with the stigma so often attached to that and usually related to the ignorance of those who judge with no knowledge or real understanding.
Please believe that this was not your fault. I realise you will be tormented by the endless if onlys and what ifs that weigh heavily on every parent who has lost a child .
In time, you will hopefully feel less need to visit your son’s grave every day, not because you have forgotten him or you no longer care, but because instead, you can hold onto the precious memories that made him such a special part of your life.
Oh Gee I am so so sorry for your loss. I lost my adult daughter about 7 years ago from suicide She was also mentally ill and in lots of pain. I came downstairs one morning and found her on the dining room floor dead and I was in total shock. I just lost my 22-year-old son in October from a car accident. My daughter had been mentally ill for a while and I think the grief was different with her. I felt sad of course but I also felt relief that she was not in pain anymore. It is so hard you find yourself crying everyday, anxious, not wanting to socialize. And then something happens you might find yourself not crying everyday or being able to do a simple task that you couldn’t do before those little things that you might not think are progress are progress. Those are the little things that give you hope each day that things will get better. I have more bad days now than good and some in between, but hopefully the good days will come.