My husband took his life May 30, 2013. I have told people, including co-workers, that he took his own life, and that he was sick, mentally. It's my thought that I would rather tell people, so they don't start taking tiny tid-bits of information and assuming the rest, causing rumors and gossip ...
There are SO many people are on facebook, family, friends, old classmates, I did not post that Sean took his own life, only that he died sudden and unexpectedly. I receive the news feed from SOLOS (Survivors of Loved ones of Suicide), and sometimes I will share their posts/pictures or comment, yet my mother-in-law seems ashamed of her sons suicide. She asked me if there was a way to make it so that anything she did pertaining to that site would not be seen by anyone else ... I also found out just last week, that my sister-in-law knew absolutely nothing about what was happening with her brother, until 2 weeks before his death. Their mom hadn't said anything to anyone. The only reason his sister found out was when she saw him and he told her about the life insurance policy he thought I had taken out on him, because he also thought that I had some drug lord king pin boyfriend and his "people" were going to kill him ... She told him that his story sounded crazy ... And just two weeks later, she received a call that he had taken his own life.
What is the shame about?! I don't feel shame that he died by suicide. I want to promote awareness, so that this doesn't happen to another family! I want to speak up and speak out about mental illness and the damaging effects it can have, if gone untreated. I want to help others in similar situations and be my Sean's voice! His voice against every professional who failed him over the past few months! Against the police who didn't take him seriously and told him they hoped his day got better, hours before his death.I don't want his death to be for nothing! I will not let his death be in vain!
He Crossed the Finish Line into Eternity May 30, 2013
I am glad you are going to speak out and stand up for your husband. It is so important! Your mother in law may eventually come around to your way of thinking, or she may not. But it sounds like right now, she needs more time to find her bearings. I would respect her desire to keep her activities pertaining to the site private. It may be too painful for her to do anything else right now. Sending you both a big hug, cali
I also remember, or realise now, that I could not truly understand my son's feelings, my husband's feelings, or their responses. It was all about me. I was consumed with me. I couldn't get away from that - I just couldn't. Impossible. And that's where the counsellor was good - someone who was not grieving, but gave me an outlet for MY grief....and a little space to be able to accept the differences in others. It's hard, it's tricky, but it's survivable.
I saw a youtube very early on in my grief. A psychiatrist who said that we bring who we are to our grief. We are not a clean slate at the moment grief strikes. We feel and process through all that we have lived up to that point....and onwards I suppose. I have always remembered this.
RIPsean, I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear husband. There is a special strength in you to have made a stand in this early time of grief. It portends well for survival. Hold on.
If nothing else, give refuge to those in need.
I have never hidden the fact of my husband, Dave's, suicide, but I have also felt the pain and humiliation he felt as everything unraveled for him in the last years of his life. I had and still have a fierce desire to protect him from judgment, even though I have been very open about his suicide.
I am not ashamed of Dave, but still i feel his own feelings of shame. Your mother-in-law may share some of these feelings, too.
Read our story
http://books.google.com/books?id=4zThE8 ... A7o6s-fPpU
Time. everyone keeps telling me; time
He Crossed the Finish Line into Eternity May 30, 2013
You guys all know what I and her relatives are going through at the moment so I won't dwell on it here.
To answer your question, I have a few theories:
The first one is that like Cali said, your mother-in-law is actually ashamed of herself as she feels she has failed as a mother. It is possible also that she did the ostrich's policy on the seriousness of your husband's disease, which would explain why his sister didn't know. No one wants to think that a loved one is about or might take their own life. I say that because I have the feeling that this is what happened to my best friend and her family. Her mother seemed to think that she was just going through a tough time instead of a serious mental illness and that it was more of a case of "pull yourself together". I don't know if she didn't want to face reality to be honest or she was just too focused on her own issues (her mother also suffers from depression) to admit her daughter's anguish. Either way, sometimes it's easier to do that than to face the reality of a potential suicide. I admit though that her suicide came as a massive shock to me too. I knew she was suffering from a heavy depression and she even confided having suicidal thoughts a couple of weeks before her death. I took it as a good sign that she wanted to talk about it as I assumed that a suicidal person wouldn't let me know what they were planning.
I don't know your mother-in-law so I am just throwing speculations there, but would it be also possible that being from an older generation, mental illness is still considered as a taboo for her? Not so long ago and even nowadays, it was the type of thing people didn't talk about and simply hushed.
PS: I hope I made myself clear, I am not an English native speaker