2nd Year Anniversary Blues

October 11, 2010

To those of you who have survived past a second, third, or fourth anniversary of the loss of your loved one to suicide — what was it like for you? How did get through it?

This is new territory for me. I had thought that I had moved through a lot of grief, but some things are bubbling up to the surface and SOMETHING is rearing its ugly head. This time it feels different. It’s new. I’ve changed and so my way of seeing and feeling this loss has changed. I’m noticing anger and irritability at John. For the way he treated me in many respects. Bothered and almost disgusted by the way he abandoned me without consideration for our relationship or me. Resentful that he wasn’t able to appreciate me as I want to be appreciated. A lot of issues that I have/had with men in general are now being projected onto him because of his ultimate abandonment and betrayal. He shattered my trust in men. Though these feelings and thoughts are not new – they are coming up now in different ways. Lot’s of stress, chaos, and anger.

And yet, I still idealize him. I still love him. I still feel compassion and sorrow for his struggles and his life. I find myself flooded with grief and tears at the oddest moments. Having a hard time speaking about it and about him to others without tearing up. Having a hard time speaking about it to myself in my head without feeling sad and teary. So many conflicting, complicated, and complex emotions and ideas are vying to be seen and heard and are intersecting with one another in new ways. It’s hard to describe or explain, but it feels like a new perspective is molding – beyond my control.

John’s birthday was November 1st (All Saint’s Day).

He died six days later on November 7, 2008.

This is the season.

Anyone know what I’m going through or have you had any experiences with grief or acceptance around the second anniversary you would feel comfortable sharing? I’d love to hear them.

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10 Responses to “2nd Year Anniversary Blues”

  1. Kate said

    I feel for you so much. I’m just curious about how the people around you react to your situation. Do they feel you should “be over it” by now? I would guess we both know you don’t ever really get over it.

    Do you think that must people who are suicide survivors suffer from disenfranchised grief?

    As you know, I follow your blog on my own journey and I was kind of relieved to read that you were angry at John. I’m not sure exactly why — because it validated my sometimes overwhelming anger at my ex. (I know he was not in his right mind but my anger is for things that happened in our relationship and him not appreciating what he was doing to others with his actions – but isn’t that the very definition of mental illness?)

    I just so relate. I want to have a romantic relationship again and it never occured to me that my partner could kill himself. By what M. did, he’s left me with that fear that another man could do it. That I could end up with another man who doesn’t seem mentally unstable but is…There’s no way to put the cap back on the bottle. I know something terrifying about life that many others don’t and I guess I have to live with it.

    There’s so much I’d love to discuss with you. Perhaps I can e-mail you directly or chat with you sometime.

    One of the final questions I have for you this evening is — do you feel like each day you fight for your own life or make a choice to live? That each day whether consciously or unconciously you have to confront what has happened and put it in some place where you can handle it and go on.

    I’m a very accomplished person (much like you from what I have read here) and still accomplish so much in my professional life but every day I feel like I am fighting World War III just to survive this. The people around me have no idea. They couldn’t handle it if I told them what it was really like.

    I wish you…I don’t even know…what would I wish for myself. I wish you peace.

    K.

  2. Kate,
    You are keeping me on my toes. I will answer your questions and respond as best as I can just as soon as I can…hopefully tomorrow during a break in the day…
    Thank you for your empathy and understanding.
    love to you,
    Sarah

  3. Thanks, as always, for your comment Kate and for relating. This blog is nothing if not being a place for people to feel they are not alone in their loss and in their process. I’m glad you relate and it feels really good for me to know there are other women wrestling with these intense feelings.

    The people around me who don’t know me very well or know the story or John – seem to think that I should be moving one and dating and blah blah blah, doing what normal conventional women are out doing with their social lives. My good friends and my family have not said anything. My mom is – of course- worried about me and wants to see me with someone. But she is not expecting me to be over it. She’s even still processing what has happened…

    Yeah there is no getting over it. There is just different ways of relating to it. And we are different than most people. We have lived through something that is one of the most shocking and mind boggling phenomenon of the human condition. Yes, everyone has their struggles, some more horrific and inconceivable than others. The cap is off and for better or worse, this is the depth of what you know about life. And in some ways all of us experience losses of some kind. So people might share that same sense. But I don’t think they can truly know. Suicide grief is different than other grief. The loss of a beloved is different than the loss of a parent, a friend, a child. And it’s felt differently by everyone.

    I have a lot of anger. Some of it towards John, some of it towards life, and some of it towards me. It’s hard to put the anger at john into concrete form and to understand it in the real ways that it applies to me. It’s not the typical cliche of – of course I’m angry at him because of what he did to me. It’s not that. It’s more complex, and hard to define. I will write more about it. But yes, my ability to receive love and intimacy from a man, feels like it’s been compromised. I don’t know how I will feel with another man. How I will be able to trust and love and attach again or not attach. i don’t want to get so attached to anyone like I did with John. Nothing is permanent and stable. It’s a work in progress, perhaps one of the lessons I need to learn for my life. We shall see.

    And even if someone has very good reasons for their behaviors and action (like mental illness or narcolepsy) it doesn’t mean we still can’t be angry at them. Our feelings are just asa valid as their behavior. Perhaps even more important. I think in the future you will probably be more careful about who you decide to be in relationship with and you will be highly sensitive to certain red flags…so I think it’s not so likely that you would allow yourself to get into and stay in a relationship with someone with mental illness.

    ok Kate…it’s time for me to get ready for work…more to answer your questions a bit later…….
    xoxo

  4. As for your other questions..

    “Do you think that must people who are suicide survivors suffer from disenfranchised grief?”
    I’m not sure what you mean by “disenfranchised grief”. Many people have unresolved grief – meaning that haven’t really processed the loss or allowed themselves to grieve, and so the grief lingers in many ways over the course of their lives: can cause numbness or problems in other areas that are seemingly unrelated to the loss.

    “do you feel like each day you fight for your own life or make a choice to live? That each day whether consciously or unconciously you have to confront what has happened and put it in some place where you can handle it and go on.”

    Well for the first year or so – maybe year and two months – i felt that way. and i still do feel that way off and on.but it’s weird because I don’t feel like I’m fighting for my life but like i’m trying to surrender and accept my life. i don’t make a choice to live because I don’t feel I have a choice in the matter. I’m still here for whatever reason and there is no exit. suicide is not an option anymore. so I make the choice every day to make the most out of my day and take it day by day, as best as I can. This is not easy.
    and during the first year it did feel like I couldn’t function or even breathe and didn’t want to do anything. but the only way for me to make it through a day was to focus on my goals, the things that I had in my life to hold on to that I had to accomplish or else everything would be a waste and all for naught. this helped me organize myself and my will to live. yes its hard. it’s exhausting. and no one else can really know what it feels like unless we tell them or write about it. and even then, the words don’t do the pain and the loss and the experience justice.
    to everyone out there reading this- i hate to say it, because i hated hearing it- but somehow, it does get easier. it’s still there, but it has gotten better. weird to hear myself admit it and say it, but in my experience this has been true.

    Hope this helps….

    happy to chat and connect any time!

  5. Nita said

    HiGritandcharm, I know in the earlier post you mentioned that you would take a break. But I just want to leave you a message here. do mind exchanging messegnger or email with me?
    I am a 21 year old girl whom is under a depression and been contemplating suicide for quite some years.

    Would you mind providing me with a listening hear, virtually?

    I am truly looking forward for your response.

  6. Hi Nita. Thanks for reaching out. I’m going to email you and hopefully we can chat. I want to make sure you are safe. Remember that if you or anyone else reading this feels suicidal , i urge you to call 1 800-SUICIDE as soon as possible so you can talk out some of the things on your mind.
    Hugs, Sarah

  7. linda said

    Ummmm… is posting closed?

  8. linda said

    Hi Nita & Sarah –

    Tried to post here yesterday after coming across your blog on the ChannelingErik site. For some reason my post didn’t show up, so I’m trying again. I’d like to offer help to Nita, but she doesn’t have contact info. Take 3 … it appears it doesn’t like my signature line, so I removed it as my site is linked to my name anyhow.

    I work with an energy healing modality developed by Dr. Brad Nelson called The Emotion Code (and also the an advanced technique called the Body Code). The Emotion Code allows me to identify and release trapped emotions. Through his years of research as a holistic chiropractor working with ‘lost cause’ patients he discovered that emotions can become trapped in the body as physical balls of energy, disrupting the bodies natural flow. This can cause not only emotional issues (if your body is already ‘resonating’ with anger or despair you will become angry or despairing more easily) but physical issues as well.

    He has found that people who are suicidal often have a ‘heartwall’ – this is when those Trapped Emotions are used to build an energetic wall around our heart. This wall makes it difficult for love to get in, or out !

    Way too much info to explain in a blog, but I do have more info on my website and if you want to contact me via email I can mail you the Heartwall chapter from his book.

    Anyway … If you want to put Nita in contact with me, I would be willing to gift her with some sessions to clear her heartwall.

    linda

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for continuing to try. I’m not sure what the glitch was…some wordpress issue. Anyways thank you for your willingness to help Nita. This approach to healing sounds very interesting. When it comes to healing from suicide or loss – I say hey- try it all – and whatever works! You’re an angel. I’ll email you right now!

  9. John said

    I have found that anger is definitely part of the healing process. You mentioned Abraham-Hicks. In one of their books, they go through the emotional stages. This part of their teaching has actually been one of my favorites. Anger is necessary sometimes – especially in order to get us past our grief. It empowers us and gets the dull and draining energy of sadness moving again. One of my personal roadblocks has been dealing with anger. As I began to embark on my spiritual journey, I came to see anger as very destructive. I therefore rejected it… I could accept anything but anger – sadness, depression, etc..
    I still struggle with the idea of anger, (my mom told me a long time ago – when I was just a boy – that depression is the result of turning one’s anger inward) but have come to see how anger can be instrumental to moving me out of my sadness. I personally just try not to attach the anger to anyone or anything. In other words, I try not to blame or hold anyone accountable for it – not even myself, since I feel the emotion of anger is natural. Rather, it is what I do with the anger that I take responsibility for. If I self-destruct or lash out on someone – it feels horrible (I definitely tend to gravitate towards the former). Anger can act as an igniter and if it motivates me out of my sadness or grief, without hurting myself or anyone else, then I consider it successful. It can get my juices flowing again.
    We must try to remember that any anger or pain we experience coming from someone else, even if it is directly intended towards us, is never personal. It is a product of one’s internal struggle and pain. I do not think any of us, if we truly felt we had a choice in every moment, would choose pain or anger over our love and compassion – especially in regards to ourselves and the people we love.
    With that said, the anger I have felt over the first couple years was devastating. I couldn’t turn it off no matter how much I tried. I was constantly trying to replace my anger with love, understanding, etc. It began to truly eat away at me from the inside out. It wasn’t until I truly stopped resisting the anger that things began to turn around. I was denying my anger. I wasn’t letting it have its voice. On top of that, I was judging myself for the anger I had. Once I let go of the judgment and allowed myself to feel and express this anger (on paper, emotionally, to others) did things begin to diminish.
    I could write a whole bunch more, but I actually have to go.. ❤

    Many blessings to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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