I posted a long reply last night and lost it, so I will try to remember the things I said and write it again.
I can totally understand what kls is saying about the way that some people still judge the family members of a suicide. The rage is from a total fear of mental illness, thinking that you too, the family of the suicide victim, is just a moment away from doing the same, to whispers when you walk in a room or treading lightly on the subject in your presense. I can understand why people feel this way, not all people do this of course , but I found it especially so while I was a JW.
When my mother committed suicide , I was sooooooo angry at her. I was so hurt, but I was also mad at her , I just felt she was so selfish. All of my young childhood she was taking prescription drugs, sleeping all the time, in pain with migraines, crying or depressed for most of the time. There were of course breaks in the cloud moments where she would coming shining thru as the beautiful , fun, loving person I knew she could be. I lived for those moments and they carried me thru the dark times with her, enabling me to encourage her , beg her even to get help, to come back to me as my Mother and not the person she was becoming , finding it harder for herself to pull out of the darkness the longer it went on.
Because of the drug abuse and the depression , and the horrible way my father , the good JW PO elder, treated her , she was not there for me emotionally, and many times not even physically to give the hugs all children need to thrive. My only hope as a child would be for her to be the way I saw her in those times when she was not on the pills, when she was happy.
About four months before she committed suicide,,,,,,things seemed to be going good for her and I, at least in regards to our relationship as mother and daughter. I spent the night with her a few times in her new apartment when my hubby left out of town to work and she made me breakfast in bed. I can only remember a few times in my life as a child that she took care of me , that she was the mother , and those were times I was very, very ill. So , as you can imagine , I felt that my dreams had finally come true. I was getting the Mother I wanted so badly for so long,,,,,and this time it didnt end in a week or two. I was seeing her blossom and I was so proud of all that she had accomplished.
I didnt see the suicide coming at all. Growing up........ I feared it everyday. I was there when her stomach was pumped so many times......I was there as she screamed my name down the hospital halls, begging for me to make the doctors stop hurting her. I knew what I had to do those times and I just forced the lump in my throat and the tears on my face away. I had to be strong for her and I just knew that if we made it thru this, she would be better. Too many times she took too many pills and too many times she was taken away for weeks at a time for rehab , chemical dependency and depression. I had to be strong there too....... I had to take care of my little sister and rock her to sleep as she cried , staring at a picture of our mother on the wall,,,,I had to be way too grown up .
That is why I was so mad at her , so very angry because when she did succeed in suicide she took away all the hope I had of her being the mother that I so needed her to be,,,,,even at the age of 18 , I wanted her to mother me . I honestly still do , and guess I always will since I only got brief tastes of it . I thought how selfish of her to show me how wonderful she could be and then take it away from me, how could she?
It took me many years of going back and forth from grief, shock, hurt, anger and then guilt for being mad at a dead person. I knew all too well, that she was in so much pain, I knew why she did it. I have always understood that deep down, but for once in my life, I guess I had to feel selfish myself. Someone had to understand my pain, someone had to stand up for me and I guess I did that for myself as I always have.
It has taken a long time to go thru the process of grieving for her, and each year she has been gone, I have grown to know her more, to understand her more. With a good many years of life behind me, having my babies, all the ups and downs of life, my own depressions, my own pain, I have seen her in a new light. I can really understand what my Mom went thru,,,,,,,as one book title says ,,,,,"My Mother , Myself", I pretty much say that sums up how I feel about my Mom now.
I have made some of the same mistakes that I vowed as a naive teenager to never make, with my own kids and my own life.
I forgave myself for being so mad at my mother for succeeding in her suicide , because I know she was sick and in pain. She wasnt a crazy loon,,,,,,,,she wasnt trying to get attention, she wasnt trying to hurt me or anyone. There are many reasons that I am sure contributed to her choice of ending her own life. I am sure there are some things I don't know. I only wish that she was here, but I know she is with me in spirit and I pray that if she is out there somewhere that she too forgives me for being so angry at her for what she did. But, I know my Mother, she would totally understand , the way she always did when I made mistakes.
I have to say that those people who do attempt suicide, weither they are successful or not,,,,,,,are deeply hurting. Maybe they don't take enough pills , but they take a chance that it could do them in. It must take a lot of guts,( for lack of a better term) to actually go thru with ending your own life. I know in my mom's case , there were many half hearted attempts and some almost successful ones, and then the last one. So , my view is that if someone makes an attempt , no matter how many may say what they think about it , no one knows for sure what is in that person's mind . Sooner or later, some will get to the point of no return and they will succeed in ending their life. I would take every attempt no matter how half hearted some may THINK it is,,,,,,,very seriously.