My 16 yr old daughter Beth took her own life on Feb 12, 2005. It was a devastating shock to me and to all our family and friends. To lose someone who you expected to have with you for a long time is a very hard thing to accept.
We all know that our parents and grand-parents will pass away within the not-too-distant future. Sometimes it’s actually a relief when a very sick, frail parent dies.
But when it happens suddenly and before we are ready, it’s like the world has been turned upside down and shaken.
Then the grieving process begins.
It took me a long time to get over the shock and guilt of Beth’s death. People would avoid me – for fear of upsetting me.
Death is rarely talked about in our culture. Many other cultures treat death and grief very differently and accept the grieving process so much better than our western society.
There seems to be a sort of denial of death, so when someone dies unexpectedly, our society just blocks it out and can’t accept it. This can leave the grieving person feeling abandoned. No one knows what to do or say, so they just avoid you.
Death can happen to anyone at any time, we are not in control of our destiny.
I know others who have suddenly lost someone close to them often experience the same thing. Your world has changed forever very suddenly and you are left with a feeling of confusion, loneliness and complete and utter disbelief.
Your head knows the truth, but your heart and soul just can’t accept it.
Well meaning friends and family will say things that you just can’t believe they said. You try to understand that they mean well and that they don’t know what else to say, but in truth, sometimes their comments can just make you feel worse and very much alone because you know they can’t help you.
I received grief counseling within weeks of Beth’s death and continued with it for 18 months. Now I would like to help others who are feeling alone and confused and trying to get through the difficult maze we call ‘Grieving’.
I still think about Beth every day and wonder what she would look like and who she would be. But I can now remember her without the heart-breaking pain and sadness. I can now remember her beautiful smile and it makes me smile.