The First Year of Grief After My Daughter's Suicide
It’s been a year since my daughter took her life, and I stand in this world much differently today than I ever have. I am broken down, defeated, lost and will never be the same again. I stand here as a mother who has lost a child. This past year has been full of grief, hope and as much strength as I can put together to face every day.
The most difficult part of losing my older daughter has been watching my youngest daughter struggle through the grief. Seeing her struggle through her grief and wanting to fix it and take away the pain, makes my broken heart hurt even more. I believe there is nothing more painful than seeing your children in pain and not being able to take it away. Her grief is different than mine. I understand the loss, but will never fully understand her grief as a sister and best friend. I can only be here for her and give her comfort, supporting her through her grief to find healing.
I have learned that relying on others and letting others help has been the most challenging for me, and I haven’t quite figured it all out yet. I have never been good at relying on others, and now, when I am grasping to hold onto the hope I have, asking or allowing others to be there is challenging. I know that I have loving, supportive, caring friends and family that want to be there, but I have always been the one to reach out to help others. I am trying to let that go and let others be there for me. I am trying. Walking through this grief is something indescribable to most people, and it has a way of making me feel alone in a crowd of people who love and care for me.
The waves of grief have taken me through so much already, and I know they will keep coming. In moments I find myself smiling and enjoying the moment, I feel guilty that I’m enjoying things without her. When I’m overwhelmed with sadness and fall apart, I feel disappointed that I’m not being strong enough for my youngest daughter. When I sit and think about the time we should have had together, the three of us, I am angry. I roll through these emotions and jump from shock to disbelief, depression, hope, acceptance, love and hurt. I am often conflicted about my feelings and how to best express and share them.
There are days I just fight to survive, others I take on with gusto, some I just get through and some when I am full of strength, wearing my tears as armor, taking on the world. I don’t always know what strength I will have each day, and some days what I think I am ready for turns into something much different.
The pain my daughter’s illness caused her had to be even greater than the pain we are all in without her here. Her illness was truly debilitating and she fought with everything she had against it.
The reality of grief for me is that it is different all the time. It changes day by day, hour by hour and even minute by minute.
I will forever be reaching to my daughter, and for the rest of my life, won’t find her there. That is how I explain my grief.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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