I have recently lost my beloved daughter to suicide. The pain is brutally, horribly awful. I cry constantly and feel hopeless. I have this longing for her that will never be fulfilled again. It is life altering.
I wanted to ask this community, if any of you have experienced a soul crushing loss, and not believing in a God, or afterlife, what has helped you with grief. I kind of am jealous of people who find comfort in that belief, am not judgmental of them at all, but am left with my lonely grieving.
Melind, before I retired (as a family counselor and therapist), I was the ONLY non-religious person on the staff. Therefore, when a family of non-believers lost somebody, I was sometimes asked to provide grief counseling. Now I'm retired, I'm no longer licensed, and I'm no longer insured. I'm willing to talk to you, but I can't and won't charge for my time. You're welcome to message me.
My sincere condolences for your loss. All I can tell you is that with time, you will feel better. My process is still ongoing. Doesn’t a day go by when don’t think about Kristin. Sometimes I cry, mostly now I laugh some thinking about the things she said and the time we used to spend. It has been 14 years. The pain never quite goes away, it just hurts a little less. Hang in there, cherish every memory you have. Honor her memory by striving to do good towards others.
I’m very sorry to hear of the loss of your daughter. Grief is so personal for everyone, and we are here for you, should you need someone to listen to your thoughts about her. I found this site just weeks after losing my husband in 2018, and it was one of the best things I did for myself. I’ve made some wonderful friends here, and the people in this group are simply the best when you have a heavy heart. Come here often, write about your daughter and also check out other groups. I found that just checking in daily helped me so much, and I hope you will find the same compassion and friendships here as I did.
My condolences for your loss. I have been there myself. Many years back now, I lost a person who was very integral in my life to violence/murder. It was like a part of me was ripped away, never to return. To this day my mind wanders back occasionally I feel the some pain, but I know that's OK.
As a person just starting my journey as a non adherent, how did I come to terms with the loss? The best way to explain is to give you a small piece from something I read back then,
During Buddha’s time, there lived a woman named Kisa Gotami. She married young and gave birth to a son. One day, the baby fell sick and died soon after. Kisa Gotami loved her son greatly and refused to believe that her son was dead. She carried the body of her son around her village, asking if there was anyone who can bring her son back to life.
The villagers all saw that the son was already dead and there was nothing that could be done. They advised her to accept his death and make arrangements for the funeral.
In great grief, she fell upon her knees and clutched her son’s body close to her body. She kept uttering for her son to wake up.
A village elder took pity on her and suggested to her to consult the Buddha.
“Kisa Gotami. We cannot help you. But you should go to the Buddha. Maybe he can bring your son back to life!”
She immediately went to the Buddha’s residence and pleaded for him to bring her son back to life.
“Kisa Gotami, I have a way to bring your son back to life.”
“My Lord, I will do anything to bring my son back”
“If that is the case, then I need you to find me something. Bring me a mustard seed but it must be taken from a house where no one residing in the house has ever lost a family member. Bring this seed back to me and your son will come back to life.”
Kisa Gotami went from house to house, trying to find the mustard seed.
At the first house, a young woman offered to give her some mustard seeds. But when Kisa Gotami asked if she had ever lost a family member to death, the young women said her grandmother died a few months ago.
She moved on to the 2nd house. A husband died a few years. The 3rd house lost an uncle and the 4th house lost an aunt. She kept moving from house to house but the answer was all the same – every house had lost a family member to death.
Kisa Gotami finally came to realise that there is no one in the world who had never lost a family member to death. She now understood that death is inevitable and a natural part of life.
Putting aside her grief, she buried her son in the forest. Shen then returned to the Buddha and became his follower.
While the story is Buddhist in nature, I feel it does have a valid message. We are not alone. You, I, everyone reading this post and those who have not read it, we're all in this together, we all experience grief, we will all experience grief and because we're all human, we eventually will all experience death, no one is immune. That sense of commonality, of community is what helped me get through it, as I said we all are human and we're all in this together.
Time helps. It never completely goes away but it does get better. Ruminating makes it worse, changing what I am doing and/or light physical exercise like a walk helps me stop. The change of scenery when I get outside is good and there are mindfullness tricks that one can do as well. I step outside and look at the sky. Is it clear? Clouds? Thin high clouds or lower dense ones? What sounds are there? Cars, trucks, motorcycles, wildlife. Two trees, their shape, bark, and leaves are so different.
I am so sorry for your loss. Nothing will ever fill the hole inside you that you feel, though time will let you think of it less often. It will always hurt. It is hard not to blame yourself, but DON'T.
Everyone grieves in their own way and their own time. That is a path you will walk alone. hugs
If you can, reach out to grieve with others who knew and loved your daughter. Share your memories and your stories.
If you can, help others who may be facing the problems your daughter faced. Either personally or through organizations.
Take your time, though. There is no need to rush.
You can talk to us here, we are here for you if you don't have anyone else to talk to.
My wish of peace to you, and may harmony find you.
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Here are my thoughts.
There is nothing you can do to bring her back, to be able to hug her physically, warm and near, but you can revive her memory within your own heart and mind, where you can embrace her anytime, in your own mind, with your own heart. You can keep her spirit alive by doing the things she loved to do, going the places she loved to be, surrounding yourself by any art she loved, music, books, and talking with people who also knew and loved her.
Nothing in this world is permanent, we are all temporary, but we usually leave things behind that might define us, or glaring inadequacies in our lives that those we leave behind might be able to remedy, repair for others, or work toward finding a cure.
If someone (a believer in heaven, for example) says to you that she is in a better place, don't let it bother you, but know that that "better place" is within the protection of your own heart and memory and within the people and things she left behind, made an impression on, and perhaps left better or more inspired in some way.
Grieving is the hardest thing most of us go through. Just know it does no good to blame ourselves, or someone else. Suicide is something people often hide and cover up within themselves, to keep from those important to them. It is extremely difficult to head off in advance, if a person doesn't come to us with their suicidal intentions. If they are bent on doing it, they know who to hide their intentions from. She may not have come to you with her plans because she knew you would care and keep her from doing what she felt she must do.
Yes, it's very sad. Talking to people who understand where your head is should be helpful. Hopefully you can find a grief counseling group. I'm sure there are online groups if you do a search. If you are on Facebook, there is a group called "Grief Beyond Belief" that is no longer very active, but there are likely old posts that might help you in some way.
So sorry for your loss! I think it would be hard either way, with or without religious belief. At the very least you can take some comfort in knowing that she is not suffering. Try not to suffer yourself. She wouldn't want that. You might throw yourself into a good cause to honor her memory...
What you are experiencing is the worst loss I can imagine. I lost my fiancee to suicide, and it was a thousand times harder than losing my elderly parents, the hardest thing in my life.
Please try to share your grief with someone else who loved her and misses her, or with a counselor, or both. The best consolation is to share your feelings with someone else who cares.
I’m so very sorry for your devastating loss. I cannot imagine what you’re going through. Utterly heartbreaking.
I have not experienced this sort of loss, so I unfortunately don’t have any helpful advice to share. The only thing I can think of is to focus on and remember the good times you were able to share together. You will always have your happy memories. They will live to your last day.
I lost my mother to a heart attack when I was 20, she was 39. Nothing in life had prepared me for her untimely death. I suffered from PTSD for at least a decade after she passed! In hindsight, this is the same time I decided god either didn’t exist, or he was an asshole….
I’m not sure I have anything positive to offer other than an ear if you need one.
I hope the pain you’re feeling eases for you!
I'm sorry for your loss. My father also committed suicide but it was 25 years ago. Unfortunately, all you can do is take it in the chin and deal with it the best way you can. You can try some activity to direct the pain into to see if it helps. All the best!!!
I am so sorry for your loss. I would go with Jolanta's suggestion and seek professional help. My mom as a psychiatrist has helped many people to cope with losses like yours.
I have only one child; when a friend's son died on a school shooting, it hit me really hard. She had 2 boys and a loving husband. I kept thinking what I would do if I ever lose my son. As the only child and back then my only link to life. It is a deep painful emptiness in your chest.
So so so sorry!!!!
I lost my soulmate September 8th. Yes,, it would be nice if I could believe there was something else but I can't. 217 days later and I function, but it's joyless and empty. That is a challenge of life that has confounded humans from the beginning; trying to make sense of death. I would say that it is like learning to live again in a different way. For me, honestly, I just fill my day with work/activities so I can make it to sleep and I stop missing her for a few hours. Your daughter is irreplaceable and unique. There is no substitute for her. My Shannon was unique. I don't believe in giving advice, but I would suggest focus on who she was and not what didn't go right. You can't change or undo what happened and what ifs only lead to more what ifs. I'm focused upon memorializing her and loving her memory.
Grief isn't linear and "ambush grief" is real. If you have to talk to someone, talk to someone who loved her too or someone who has experienced a similar loss. My neighbor said the most correct thing to me; try to find some peace for yourself and I wish that for you.
I lost one of my son's to a tragic motorcycle accident back in 09'. It is not something we ever consciously prepare for and as such when it does happen...we have no idea what to do or how to respond. The grief I felt and still feel is never going to lessen. For me it is an acceptance of what is, and letting go of "what could have been"...that unchosen reality is what makes it hard to move forward I think. At first we fight it and we struggle daily ... Minute by minute ... just to keep ourselves from going insane with grief. I had to force myself out of bed and force myself to eat...to not think for a while...I finally managed to bury myself with work. I managed to distract myself from my grief enough to function in a productive way. I miss him every minute of every day and that will never change. What has changed is my acceptance of the fact that he is no longer physically here. I can't possibly be happy with that fact...but I have slowly learned to accept it...that is the new reality. Our reality will always change. Sometimes it changes for the better, sometimes for the worse...what I have come to realize is that I can't change what happened...just how I respond to it. It's OK to grieve...it's part of our makeup. If we don't grieve then we haven't felt love. Love stays with us till the end and gets passed on to those we are emotionally bonded with...sometimes we lose loved ones before we should...life is not set in stone. I had to practice what I always preached to my kids...its not the fact that you got knocked down that defines you...it is the fact that you got back up...you put one foot in front of the other, you get on with your life. I would strongly suggest you find a counselor. You have a lot of things to sort out and understand. You have a support group here...we are family in that respect, but a professional counselor will help you find clarity. There are plenty of on-line Counseling services that average between $50 to $85 an hour. At least once a month or more if you can afford it. It's one thing to lose a child from an accident but suicide is harder...you really need to get a counselor on board. The sooner the better. My heart goes out to you.
My condolences for your loss…although these words are completely inadequate I know. However, I can empathise with you as I too lost a child…my elder son Graeme. He took his life too - just three years ago, on 20th January 2019, just a few months short of his 42nd birthday. Tomorrow will be his birthday- his 45th, and it will a difficult day for me, but I will get through it by keeping busy, spending it with friends and by trying to focus on only the positives of having had him in my life for so many years.
There is no magic bullet to dealing with this type of grief, but as others have said, the passage of time makes it easier to live with the loss. I have never had a religion and have never felt I needed it even in times of bereavement, perhaps because I was raised without it. My own way of coping has been by trying to turn the feeling of loss around by remembering the milestones and good memories over the years which were happy and joyful. By focussing on the happiness and the good times, it leaves less room for grieving and sadness, although it never can eliminate it, it can make easier to bear. Allow others to console you in your grief, if they offer help and wish to discus your daughter and remember her, allow them to do so because they are grieving too and you will give strength to each other in that shared love and memory of her.
My good wishes to you and please know that I’m available to be privately messaged if you feel the need to talk further.
Oh my.. so sorry for the loss of your child. I honestly don't know what I would do faced with the same situation. I suppose in times of such heartache trying to rationalize the events and feelings is very much a "passing of time" scenario leading to a healing of sorts. But you are right.. life altering. Your sorrow must feel endless, I send the kindest thoughts.
I think looking at how others in your situation have acted and reacted can be valuable. Certainly finding some way to commemorate the memory of the child in a tangible way has helped guide many grieving parents into the future. Some have a small shrine at home , others sponsor more outward shows of remembrance such as a small bursary to a school in their name or a gift to a particular team or activity the "child" was involved with.
Small consolation to a life come up short but personally I think trying to avoid acknowledgment of the life lived would do me more harm than good. Best of luck.