I am a survivor of bereavement by suicide.
Almost four weeks ago, my partner died. He took his own life.
I am in the depths of grief right now and I’m just trying to figure out ways to get through the day. One of those ways is writing about it.
Trigger warning: Obviously this post is going to be talking about suicide and bereavement, so please don’t read any further if these topics are going to be triggering to you.
Also, please note, I am not an expert on grief or suicide, I am simply writing about my own experience. I am not offering advice or guidance in any way, shape, or form.
Before this happened, I was already aware of the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief, but I’d never experienced them before. In this post, I’m going to talk about each of the stages and how I have experienced/am experiencing them, particularly in relation to a death by suicide.
The Kübler-Ross five stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. These stages don’t necessarily happen in this order, and it is possible to revert back to earlier stages at different times, and even to feel like you’re experiencing more than one stage at the same time.
This was the first stage I experienced. Moments after Colin died, I broke down and started screaming “He can’t be dead” over and over again. I couldn’t even compute it in my mind. There was just no way the love of my life had died. I completely refused to believe that it was true. I started doing mental gymnastics to convince myself there was a way he was going to come back; that somehow this was just a huge mistake or some magical force was going to bring him back to me. There are times when I still think like that, even though I know deep down it’s illogical.
Anger is a difficult one to talk about because I feel so much guilt attached to it. I know that this stage is normal to experience when grieving, but I feel that it is especially prevalent in grieving a death by suicide. I feel angry because he said he would never leave me. Then he did. He left me forever. I’m angry that he didn’t talk to me. I’m angry that he’s left me to pick up the pieces of my broken life.
This one started for me while Colin was still alive but in a coma. I started begging “God” or “the universe” or whatever it is, that even if Colin and I had to break up and never see each other again, to just let him live. Then, after he’d died, I begged the same if they would just bring him back. I guess this links into denial.
This one has been present the whole time. I’m just so painfully sad all the time. My thoughts are constantly racing with “what ifs” and “what did I do wrong”. I feel a lot of self-hatred, like I let him down. I feel extremely suicidal (don’t worry, I’m seeking help) and I just really don’t want to be here anymore. The sadness is both emotionally and physically painful. I can’t currently see myself ever not being depressed again.
I haven’t reached this stage yet and I can’t imagine ever doing so at this moment in time. I can’t believe that I could ever accept that he’s truly gone and I’m never going to see him again.
So that’s my grief so far.
I’ve run out of steam to write now, so I’m going to end here. I’m sorry I can’t offer any advice to others who are grieving, I’m just not in a position to do so at the moment. I’m too lost.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. And if you’re in a similar situation to me, I’m so sorry. Sending you love and light.