You’re allowed to feel like your loved one’s suicide was selfish

mzRkWO1447016253

Yes, you read that title right. And no, I didn’t write it as such for an attention grabber. I wrote that because I honestly believe it and feel like it needs to be said after so many suicides covered by the media and reactions from others over the past few years.
You are allowed to feel like your loved one was selfish for committing suicide. You are allowed to be angry. You are allowed to be upset with them. You are allowed to indignantly swear this was the worst thing they’ve ever done to you.
Suicide may not be the selfish choice to those who attempt or commit it but it sure as heck feels selfish when you’re on the outside.
I want to highlight something here. I know there will be a lot of people who read this and say I’m heartless. I don’t understand the pain a person feels before trying to kill themselves. Truth is, I understand it better than most know. I left college nearly five years ago after hitting a rock bottom with my mental health and becoming suicidal. I know that in the moment of pain, a person who is struggling and considering suicide is rarely considering it because they want to hurt others or because they are bad people.

Even with being there, even after that rock bottom though, the day I heard a close family friend committed suicide, my words to my husband? “How could he do this to his family?”

I know, logically, psychologically, and personally speaking that suicide is not a selfish act.
But when one is in mourning, they are not thinking logically. Mourning for any death comes in stages and waves and suicide is not exempt to those phases because you know the causes and feelings behind that.

More importantly, I’m sick of people telling others how to react to the death of a loved one. I’m not here to advocate that suicide is selfish because I believe(and know) that at the core it usually is not. But I will say-demanding those in mourning react how you wish they react is selfish. No one who is mourning a loved one is thinking “I may offend someone who once considered suicide as the answer, they are crappy humans and I want to offend them.” They just aren’t. They are simply mourning and trying to go through that grief in their own way, in their own time, at their own pace.

Respect that.

I know, when you are there or have been, it’s hard to see others around you thinking suicide is this terrible choice someone makes without a care in the world. I know how it doesn’t even feel like a choice.

When a person is grieving though, is not the time to try and educate them on mental health. At that point, you need to step back and allow them to feel what they need to feel until they are ready to approach it in another way.

Feeling like your loved one’s suicide was selfish is okay. You mourn how you need to mourn.

11426487_664811630319820_1249197444_n

If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, the national suicide hotline in the US is 1 (800) 273-8255 and an online resource where you can message with people is http://hopeline.com/. You are not alone. 

6 thoughts on “You’re allowed to feel like your loved one’s suicide was selfish

  1. I understand what you’re are saying here. I think the most important point is that no one should tell someone how they should grieve. Anger is a natural part of grieving any loved one’s death. Why should it be absent in grieving a loved one who has committed suicide?

    I also do not believe it is a selfish act in any way at all, not remotely but I understand that is not your point here. Interesting and perhaps, reassuring, post to those in this situation.

  2. Hmm, I’m torn with whether to agree or not. I am a school counselor. My personal thoughts with suicide as always been that it is a selfish act. The more I work with students and families, I realize that mental health is usually (not always) a big part of suicide. I have a friend who’s a Christian and also struggles with suicidal ideations due to mental health issues. It’s difficult to hear her say she thinks about suicide almost daily. It throws my brain for a loop. How can a professing Christian struggle with suicidal thoughts daily? But I get what you’re saying. People need to grieve in their own way. Losing a family member to suicide can be debilitating, and leaves family members with the question why. It leaves them angry, sad, confused along with a myriad of other emotions.

  3. Guest says:

    I just wanted to say that this article has helped me through some…difficult times. I don’t necessarily think suicide is selfish anymore, unless I have a day where I get extremely angry. But this article has helped me to forgive myself for the times I did. I’ve been told so many times that anger is wrong that I’ve internalized it, and become suicidal myself because I’m so scared of speaking about it. It makes me feel better to think that there’s at least one person out there who would potentially be willing to listen to me, without lecturing or berating me for being unable to cope. So, thank you.

    • ljmarceau@gmail.com says:

      I am so happy you found this and it helped you! I am willing to listen any time, because I know how that feels.<3

  4. Jlea says:

    Thank you for saying this. It is the most sensible way of looking at those left behind by the ones who choose to die this way. That’s the thing. It is a choice. Yes there are factors leading up to the act but ultimately it is an individual choice. My daughter hung herself. She had the presence of mind to look up instructions on how to use this method. She had the reason to set up and use the apparatus required to complete the act. So to me to see it as any other way than selfish is impossible. I alternate between anger and anguish over it. And no one has the right to tell me how to feel. She wasn’t your daughter, she was mine, and my best friend, she was the other half of me. I’d listen to her for hours, though she couldn’t bear to hear my pain. I was hurting as much as she was, but only her pain was valid. Yes she was selfish and I will love and miss her for the rest of my life.

    • ljmarceau@gmail.com says:

      I am so so sorry for your loss. I can’t begin to even imagine that pain; we lost a close family friend two years back now and his parents anguish broke my heart. No one ever has the right to tell you how to feel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *