Why suicide?

My heart is heavy with the news that, after 12 days of searching, Jennifer Huston has been found dead.

I feel completely depleted. This news hits close to home for me because she is the family of a close friend, and also because it was a suicide. My dad describes this as a ‘time warp,’ because we can’t help but travel back in our minds and hearts to that awful time we received the news.

I am grieving with and for this family. I want to curl up in bed and cry and sleep.

Like all of us who get news of a loved one’s suicide, the first question you ask yourself is: Why? Why did they do this horrible thing to themselves – to us? Why didn’t they ask for help? Why didn’t I see the signs? Why couldn’t I save them? Why suicide?!

I am so sorry that Jennifer’s family now has to ask themselves so many ‘whys.’ Suicide leaves behind so many people who desperately search their hearts for answers. Unfortunately, there is no simple explanation to something so complex. Often, mental illness is involved, but suicide is the result of many factors that create a perfect storm.

It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it happened. Every 15 minutes, someone in the world takes their life, leaving behind many friends and family who inherit suffering that is only a tiny proportion to the pain that their loved one was burdened with.

As a survivor of suicide loss, you never really stop asking ‘why?’ You will ask it forever, or for as long as you feel the need to. You may arrive at answer that fulfills your painful wondering, and then again you may not – but the process is entirely personal.

Be kind to yourselves. That is my advice to Jennifer’s family and any others who are in the raw stages of this complicated grief. I want the Huston family to know that they will survive this, even though it does seem like it now. Their love for Jennifer and for each other will get them through. But right now, just focus on the basics: sleeping, eating, breathing. Love each other, and realize that everyone will deal with this grief in their own way.

You are in my heart,

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