by Fr. Charles Rubey
During the month of June we remember our Fathers on Father’s Day. It is a day that is set aside to remember our Fathers in a very special way –whether they are living or deceased. It is an especially painful day for Fathers who are grieving the loss of a child from suicide or any other form of death. It is also painful for those people who are grieving the loss of a Father from suicide or any other form of death. There will not be a gift from that person who is deceased or there will not be a gift for that Father who is deceased. The deaths are painful reminders of the permanence of the act. There will be no more gifts or cards either for or from that person who found life too painful to continue.
If only death was not permanent but it is. That is the tragic effect of taking one’s life. Life is gone forever and there is no turning back or repairing. If only that loved one had given a little more thought to the ramifications of their actions. But the fact of the matter is that the pain had become so unbearable that another minute would seem like an eternity and impossible to endure for even a nanosecond. That is hard for survivors to conceive but it is the truth.
Men oftentimes are associated with work. For some men, this is what defines them. Men spend a lot of time out of the home going about their profession or trade. They are the breadwinner and the support of the family. Times are changing now that women are in the workforce but in many instances men continue to be the principle breadwinners in the family. For many people work has a very negative connotation. It is not fun to go to work. People earn their wages from the “sweat of their brow”. It is very taxing, physically and psychologically. People get worn out from their work and need to rest after a day at work.
People who are grieving the loss of a loved from suicide are engaged in what is called grief work and believe me this is hard work. We often hear from survivors that they are very tired from the grief. Tiredness is a normal reaction from the grief because it does tax survivors physically, psychologically and spiritually. Exhaustion is a normal byproduct of the grief journey. The pain from grief is tiring and is the reason that survivors need to rest or take a nap.
Is there anything positive that can come from losing a loved from suicide? I do believe that there can be some positive results from such an experience. I am not talking about a “silver lining” coming from losing a loved one from suicide. Each survivor needs to ask themselves just what good can come from this excruciating and painful experience. What can a survivor learn from this completed suicide? That is the crucial question that needs to be asked. Can the survivor become a better person or a more thoughtful person? What lessons are to be learned?