Daily Share – Trying Not To Be Fearful Of The Changes!

I recently experienced a family suicide. He was my awesome and funny nephew of 24 years and a Marine combat vet that served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He took his life when it seemed to him that it was unfixable. We now clearly understand that post-traumatic stress disorder was a huge factor in his inability to transition back into civilian society. I have never felt such grief in my life, in spite of losing a father and grandparents before his time. The survivors of suicide get a special gift of incredible guilt and shock, which shakes the bedrock of their lives.

At the same time, my boyfriend of 4 years was unprepared to deal with the intense grief I was experiencing. Once the military funeral was over, I sensed his impatience for my continued sadness. I know he was not connected to this young man the same as I so I understood it to a point. I asked him for time alone to be in the company of my family so we could continue to talk about our grief freely. Frankly, outside of the small circle of family and very close friends of a suicide victim, others grow tired of our need to keep talking about it. So, by week two after the passing, my boyfriend expressed that I was making my grieving process, the subsequent attention by way of condolences, and hiding out in the house all about me. I was being selfish. At this point, I saw his selfishness clearly and asked him to leave my house. If I was demanded to choose between grieving over the continuance of a relationship with him, I had no other choice but to choose to grieve. I couldn’t not grieve anyway. We haven’t spoken and it appears all is over between us. Now I have the loss of two pivotal people in my life, all at once. I’ve been trying to be still. I’ve been trying to not be fearful of the changes. Nothing is a coincidence, but would love some perspective from others that study the spiritual journey.

A TDL Reader

  • Sarales

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Life is about what we feel,not about how we should or should not feel. You did what you needed to do. I applaud your strength in choosing your path. Had you not done it that way,it would have come back to haunt you in  another way. Namaste.

    • Mari6160

      I’m so sorry for your losses, but have faith that through this you will not only come out with new insight, but be able to serve the world with even more understanding and wisdom. The gifts may not be clear yet, but they will reveal themselves over time. Your boyfriend is learning too, and sadly his lessons may move him in a different direction. Give yourself the time he did not. Trust.

  • KA

    You are better off without someone who tells you that you are being selfish for being who you are.  His behavior is completely unacceptable and immature. I support you wholeheartedly in your decision to make him leave your house.  Usually when people say things that are mean to people, it is something that resonates within themselves.  He was the selfish one  for not supporting you and allowing you to grieve in the manner that was most appropriate to you.   You deserve to be treated like a queen.  It’s his loss, not yours. Glad you are finding solace in a loving environment. All the best.

  • Gin

    You are a wise and strong soul, and you deserve your time to grieve. My cousin died last year at a similar early age and the sense of loss and tragedy is difficult to bear. Time heals but there is no time limit for that healing process. Leave your boyfriend to go off and reflect, on his shallow and selfish behaviour, and what he is exactly demanding of you. Perhaps, he will realise his unfair behaviour and show you the support you so clear deserve, but if he does not, you now know that he cannot offer you love and support you deserve. 

  • Joe

    Take whatever time you need.  A boyfriend who can’t understand and love you for who you are and your needs is one you don’t need.  If he can’t be supportive and understanding with this I agree with Gin he cant offer you the love and support you deserve now and in the future.  Hang in there and know that everything happens for a reason.   You will get through this.   I know it doesn’t seem possible now, but you will. 

  • GL

    Bless your dear heart.  I am terribly sorry for the loss of your nephew.  I can’t begin to imagine the tremendous pain you and your family are in.  Sending Love and Light to all of you.  As for the loss of your so-called boyfriend, that appears no loss at all.  That he would not offer you full support in one of the darkest times of your life is unimaginable.  It took great courage with all that you are already going through to ask him to leave your house and to not speak with him any further.  You deserve to be honored, respected, loved, and cherished completely…especially in your darkest hours.  It took this tragedy to shine light into your relationship with him so that you would be moved to take the best path for your highest and greatest good…to release that which no longer serves you and open your heart and mind to new love.  Take good care.

  • Sometimes people who cannot handle and express their own emotions lash out at those who can. Your boyfriend may have never gotten to express himself and he is projecting on you. It’s also possible that you are afraid to heal because you won’t have any other way to honor and remember your nephew. I see that this crisis is actually a way for you and your boyfriend to heal and to learn to love more deeply, with each other or other people.

    The lesson of grief is really to accept the profound truth of love. That is: when you love someone, you never lose them. They live in your love. They live in your light. Your nephew and your boyfriend might be gone away from you physically, but you can always touch their soul by remembering the love you shared. You can live in the light of your love and honor it forever. It’s your choice at any moment.

    You can’t stop your tears, but you can chose to love through your pain instead of beating yourself up with guilt. That is self-defeating, and after a while, that might become a defense that keeps you from healing.

    I hope this helps.

  • PositiveMary

    You are a good, smart, and strong woman. Our young people show love and honor for this country by leaving family and friends for a cause our government tellls us is right and just. They come back to us with a broken heart of unjustice about humanity and visions that torment them. Has the government any regard for them when they come back to family and friends broken? We need to demand a program that lets our loved ones process what happened over there. It needs to start from what happened in bootcamp, to carrying a gun (they were not offered a class in any of this in highschool), etc. I plan to write to the President and Senators today. I know our loved ones are always with us if that is any comfort.  You never know if it will be in the form of a butterfly, a certain wind that just jumps up in front of you, a dragonfly, or some other little knowing, Please be open to what ever form he presents himself. It is the most comforting thing that will happen to you and your family in this time of loss.  We need to fundraise or start an endowment in his name, or go to the White House steps and demand appropriste counseling happen. Not a counselor out of the yellow pages, a trained and speical counselor who has had speciality training and can move our loved ones from suicidal thoughts to llife thoughts.  What wouId you nephew want a program of good counseling for others called that will live on in his honor? How many young people could we help if we had a good counseling program to offer our vets when they return home? Is it time Maston and the rest of us honored your nephew and other soldier boys and soldier girls? I have no suggestion for you about your relationship except to say you truly sound like a good, smart, and strong woman. You will know in your heart the answer.

  • Cinnamonrose Girl

    Oh, hon. Words alone do not convey how sorry I am for you & your family. Suicide is devasting & the self harm of a loved one do hard to comprehend. My boyfriend of 8 yrs just completed suicide 3 weeks ago, so I understand hour unique pain.
    You will get thru this but it will change you profoundly. Your boyfriend, from immaturity or his own fear of emotions, death or growth, is not going to be able to make that journey. Let him go. Forgive his weakness and realize there is more space emotionaly and time with him gone to grow and fond others who can be there for ts you now. There are suicide support groups & peer counseling. I had 2 survivors visit my home 2 days ago and it helps to know there are others with wisdom or just caring to share.
    Do what you need, this is your journey now, not a side trip. There is no way back to before this trauma. I wish I could offer more comfort. It hurts imore than anything I ever felt. I have found family impatient. His family banned me from all memorials blaming me. Find support where you can. Much of this is a solitary road but filled with hurting souls.. learn to see pain in others compassionately as a way to use your own pain. You are cared for. You are not alone…I send what love I can.

  • AvalonLove

    I am so sorry to hear of your tragic loss.  My father chose the same path and it is very difficult for those left behind.  Please realize how very blessed you are to have family and friends to share in your grief.  Both sides of my family decided to never bring it up again, as if he never existed.   I have chosen to share with my sons the tragedy this was and still is, as well as teach them never to be afraid to ask for help and counseling.  They both went to counselors in their teens for support, and my oldest just graduated college with a degree in psychology.  We can’t bring them back, but we can learn and do all we can not to repeat the cycle. 

  • Joanj

    The Bible tells us of the slaughter of the Innocents before Christ was born.  The Newtown Innocents will tell us what to do now to prepare us for a special awakening.   The 20 children and their 6 loving guardians will lead  the way to the Light.  They will show us how to love each other and enjoy our differences.

  • Pastordeb4

    I am a hospice chaplain and social worker and do alot of bereavement and grief counciling.Kudos to you for asking him to leave! You knew in your heart  what  you need to do .There is no time line for grief ,however people that do not work in the field do not  always understand the difference between grieving and mourning and the impact it can have .Society tells us we get three days bereavement leave then we should be back to work and all over it.well Im here to say it generaly doesnt happen that way  Suicide is death by another name and suicide grief  comes with its own unique issues.Death ends a life not a relationship. I would recomend Understanding your grief by Dr Alan Wolfelt an excellent resource on the grieving process. Blessings to you on your Journey

  • bimini444

    It sounds to me as if you’re going through a shedding. That’s the best term I was able to come up with since going through loss of relationships and people in my life.  Its like everything that was a constant in your life seems to be taken away swiftly and tragically in some case. Mine shedding started in 2008, from me it was loss after loss. About 2 months ago I reached my  moment of peace and just let go.  I leaned even further into spirit and stopped needing to know why. (I sometimes still ask why but I don’t need to know why anymore). That is so freeing. Be gentle with yourself, take the time you take and let go of needing to know why and of course lean into the pain, embrace it and spirit will support you. Its what supported me thus far! Sending you love!

  • Kathleen Turczyn

    Dear ADTL Reader,

    I am very sorry for your pain and grief at your nephew’s suicide, and wish you peace.  However, in asking your boyfriend to leave, you have acknowledged to yourself (and to him) who you really are.  For some people, that is a very courageous thing to do.  I find myself hoping that he will wake up and return to you with humble apologies, but it may just be that you’ve learned that he was not to be your life partner.  

    You are in the middle of it.  It would be very difficult at this point to embrace the sudden changes in your life and not be fearful.  Perhaps this sad, sudden double whammy will show you the way to shake off emotional ties that are hurting you and live every moment in love and acceptance of everything.  No thoughts.  Just taking joy from being who you are and where you are.  Choose joy as much as you possibly can, moment to moment.  Concentrate on what’s up for you right in your face right now (the dishes, etc.).  Choose happiness.  Our culture does not understand nor support choosing joy in the face of tragedy.  But it’s possible.  I have seen it happen.

    Peace and joy.

  • CoachDave

    Dear TDL reader, I am so very sorry for your loss and I know many Americans unite behind you in their support for your nephew and his service to us. It is truly disheartening that he did not get the help that could have saved him before the despair he felt caused him to take his own life. I want to thank you so much for sharing your story with us in this caring community and I hope that in some small way, it helps you to process your grief.

    I’m also very sorry that your boyfriend wasn’t able to give you the support you needed in your time of grief – although I’d like to share with you a very different perspective on that situation. Perhaps it will help you make sense of some things and move toward healing. While I understand how his actions could be construed by many on here to be very selfish, as a Relationship Coach, I offer another distinct possibility. 

    The fact is, people always do the best they can with what they have in the moment. Just as it was hard for you to deal with the grief in the aftermath, it probably seemed pretty overwhelming to him as well. That’s because masculine energy demonstrates its value in the world by its ability to fix things and solve problems…and to a man, it is torture to sit in a problem he simply can’t fix. In some ways, what he seemingly perceived as “prolonged” grief and sadness, may have resembled a problem he couldn’t fix. It’s also possible that your retreat into the comfort of close family, may have come across as “pushing him away” and triggered some feelings of rejection in him…which never brings out the very best in people.

    While I’m not condoning his action – and I’m certainly not blaming you for asking for space – I hate to see this young man vilified so harshly when it’s possible that he really wanted to be there for you in the best way possible but he just really didn’t know how or have the tools available. Few people do when it comes to such an emotionally-charged situation. 

    If he was “pivotal” as you say and an otherwise good boyfriend for 4 years, it’s possible that a tragic and overwhelming event may just have gotten the best of you both in the moment. That would certainly be understandable. The thing is…if we look for fault and someone to blame…we will always be successful. If you also look for the positive intent in people and give grace to someone who made a mistake when they were in over their head…you may find yourself much farther along the path of your spiritual journey. I’m not saying that you should get back together but it seems to me that a little acceptance and forgiveness could help lead to a shift that gets you back to a good place again.

    I hope this helps and I offer my heartfelt condolences to you, your family and loved ones everywhere. I honor your nephew for his service and I pray for peace for all who are grieving his loss. 

  • Cori

    my condolences to you and your family at this time
    i can imagine it must be very difficult and trying time for you at the moment

    this was an interesting post for me because i the thoughts of suicide are never too far in my mind

    reading how it affects family and friends after the death is quite an eye opener and it serves as fuel to find other solutions, seek support, do the things i love and really inquire within as to what i am really thinking and believing

    i’m so sorry about the loss of your relationship in the midst of all of this 
    when i read about that the first thought that came to mind is that he probably regressed to an old and very painful memory
    i read a book called ‘growing yourself back up’ by john h. lee and he illustrates beautifully that when the reaction is bigger than the situation, a regression has probably taken place

    having been with your boyfriend for 4 years i would imagine there is a lot of love there and it feels kind to access compassion towards those we love especially when we are in conflict

    by no means do i agree with his judgements of your grief and i have noticed that when i can empathize with those i love, my pain also diminishes

    i can see from your post 
    that you are all just doing your very best
    your nephew did the best he could
    and so are you and so is your boyfriend
    this is a journey 
    kindness is a soothing balm for deep wounds

    i send you all my very best wishes and a magical holiday season