My mother killed herself exactly two weeks after I was born. One morning she left me in my crib, left a note by the window and drove to the apartment complex where she had grown up and jumped 12 storeys. She died instantly.
Two weeks is such a short period of time that I cannot say I really lost her. I just never had her.
My dad has never spoke to me about her or the events that lead to her death. Suicide is a huge taboo in our religion. I am sure he feels ashamed more than anything. I can count with the fingers of one hand how many times I have heard him say her name in my presence. She died and vanished from my father's world.
I didn't know how they met, when they were married, I didn't know the things she liked, how she grew up. I barely saw a couple of pictures of her that were not expelled from my dad's mementos.
Her family are the only reason I know these things. But I don't see them often and talking about her is exhausting. They haven't been a very fortunate family. Its too much to handle so they prefer to grieve discreetly and not bring back memories.
My dad remarried only a couple of months after her death. He started a new family and any mention of my mom was unthinkable from then on. His new wife is the living wife, the wife who counts, and anything that came before her simply doesn'tt exist. My mom was erased from this world. I might as well have been born from a rock.
I remember finding out how exactly she had died when I was eight. I don't remember what I thought about her death before. All I knew is that she was dead - the opposite of alive.
To know that she killed herself so shortly after having me is sometimes an intolerable fact. I feel guilty, ashamed and angry at her, all at the same time. It makes me want to explode. But then I don't know what would have been worse. To know her and love her, only to lose her eventually, or to forever wonder about her.
She intrigues me. My uncles and aunt present her like such a fascinating person. They are biased, but the two or three things they have shared with me makes me wish I had known her. It also makes me think that I resemble her but that could just be my brain making me see things that aren't true. I like to think that she would have liked me, that she would have been pleased with me as a son, and that she would have loved me like my step-mother loves her children.
I wish she had stuck around for that. I wish I had been good enough for her to want to live. May be we could have been close. For some reason I think that the world would be a better place if she had lived.
I strongly believe it's not a matter of "being good enough or not" that would have kept her, or any of our loved ones, around.
We also all seem to struggle with the dreaded question, "WHY!?" and I don't think it's an answer any of us will ever know for certain. I'm sorry that there isn't much that can bring you peace as nobody in your family wants to speak of it to you!
Perhaps you can cherish the few things about her you do know... And maybe one day you can approach the topic again with your dad as it has been a long time now and you do deserve some answers.
I miss the thoughts that design and build your mind
I miss the way you hold me close like vines
I miss you all the time - USS
I may have to make do with what I have about her, which is virtually nothing. Last year I told my father that I wanted to talk about her and he told me not to bring it up again. We are not a talking type of family, so I'm pretty sure that was my last try.
I went back and forth wondering if he doesn't want to talk about her because it hurts or because he's too ashamed that something as dirty as suicide happened to him. Its like a punch in the guts everytime he pretends like he has only been married once.
At times it almost feels like it was his fault more than mine. If he was the kind of cold jerk that he is to me sometimes -and I say that in a loving way- then may be she couldn't handle it. But like you said, it is no one's fault. Everyone's and no one's.
I am so sorry about your mother's death. My heart goes out to you.
On a rational level, it does not make sense for a new mother to end her life, when normally, mothers love their babies beyond comprehension.
If you can, go to google and type in post partum depression and suicide. I do not know if your mother suffered from post partum depression, but it's fairly common, and sometimes, psychoses develop, and when the mother is in that state, she may do dangerous things, suicide, homicide, etc.
There are some cases where a mother had taken her life or killed her babies, and they discovered that the mother suffered from post partum depression.
When people are angry at the person who died, they sometimes refuse to talk about the person. It may be partly because their anger is so great that they cannot deal with it, or it may be because they want to punish the person by not acknowledging the person.
I wonder if you could tell us your mother's first name. She lived, and her life mattered. Do you have any photos of her with you?
I don't have pictures of the two of us. May be the were not taken at all, but a lot of stuff from when I was a baby and from when she was alive was discarded over time. I prefer not to think of the possibility that the pictures existed and thrown away. It drives me insane to think about it and may be I could not forgive my father if this is what happened. So, better to assume that there were no photos at all. My father has never been one for technology, so maybe they didn't have a digital camera, and in general there aren't a lot of baby pictures of me around.
I've read a lot about postpartum depression and psychosis. I even did a school project on it last year. I don't know if my mother had it, but for some reason I assume she did. I mean, it seems logical but who knows. The year before I was born my mother's siblings died suddenly, and she was very close to them. My surviving uncles and aunt say that since they died, she was not the same person again. So may be it wasn't postpartum depression but that.
Whitemut, I am very sorry or the loss of your dear mum, Aggie. I want you to know that I feel ALL of the questions, ALL of the ponderings, no matter how heavy or light they be as the sun rises on each day, are valid - yours to make you feel frustrated, bring peace, and all of the shades in-between the two. I am pleased for you that you are on a path of grief discovery, feeling and whatever else you might want to call this loss, this love.Karyl wrote:I've read a lot about postpartum depression and psychosis. I even did a school project on it last year. I don't know if my mother had it, but for some reason I assume she did. I mean, it seems logical but who knows. The year before I was born my mother's siblings died suddenly, and she was very close to them. My surviving uncles and aunt say that since they died, she was not the same person again. So may be it wasn't postpartum depression but that.
I find the hardest thing to to value is the not-so-positive parts of grieving, but they seem to be a good counterweight to the other.
Anything goes...but I found that anything goes even better when I could give it a life in another - either by words face to face, a journal, on a forum like this. And you have made a good start here.
Take care.Do come back to visit. x
ps. a little dark thing comes to visit me too - I wish I had been good enough a mother to make him want to live. I have learned that nearly everyone who is bereaved by suicide is plagued by this feeling....it is a real challenge, but a worthwhile one, to let that though sit to the side and pursue other thoughts. I hope that others here may share their experiences with this.
If nothing else, give refuge to those in need.