Important Relationships

For suggestions on what helps us cope after our lives have been affected by suicide.

Important Relationships

Postby karenp » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:42 am

I posted this to my blog this morning. Thought I would share it here as well.

© Important Relationshipfrom ©After His Suicide, Grief Meditations by Karen M. Phillips

My marriage was only three years old when Daddy died. It was my second marriage. I was frightened my grief would tear it apart. Those intense emotions of heartache, traumatic stress, and fury funneled their way down to one emotional pipeline and spilled out in angry, watery, aggressive reactions. I couldn’t control my feelings and acted like a tired, cranky two-year-old child. I felt embarrassed to cry, but tears traveled down my face in rivers. Grief left me looking sulky.
My husband became a safe target. Most of my anger was focused at him over trivial things. We painted the house together and I furiously blamed him for leaving a paint-can in my way. He worked a split shift and was sleep deprived; I yelled at him for not listening.
My father’s suicide taught my husband and me how to communicate. We had a lot to digest. He didn’t understand why I was so quick-tempered, and he would react defensively. I didn’t recognize how tremendously angry he was with my father for hurting me. He tried to keep those feelings to himself; they came across to me as condemnation. We had a lot of conflict—and, thank God, ended up going for professional help.
Anger, I realized, had always been my method of dealing with uncontrollable things. That realization and my husband’s loving concern may well have been what saved our marriage. A counselor helped teach us both how to interpret our feelings. I learned it was because I felt safe enough with him that I centered much of my grieving fury at him. It wasn’t fair of me to do that. He learned that I needed to be held when I acted like a child, not walked away from. In counseling, we talked out our feelings without so much emotional-fuel.
Afterwards, he was there for me all the way. He hugged me, and gave me space when I needed it. But most importantly, he listened to me when I experienced my anger-disguised emotions of helplessness. At a support group for families affected by suicide, he learned that my anger wasn’t as unique as he thought. My tears came with less anger after they stopped meeting his resistance.
After a suicide, communication and emotional support is as necessary as water and air.
© Important Relationship
from ©After His Suicide, Grief Meditations by Karen M. Phillips
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Re: Important Relationships

Postby karenp » Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:05 pm

opps, I posted this in the wrong area of "Coping." It was supposed to be a regular post to "coping", not as an announcement.
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Re: Important Relationships

Postby ScottsMom » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:56 am

Moved it ;)
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Re: Important Relationships

Postby Blossom » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:02 pm

I am enjoying (if I can put it that way) reading your blog - reflections after the loss of your dad. I especially like the 'summing up', the 'moral' or 'pearls of wisdom' at the end of each entry. One in particular made me laugh at myself because it is sooooo true...(it is only in recent years that I even recognised the presence of my inner critic)

Living comes from all your faculties.
Become aware of your inner critic. This is a hard time for her, too.

So so true!

Thank you, I am glad you chose to share your blog link here.
Blossom x

If nothing else, give refuge to those in need.
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Re: Important Relationships

Postby Suzanne » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:35 pm

Hi Karen,
Thanks for sharing these. I, too, am a big believer in writing the truth and it has helped me heal as well. I am interested in following this as you keep writing and posting.

Wife of Dave 10/17/47-11/1/06
Read our story ... A7o6s-fPpU
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Re: Important Relationships

Postby karenp » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:04 pm

Thank you, Blossom x and Suzanne. I wrote the reflections about 5 years ago, about 30 of them. I was in a writer's group and sat through the critque process with them; then, I just stopped writing and hid away in a very boring job--for years. I believe not sharing these reflections blocked my creativity. Writing them helped me heal from my Dad's suicide, but holding on to them was like a weight sitting on me.

I am glad to share them and hope they bring something good to all that read it. But, too, I feel pretty vunerable sharing them. I posted the blog on FB for a while and had some anxiety about it. I appreciate the validation of both your posts. Blossom x, I am glad that you liked the Inner Critic. I've had to work on that part of my personality a lot. It's hard to stop being a control-freak when it runs in my blood, in my family. Suzanne, from what you posted, it sounds like you are a writer as well.

Love to you both,
Karen P
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 4:35 pm

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