Losing Someone to Suicide
I once had a roommate, call her Yvonne, who was bi-polar;
when she was 'down', she was a black hole in space, but when she was 'up', she was more fun than anything else on the planet.
She had had a very rough childhood, involving, for instance, broken bones whose causes neither she nor her mother could remember, & no memories at all before the age of 6, when she started school.
She'd been married a couple of times & had a couple of kids, each of whom lived with his/her father.
Yvonne was 'down' when she met Al.
Understandably 'down', since her car had been stolen, & she'd lost a patient (she was a nurse), & her son's father was acting like a stinker.
Al was a sort-of professional person, in a position that made people respect him & trust him, & he was a very bad man, a predator who sensed when someone was vulnerable.
He was very savvy & he was 20+ years older than she was, so managing her was a piece of cake for him.
He came on like gangbusters & swept Yvonne off her feet, told her to quit her job & he'd take care of her, let him trade in the car she'd bought & he'd buy her a Lincoln, move out of the apartment & he'd buy her a house...
& within about 2 months he proposed to her.
I had tried to *subtly* question her, tried to get her to think that this was too fast...but it didn't work.
When they got engaged, I begged her to slow down.
She looked at me with contrmpt & said, "Al said you'd do this."
"He *said* you'd be jealous because you don't have anybody to take care of you & buy you a house & a car; he *said* you'd try to break us up."
Stung, I shut my mouth...
& Al had isolated her from me, her best friend.
(The best way to alienate/isolate/estrange someone from a friend is to make the person think that the friend is no friend, & your victim will do your work for you!)
He did buy a house, closing on it before the wedding so that it was his separate property, & he did get her to quit her job, but then he didn't quite have the money to pay for everything, so she had to find another job, & it turned out not to be as good or as well-paying as her old one.
so she didn't have a place of her own, she'd decided I was no friend at all, & she was isolated from her longtime employer & co-workers.
Thank goodness she hung on to her car.
It was the only thing he didn't manage to get away from her or control.
Eventually, when the demands & controlling behavior became stifling, she left him, briefly, but she just couldn't find the strength to live without him
she told me she needed him & he was the only person who had ever been there for her.
(She told me this when she was living in my new place 25 miles from my old one, where I'd gotten an unlisted phone # so he couldn't find us & had changed my address to a post office box in another town!)
They moved far away, so she was even further isolated & more dependent on him, & I just read that he had died;
he had been in his 70's.
Then I learned that she died less than 3 months after he did.
She would have been in her 50's.
I'll never know for sure, but the way her obituary read, I just feel that she committed suicide because she couldn't live without him.
I know, in my mind & in my heart, that I couldn't help her.
I'd tried, & it didn't work.
but I still feel melancholy & somewhat regretful.
but I never felt *guilt*.
Some posters had said that they worry themselves to pieces, fretting over what they might have done, what they should have known, when they should have known it, etc.
None of us knows what's inside someone else's heart or mind or life;
nobody knows what life has done to someone's spirit.
By all means, be nurturing & loving & attentive to your families & friends, tune in to them as completely as you can, & if you sense trouble, do everything you can to avert it.
but if despite all you lose someone to suicide, know that there were terrors or burdens that you didn't know about, things that the person couldn't share with you.
Take care of yourselves.