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In sadness…

Wednesday, 11 May 2011  |  Posted by Brenda Drake
It’s been a really tough week for me. I was going to get a new contest together, but it’ll have to wait until I have more time. I had a minor procedure done and had to recuperate. One of my best friends was hospitalized due to complications with Strep. Her organs are struggling against an infection from her sickness. So I’ve been spending time at her bedside. And the kicker, my son’s best friend’s mother took her own life last night. I’ve known her since the boys were young. We used to go to lunches and exchange car pools. She and her husband divorced a couple years back and she had been struggling ever since.
As I sit here pondering how a mother can leave her sons behind, I remember how depression feels. Dark. Lonely. Frightening. Knowing the woman she used to be before the depression, I am certain taking her own life would never have enter her mind. But with her sudden life change, she couldn’t cope. She had disappeared from everything, unwilling to accept invitations to go out for coffee or lunch to talk. She shunned everyone for her bed. 
I wish I could have seen then what I see now in hind sight. She was seeing doctors and seemed to be doing fine when I ran into her at the store a few months back, but there was something in her eyes that betrayed her lie. A glazed over stare, rushed words, and how she wrung her purse strap as we spoke, should have clued me in to  her state, but it hadn’t.
Did her sons know something was up? Did her parents (whom she had to move in with recently) see signs? What, if anything, could I have done to help her? Are we totally hopeless when someone is too far gone that not even a therapist and medication prevent her from taking her own life?
Now, we’re left with the aftermath; helping the boys deal with the loss of their mother. 
This experience has taught me to reach out. Even when it feels uncomfortable. Even if you are pushed away. Even though the inflicted denies there is something wrong. Even when the last resort is to call a professional in. We are not hopeless to depression. We can fight it.
Sorry for the downer of a post. I guess I just wanted to share it with you, my friends in this wonderfully supportive writing community. It is here with you that I feel at peace.

Filed: Misc

31 Comments
  • Loralie Hall says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss and your trials. And thank you for the message about depression. It’s not always easy to reach out, but so often people just need to be heard. Really heard. Even if they have to be pressed a little. Sincerity and caring can go a long way, and you’re amazing to help remind us of that. <3

  • I’m not sure what to say. Sometimes there are no words, even for writers. I’m sorry for your difficult time.

  • Kathryn says:

    I’m so sorry for this. Prayers are with you and the families, yours and theirs.

  • ali says:

    Wow. I feel like I don’t know you well enough to comment, but I’m so so sorry for your loss and for all you’ve been bearing. ((hugs))

  • I know we already talked about this, but I’m so sorry to hear it. You have my cell – if you need to talk – please don’t hesitate to call me (or text, or email, whatever!)

  • Ann says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time, but my heart and soul are with those two boys. I know exactly what they are going through.

  • I’m so sorry to hear this. It’s so awful to feel that seed of guilt, like maybe something could’ve been done to change the outcome. There really aren’t any answers for this kind of tragedy. Many, many well-wishes for all those affected.

  • Donea Lee says:

    I am so very sorry. I can’t even imagine. My heart goes out to you and her brave boys in such a difficult time.

  • Mary Mary says:

    This is truly some sad news. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and the family of your friend. I agree that sometimes we need to speak up and reach out even if it seems awkward. The truth is that sometimes that’s all the troubled individual needs is someone who isn’t afraid to care. Get some rest yourself!

  • Mimi says:

    I’m so sorry, Brenda, I remember well how that feels, from when a husband of my friend took his life. It feels so tragic and you wish you had done x,y and z differently.
    It must be a horrible place to be in, where you think the best option is to end your life and leave your children without you. I still think that every time I see that man’s daughter, now 7 years on.
    All you can do is to be really kind to the children. I’ll send you some Reiki.

  • Kim Williams says:

    this is one of the toughest life situations. there are no real answers. no real salve for this wound. my prayers ascend for you, and the boys.

    Namaste’

  • Eliza Faith says:

    I’ve been where you are, only we were with our friend the night before it happened. We knew he was having problems, but he even said himself he would never commit suicide, so what happened?

    you can’t change the past only learn from it.

    Yes, maybe if we didn’t go to bed early that night and he stayed instead of leaving things would be different. Who knows…All we can do is, like you said, reach out. Make ourselves available to anyone who may need a friend, pray for those swept away in darkness and love with all that we are.

    I’ll be praying for you and those boys. xoxoxo

  • Lori M. Lee says:

    This is one of those situations where, no matter what, everyone will always think ‘I should have done something’ or ‘I should have noticed.’ And all those questions and what-ifs will haunt the family and friends for years, possibly forever. It’s not a great outlook, but it’s unfortunately true. The best anyone can do is try to find peace in whatever answers they can. I speak out of personal experience–this is something I’ve gone through with close family members. Twice. My family has a history of serious depression. It’s just not something anyone is equipped to deal with.

    My thoughts and prayers to you and the family <3

  • I’m so sorry, Brenda, that so much is weighing on your mind and your shoulders. I hope you are at least recovered from your procedure. I’m sorry about your sick friend, I’m sorry for the lost mother, and I’m sorry for the kids left behind to suffer. May everyone involved find some peace.

  • Trisha says:

    That is so tragic 🙁 I’m very sorry for her kids. I’ve known a few people who committed suicide and it’s an awful thing.

  • Brenda,

    I am so sorry for you situation. How sad that a person is so sad that even her children couldn’t give her a reason to live. We are here for you in your time of need. Like Shelly, if you need a strong shoulder you have it with me.

    Michael

  • Brenda Drake says:

    After an afternoon of sadness, I came back to some very heartfelt comments here and I’m thankful for each and everyone of you. Your words are always so encouraging and always bring me up. I just love how giving you all are. I <3 you all!

  • Oh, honey! *hugs*

    Sending prayers up for you and yours. <3

  • Jessica Hill says:

    I know I don’t know you, but I’m so sorry for your loss and for all you’re going through. *hugs*

  • Heather says:

    Don’t be sorry at all. Every now and then we need a reminder to reach out to others and that’s what you’ve done for us with this post. I’m not sure anyone can ever prevent someone who has decided to commit suicide from doing it because the serious ones don’t want to be stopped. It’s a terribly sad thing. All we can do is support one another and do our best to show we care. *hugs*

  • Oh wow, B. So sorry. I hope your friend is doing better. And you too.

    As someone who has been on the other end of suicide (my dad) it’s natural to feel helpless or that you should have seen the signs. But the truth is what goes on in the human mind is a secret, they cry out for help, we can do everything in our power to help someone, but if they are determined to do it… There isn’t much we can do, but forgive them. Depression can sneak up on anyone. I’m glad you are taking something positive from this situation, that’s all we can do. Learn and grow. It will change you. It did me.

    I hope you and the boys can find peace and forgiveness. <3<3 *hugs* I'm here if you need me.

  • Artemis Grey says:

    Wow. Best wishes for you to have a speedy recovery. And I’m sending good juju to your friend! She’s lucky to have someone like you to make her forget that she’s in a hospital.

    As for your son’s best friend’s mother, my heart goes out to her sons. What they need to know more than anything is that she loved them and that nothing they did had any influence on her decision to take her own life. They need to understand that their ‘mother’ didn’t choose to abandon them. A woman who was struggling and not thinking in terms of being their mom chose to end her struggles in the only way that seemed viable. The ‘mom’ part of her had nothing to do with it.

    You shouldn’t feel guilty either. Sometimes a person can drown in the middle of a room full of people. But you said that this woman was seeing doctors, that she was living with her parents. Reaching out is vital, but sometimes even giving our everything isn’t enough. I agree that we are not hopeless or powerless against depression. We CAN fight it, and we can help those we love fight it. And as long as we do fight it, in those instances in which can’t stop someone from taking their life, we can take comfort (small though it may be) in knowing that we DID fight, and did not give up.

    Whew, pardon the epistle 🙂

  • Elizabeth says:

    Brenda, it’s natural for you to wonder about your role. Very likely, you couldn’t have helped her anyway. My brother committed suicide many years ago. I’d like to turn back the clock, but the truth is he did it to himself. Our hearts can be filled with despair and no one to see. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Best regards,
    Elizabeth

  • L.A.C.E. says:

    I’ve been on both ends of this one. Hugs to you.

  • Oh Brenda, I’m so sorry. She wasn’t seeing things clearly, and to be honest, there really wasn’t anything you could have foreseen to help her from doing this. Again, I am so sorry!

  • Sophie Li says:

    New here and my cousin actually witnessed her own father’s suicide.

    Depression is a powerful force and as with any other mental illness its unpredictable and the person can only be helped if they are truly committed.

    Its a very sad situation & I just hope those she left behind will be able to eventually move forward.

    My cousin is now happily married with 3 boys of her own. It will just take time.

  • Kerri Cuev says:

    Brenda, so sorry. Hang in there. Positive thoughts coming your way and for all the families struggling right now 🙁

  • Brenda, thanks so much for sharing with us. My good friend took his own life in high school and I know it always leaves you wondering if there’s something more you could have done. But for most people the answer to that is no, but accepting that is difficult. It is something that permanently affects you, though, and I felt like it’s given me a little extra drive to look out for those I care about.

    Good thoughts for you, your friend, and everyone else touched by this tragedy.

  • Monica B.W. says:

    (((hugs))) I hope you get on your feet soon 😉

  • Brenda Drake says:

    Thank you for all your comments. I know there were many more than the ones listed above, but I have no idea what happened to them. Blogger must have done something to them? I wish I could restore them because there were some excellent comments that helped me through the week. You all are so wonderful and I really appreciate the encouraging words! 😀

  • Trisha says:

    I’m pretty sure I commented on here before too. Damn Blogapocalypse!

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