When Barry died, I tried to stop the world and go back for him and I hated the world for pulling me along with it. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t do anything. When I finally realised that some things are out of my control, I lost it. Anger filled every part of my body and I wanted to give in to the craving to see Barry now, rather than later. But Barry did something else when he took his own life; he took away my (and his other immediate family’s) choice of living or dying.
We (Barry’s family) can sit here and say quite honestly that Barry had no idea the pain and hurt he would cause by his actions. We are a small family (there was only ten of us; now there’s nine), who live half a world away from our relatives, and we hardly know them. Barry witnessed the few times when we (his father and I) were told of a death in the family. Yes, those deaths upset us, but only for a very short time. Even I didn’t realise how short a time my grief was for my grandparents. It was a bit longer for my young cousin, because his death was tragic and that pulled at my heart strings. But in all honesty, and as bad as it sounds, the deaths of our overseas family didn’t affect us that much. And we had never lost anyone close to us. Barry was the first.
In admitting this, I have to say that Barry must have thought grief was a fleeting thing. He would have seen our grief subside in a few days and thought that after a day or two we would be over his death too. That’s not a comforting thought, and if he thought this, then how wrong he was!
However, my remaining family cannot make that same claim. If any of us were to take our own life now, the survivors would not be able to sit down and say, “They didn’t know what they were doing” because that is not true. We would know exactly how much hurt, pain, grief and devastation we would be leaving behind us. And whilst I’ve never been angry with Barry, I would be angry at anyone else who did the same thing to me and I would expect and deserve my family to be extremely angry with me if I were to take my own life too (which I have no intention of doing).
I find myself thinking about the effect of one moment in time and how that has changed so many lives. I also find that I’m looking back at things that happened in the past with a changed attitude. It’s impossible to go back and do/say the right things now, but I finally understand why other people have acted the way they did after the loss of a loved one. We truly do not KNOW unless we have experienced it ourselves and whilst we mean well when we vocalise our thoughts when something bad happens to someone else, we have no right to judge or condemn their actions. No right whatsoever.
I wrote the majority of this post yesterday, but didn’t have time to finish it. Last night, I sat and thought about my wording in the fourth paragraph above. Maybe I’m being too harsh, I thought. Maybe I shouldn’t make public a post that sounds so negative. And maybe I’ll regret my words later. But then I realised that what I’ve written is the truth. Maybe future events will change how I feel, but as of this minute, this is what is running through my mind. And then, this morning, I remembered a post I had shared on this blog written by someone else who lost her brother to suicide – To Kill Oneself or Not to Kill Oneself. After re-reading her words, I can identify with her on a whole new level.