It depends on who asked me that question. If the person is the gossiping and insensitive kind, the answer is not just no, the answer is HELL no. I will never give them the satisfaction and the chance to talk
about my Dean. They can watch Jerry Springer all day long and I won't be part of their entertainment. I learned my lesson a long time ago. I trusted EVERYONE and told EVERYBODY my sad story in the very beginning. Well, I guess I was just too desperate. I needed to talk about it in order to cope with my pain, otherwise, I thought I would go crazy. Well, I became a subject of the talk for a very very long time. People called me, "that girl who killed her fiance" "That girl who dated a dude who killed himself." etc, etc. It hurt so bad. But in a way, I feel I did it to myself. Why was I so STUPID that I trusted everybody?
I do feel a certain level of shame when talking about his suicide, especially in the very beginning because of the way he died. (He hung himself when I was STILL on the phone with him.) The more I tried to tell people he had mental illness, the more they think I sugarcoated everything. It made me sick to my stomach. I have been told most people out there do want to help, they just don't know what to say. Well, unfortunately, that has not been my experience. I don't deny that there are many good hearted people and I have met a few, but I feel the majority of the "strangers" out there are not like that. They either A. don't want to get involved. B. take other people's misfortune as a source of entertainment. As a suicide survivor, I must protect myself from these "secondary wounds."
One of my therapists suggested that I just kept it simple. She also said not ALL suicide survivors are treated equally. Surviving spouses face DIFFERENT challenges compared to surviving parents. I think she's absolutely right. My Dean has a little daughter, I automatically became the evil step mother. I also must be a gold digger, a cheater and a liar otherwise, why would he kill himself?! These are all the craps that I had to deal with in the past 16 months!!!! People have all kinds of speculations. Telling people my fiance killed himself while I was on the phone with him just opened a can of worms for myself. I still to this day feel STUPID for being straight forward with everybody. Now, I don't talk about suicide to strangers at all and suicide doesn't have to be a conversation starter. If somebody comes up to me and ask me what happened
I just tell them, "The death is unexpected. I am still dealing with the grief so I'd rather not talk about it." Most people do leave it like that and if they don't, then too bad.
Oscar, I understand what you meant. I met a lot of suicide survivors in the past 16 months. There is this lady who told us she's very "proud" of her husband's courage to end his life.
She said life is not worth living and she is still here because she's a coward.
It turned out she herself has bipolar and attempted suicide several times. Our support group cannot handle her anymore and our support group leader asked her to seek professional help immediately. The lady refused help, she refused taking medication and the last time she was at the meeting, she sounded so defensive and told everybody our survivor support group is nothing but a joke and everybody is looking down on her.
(Why would we look down on her? We all lost our loved ones to suicide.)
I feel SOME suicide survivors have extreme needs other than coping with the grief. We will never know what they are truly dealing with. I am no longer guarded or feeling defensive when I talk to people about my loss. I realized nobody is prepared for this kind of life crisis. We are all here to learn. I only tell people about the suicide when I feel they are good people. They don't have to understand suicide (nobody really understands it anyway), they don't even have to know what is the right thing to say (nobody knows what is the right thing to say anyway) as long as they are good people who have a genuine good heart, I don't mind sharing my story.