Mandy is an only child and a child of a parent of suicide. She wants to help others understand that they are not alone in the grief process
This article is probably one of my hardest to write mainly because in the beginning I really struggled with how my Dad passed.
When my dad passed and everything in life settled down, I took a lot of time to reflect. I reflected on HOW he passed. As dumb as this may sound, I never wanted to be looked at like, ”That’s the girl whose dad killed himself,” but I always knew I would. The way my dad chose to end his life was his decision, but I didn‘t want people to look at me differently. I felt like when someone heard the word suicide they automatically formed an opinion about your family. That’s when I decided I needed to look into books and ways to embrace him. No matter what people do in life, and no matter how people choose to live their lives, everyone will always have an opinion. No. Matter. What.
I started to look into book options and things that were going to help me learn to accept his manner of death, and not to be embarrassed. When I say embarrassed I definitely do not mean of him personally. I wanted to make sure these thoughts were normal. I had obviously never felt this way before, and didn’t exactly know how to feel. After some intense research I found two books that really helped me in feeling ok with how my dad passed. I linked both books below.
In reading these two books I learned some very important things in grieving a death. It is very normal to feel all the feelings after a death of this kind. Growing up I had issues with many classmates who picked on me. I have always had a soft shell and let things bother me more than I should because of them. Because of this, I found myself having a hard time grieving because I worried about what others thought. But after reading “It’s Ok, That You’re Not Okay,” it helped me see things in a different light. It’s a beautifully written book that focuses on teaching someone how to heal a broken heart or a broken soul. The author does so with much compassion and empathy and makes us feel like you can do anything by the time you’re done reading this book. It’s all about the culture of today how people look at certain situations differently. I realized just how much I needed this book after I read it. Her book was recommended to me by a counselor, and to this day I am very thankful. I was so worried about how everyone else would look at it because everyone is so judgmental and certain people believe what they do and there’s no persuading them differently. There will also be the few that no matter how bad something in your life is, they’ve always experienced worse. No, I am not getting off the subject, but here is why I am putting that into this article. I was so worried about what others thought it was interfering with my progress because I knew that a select few would always turn it back to themselves. Healing is something YOU need to do internally and someone else cannot change or decide how you should heal. There will always be the nay-sayers and the people that automatically form opinions, and this book taught me how to not worry about the outside world when it came down to me, and taught me the fragility of life. We don’t often think about coping mechanisms that we all ready know, but may have never used because we never had to. I highly recommend finding books like hers if you’re in the same situation or any type of grieving situation.
When I was trying to find my “place” after my Dads passing, I always wanted to do so with dignity. Society in itself has a stigma and I wanted to make sure that I properly knew how to approach the suicide stigma. My Dad is my forever hero. I was never ashamed of him for how he passed, I was never upset with him because he chose this way. I was mad because he chose to leave us, and chose to leave his grandbabies, but i now have a better sense of understanding. There are SO many underwritten aspects of suicide and how the brain works. But I took time to understand those certain aspects and learned to be okay with his decision.
In saying that I also came across the book “Grief Day By Day.” Death, no matter how the manner, is such a fragile and very delicate subject. I stumbled this book while searching Amazon for some good reads for myself. I was never the type of person who went out and purchased every single book on a certain subject, but when I came across this one it made sense to me to read up healing day by day. Like I’ve said in all of my articles, death is not something that will be automatically fixed in a day. There is a very long grieving process and quite honestly, even almost three years later, I still find myself grieving certain things about my Dad. This is a great book to have by your side, even if you don’t have much time to read. This book gives you reflections, and some healing exercises to better yourself. The author also talks about their own struggles and situations which made me feel as though I was comforted by them. The weekly goals they talk about and giving yourself things to work on, really helped me not only keep my mind off of things, but I began to better understand myself and found areas in which I could improve myself. Remember, no one is perfect. We all have things we need to work on. Some people may not have as many things as others, but we are all human. We all have imperfections. As hard as it is, DO NOT compare yourself to others. YOU are YOU and that is what makes you special. If someone wants to judge yourself or others because of how someone passed, let them.
No matter how you grieve it’s your way. I recommend this two books because after reading many books on self care I knew I needed something a little more focused on what I was dealing with. Both is these authors were amazing in their ways of approaching certain individuals, and pulling you in properly without making you feel as though the way you were grieving was incorrect. After reading these I felt like I could take the proper steps to help me find me.
And remember, no matter how someone passes they should all be celebrated the same way. With love, and understanding.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 03, 2021:
I am glad these books helped you with your grief, Mandy. Grief is heard. My mother lived with us before she passed away about a year and a half ago. I still miss her every day.
She was 95, so she had a good, long life, but I did not want to lose her regardless. I know your dad's passing was more complicated, and I appreciate your article as I think it helped me too.