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<p>October 1st. It hurts to even write that post title. I can barely look at it. She was 5 months postpartum and was suffering from an extreme case of postpartum depression. It hurts so much. My world has been turned upside down - I don't know what's right anymore or who I am or what the world means. I can barely listen to any music because all of it makes me cry. She was the person in the world who best understood me. I suffer from terrible depression and she was the only person I didn't have to explain what I meant when I described how it feels to be in that deep dark well of sadness. Because she knew. I didn't know she had PPD. She didn't tell me. I never got a chance to see her hold her baby. She lives two hours from me but I regret all the missed chances I had to go visit her and see her be a mom. I was so excited to share motherhood with her. I am sad for the memories that will now never be. For her baby. For her husband and her mom and the rest of her family. For me. For my daughter who will never know her and her strength and power and grace. For she truly was one of the strongest, most powerful women I've ever met. I don't know where to go from here. There don't seem to be any suicide support groups local to me. My family doesn't seem to really understand the layers and confusion of grieving a suicide. I don't know. What do I do now?</p>
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<p>I am so sorry, how tragic. I dont have any advice, just wanted to let you know how sorry I am you lost your friend.</p>
 

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<p>I am so sorry, I hope you can find support to help you deal. <span><img alt="hug.gif" height="15" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif" width="22"></span></p>
 

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<p>Oh zmom, this is so sad.  I don't even know what to say.  I just had to write though and tell you how sorry I am that this happened.  Lots of hugs to you.  <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif">  I just googled "suicide survivor resources" and found what looks to be a pretty good website:</span></p>
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<p><a href="http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/suicide-loss-survivors" target="_blank">http://www.suicidology.org/web/guest/suicide-loss-survivors</a></p>
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<p>There's a link on the left side of the page that says Support Group Directory, so hopefully there will be a group near you.  Please take good care of yourself while you go through this grief.  Know that we're thinking about you!</p>
 

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<p>i am so sorry for you and your friend, and all the loving family and friends she left behind.  suicide is a horrible illness.  mental illness is so porrly understood and treated. i lost my dear baby brother to suicide in march. it is still totally surreal. </p>
<p>online groups helped a lot.  is there a crisis center near you? they may be able to point you to a good grief counsler who deals with suicide survivors.</p>
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<p>i am so so sorry.</p>
 

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<p>Oh my...that is just awful.  I am so sorry <span><img alt="greensad.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/greensad.gif"></span></p>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
<p>Thanks everyone. I've just been feeling lost this week (this month, these last 3 months). Sometimes, I'll look at my own daughter (now 6 years old, I need to update my siggy) and my heart breaks for the love my friend will miss. For the love her baby will miss. I'm trying to be there for the baby - even though they are 2 hours away. It's hard to see her - but it's good at the same time.</p>
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<p>I've searched high and low and the closest support groups are 2 hours away from me. It doesn't seem feasible to attend on a regular basis when I'd have to drive 2 hours each way. Maybe an online group is the best option for me at the moment.</p>
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<p>My heart just hurts so much. I can't understand how the world will ever seem right or ok again.</p>
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<p>Raelize - I'm so sorry for your loss too. Yes, surreal is a good word. It's devastating and surreal and seems impossible that this could have happened.</p>
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<p>thanks for your support everyone. I really appreciate it.</p>
 

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<p>I'm so sorry for your loss. It's really hard to deal with all the unknown when someone decides to take their own life. My cousin committed suicide 6 years ago and I'm not so sure if it ever really gets better. I do want to recommend a book though: "<span id="user_btAsinTitle">Those They Left Behind: Interviews, Stories, Essays and Poems by Survivors of Suicide</span>" by Karen Bryson. The book is interviews from the survivors of suicide and I felt like I could really understand the experiences which made the process much less lonely.</p>
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<p>There are many online support groups depending on what you are looking for and I suggest joining a few and finding out which one will fit with your views best so you can get the support you need.</p>
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<p>I hope you and your family can gain some peace.</p>
 

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<p>I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I have a really similar story, I don't mean to take over your thread but I figure it might help to make you feel like you're not alone. One of my best friends killed herself in July. She was a vibrant, amazing person with an easy laugh who always knew how to take a bad situation and either fix it or laugh about it. I looked forward to time with her more than anyone else. The past few years I didn't get to see her as much as I would have liked- she is younger, single, on a very different schedule than me. I felt like it was a testament to our friendship that we stayed friends after our lives became so different. She was so great about making the trek to visit me and the hubby and kids. I could really talk with her about being a parent even though she wasn't yet one, and she shared with me about her career and her life.</p>
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<p>A few days before me and my family were to move to a new house, I got an email saying my friend was missing. Later that day, I got the call that L had died. She threw herself in front of an Acela express train. Service was stopped for four hours during the process to recover the body. I made the mistake of reading a newspaper article about it and it went into graphic detail that I can't get out of my head to this day.</p>
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<p>Mostly I'm still just so, so confused as to how this could happen. She had some history of depression but no signs of being suicidal. She had just moved into a new apartment, her first on her own, and had decorated it with care. I helped pack the stuff from her apt since her mom couldn't face it, and I was struck by what a happy place it was. She was making future plans. She wasn't miserable, as far as I knew. The immediate trigger was that she was in some legal trouble related to her job. It seems that this triggered some kind of nervous breakdown. I wonder if she had started taking some new medication that contributed to this sort of manic episode she seemed to have. As her mom put it at one of the memorials, "For 24 hours she forgot how much everyone loved her."</p>
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<p>Now my mom is sick with cancer and it's making me mourn L all over again. She's supposed to be here to help me through this. She's supposed to cheer me up with her laughter at my latest funny story about the kids. She's supposed to come and make burritos and margaritas and stay up too late and stay over in the guest room at my new house, which she never got to see. How can this really be the new reality? I remember in the days after she died, I kept thinking there was this alternate universe where it didn't happen. Where she got to the train platform and snapped out of it enough to call me or another friend who came to get her. I visited her in the hospital, made inappropriate jokes. She got better. She lived to see my kids grow up. I felt like this world was so, so close, just a thin membrane separating me from it. The feeling was so strong. I've been feeling like that again lately. I would give anything to visit that world just for one hour, just to have a mundane conversation with her, or a hug. I miss her so much. I never questioned she'd be in my life forever. It just feels so wrong.</p>
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<p>Anyway, I hope you find some peace, and again, I'm so sorry your friend is gone. PM me if you want, or respond here. I do know that there are so many people who have experienced this unique kind of grief, and it can help to know that you're not alone in it.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<p>Thanks for sharing your story Katielady. Our stories are strikingly similar.</p>
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<p>My friend K was also vibrant and amazing. She was passionate and generous with her time and energy. She was one of those people that sometimes you sit back and think, "I can't believe I'm so lucky to have HER for a friend." We didn't get to see each other much over the past few years. She was starting a new career as an attorney and was busy with clients and lawyer stuff. She started a new relationship when I got pregnant and she and her boyfriend (now husband) would come to birthday parties and stuff but since she lived a 2 hour drive from me and I was a new mom it was hard for us to get together like we used too. But still, we each made it for the important events - she for my daughter's birthday parties, me for her wedding events and baby shower and for a few visits here and there along the way. I figured it'd even out along the way and we'd reach a point where we both felt more settled into our lives and we'd have more time to visit.</p>
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<p>K had a history of depression (as do I) and in fact, K was the person with whom I never felt I had to hide the scary, dark secrets places are the result of depression. She didn't look at me bewildered or shocked when I tried to explain that I didn't feel like myself or that the world felt so very dark and claustrophobic. Once, she called me suicidal. I was across the country and if I could have transported myself to her instantly I would have. As it was, I stayed on the phone with her for hours - risking losing my job because I would be hours late to work and had no way to contact them to let them know what was going on without hanging up the phone with her - while her mother drove from out of town to be with her. She got through it and I never heard of another instance again. I guess somehow for me that translated into if she gets suicidal again, she'll call me. She'll know that I'm here for her and she'll call me before she does anything.</p>
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<p>She didn't. She didn't call. I don't know why. She didn't even tell me that she was having postpartum depression. I don't know why she wouldn't tell me that after all of our exchanged stories and histories of depression but she didn't. (She was the person who helped me process my own postpartum depression.) I've spent a lot of time wondering why this happened, what I could have done.</p>
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<p>I also spent a lot of time when I first heard in an alternate reality. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe that she did this. You should have heard the scenarios I came up with... witness protection program... undercover, secret agent... and so on and so forth. The other day, even after almost 3 months it hit me as reality again. Real. She's gone. Forever.</p>
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<p>And in some sense I feel like I don't have the right to grieve her this much. We'd been so out of touch the last few years. It didn't matter before - I still considered her one of my best friends, the kind of person you can call in the middle of the night. But now, was she? Can I claim this sadness as my own? Can I claim her? Her love, her friendship?</p>
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<p>I don't know so I'm having this crisis now... I don't know what's right. I don't know who I am. Who she was. My K, the woman I knew, she would never leave her child behind willingly. And all the books, all the information about "survivors" of suicides - the people left behind - they are all addressed to the family but what about the friends? What about those of us who considered her like a sister? Where do I fit in in this grief? My head is chaotic. I've completely changed my hair and the way I dress. Everything just feels so overwhelming - so tragic - so meaningless.</p>
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<p>I'd planned to go see her on the day she did what she did. We hadn't officially arranged it but she'd said to come any Friday and that was the Friday I'd planned to go. Then I got MRSA and it's dangerous to be around babies and I didn't want to put her or her baby at risk so I didn't go. I didn't go. What if I'd gone?</p>
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<p>And no one else really seems to understand. She was "just" a friend. She "made her choice."</p>
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<p>I'm sorry about your mom KatieLady. If I didn't live half-way across the country, I'd come make burritos and margaritas with you and we'd toast to Lee and K. (K loved nothing more than a good margarita!)</p>
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<p>zmom</p>
 

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<p>i am so very sorry for your loss. and i'm even more sorry that people aren't being supportive. she didn't make her choice - DEPRESSION made the choice for her. i have been suicidal many times in the past, and it's so poorly understood. i know how cold and unfeeling people can be, especially when it comes to mental illness. i am thankful every day that i am surrounded by people who will watch for warning signs (even if i don't see them myself) and drag me to the hospital to keep me safe.</p>
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<p>you have every right to grieve her as a sister. you love her, always did, always will. you're heartbroken. who are you? you are a person who loved another person who was killed by a terrible illness. who was she? she was a wonderful person who didn't get all the help she needed in time. people see it as a weakness.. it's not. it's an illness. if it was brain cancer that killed someone you cared about, nobody would question your grief. if only everyone could see mental illness for the horrible affliction it really is.</p>
 

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<p>I am so very sorry for the loss of your friend. <span><img alt="grouphug.gif" height="25" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" width="41"></span></p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>myk</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285374/one-of-my-bffs-committed-suicide#post_16122147"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>i am so very sorry for your loss. and i'm even more sorry that people aren't being supportive. she didn't make her choice - DEPRESSION made the choice for her. i have been suicidal many times in the past, and it's so poorly understood. i know how cold and unfeeling people can be, especially when it comes to mental illness. i am thankful every day that i am surrounded by people who will watch for warning signs (even if i don't see them myself) and drag me to the hospital to keep me safe.</p>
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<p>you have every right to grieve her as a sister. you love her, always did, always will. you're heartbroken. who are you? you are a person who loved another person who was killed by a terrible illness. who was she? she was a wonderful person who didn't get all the help she needed in time. people see it as a weakness.. it's not. it's an illness. if it was brain cancer that killed someone you cared about, nobody would question your grief. if only everyone could see mental illness for the horrible affliction it really is.</p>
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<p>I just... I've known her my entire adult life. She's one of my 2 best girlfriends. Was. I just am not sure who I am without her presence - without her support - without her understanding. And while it is in some sense like brain cancer, in another sense people REALLY don't want to talk about suicide. If I'd lost her to cancer, people would give me their condolences - with suicide, they seem to just ignore it. Like it didn't happen. Like they don't know. Stigma. So while I understand that nobody would question my grief, so many people act like I should be over it now. Like I shouldn't mention it. But we were so intertwined, K and me, more than I even realized. Barely an hour goes by that I don't think of her - often, much less than that.</p>
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<p>Oddly, I thought I understood suicide. I've battled depression since I was a teen - severe depression - and I've been in that hole where it seemed like dying was the only reasonable thing to do. I was self-destructive for years - in those passive-aggressive ways of wanting to die but being to scared to do it. Flirting. Mostly, I was afraid I'd fail (like I did everything else, I thought). That's basically the only thing that stopped me.  I thought I understood the impetus... but now I just can't figure it out. I was devastated with PPD after my baby was born. K was the one that helped me through it. She was so full of life - where I am dark and tend towards solitare - K is light and freedom and wild abandon and joy and... gone. I just can't believe it. It doesn't seem real. I don't know how to do this.</p>
 

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<p>it must feel like you lost part of yourself. there is definitely a huge stigma attached to anything related to mental illness, and suicide is the most misunderstood cause of death there is. it's as if someone should be ashamed.. there's nothing to be ashamed of. your friend died of a terrible disease - depression - it just doesn't work the way cancer does. and people need to understand that, but they don't. and people fear what they don't understand, they make judgments about what they don't understand. they don't want to talk about it because they don't understand. much easier for them to pretend it never happened. or pretend it was all a person's choice! who would ever choose depression? nobody.</p>
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<p>i don't know how you get through it. day by day? maybe moment by moment. breath by breath. your continuing on honours her, because you love and remember her, and she is still part of you. i wish i could offer you true comfort, but all i can offer is my hugs and prayers that you find peace and come to a place where you can remember her with joy.</p>
 

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<p>I lost my best friend two years ago. She didn't outright kill herself, but it was related to drugs and drink. We had been living apart for four years and only rarely spoke on the phone since I moved 900 miles away, but it still hurt me so bad I didn't know which way was up for a long long time.</p>
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<p>I am so sorry you have to live through this. Losing the one person outside of marriage who gets you, was there before the marriage as my friend Jill was, is devastating. We had been best friends since 1989 and we shared everything. ALL of our secrets. She and I were closer than sisters. We loved each other so much, and I was absolutely broken. I became suicidal. I sort of cracked when I found out and for two weeks I walked around almost blind drunk every night (and I never drink anymore, so that was scary in itself) singing all of our songs and bawling. I carried a knife with me one day unaware of just how freaky that was, even. My husband took it from me. Those days were hard.</p>
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<p>The pain has lessened. I don't cry at the drop of a hat anymore, and I can write all of this without crying. But I still get *really* sad when I think too much about never seeing her again. If you lose the one female friend who gets all your dark stuff and never judges and always supports, it is like losing a spouse and I am very sorry you aren't being supported in that way. What helped me was to write to her. I was her only friend on myspace. She joined it a few years prior just to stay in touch with me and I used her comments area to write to her. There are tons of entries now showing the progression of my grieving. Another friend also made an online memorial and it was comforting to read all the messages from all the other people who loved her, too. Maybe you could make something like that?</p>
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<p>I wish you love and light and healing. Please don't be too hard on yourself. Please.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>myk</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285374/one-of-my-bffs-committed-suicide#post_16122147"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>i am so very sorry for your loss. and i'm even more sorry that people aren't being supportive. she didn't make her choice - DEPRESSION made the choice for her. i have been suicidal many times in the past, and it's so poorly understood. i know how cold and unfeeling people can be, especially when it comes to mental illness. i am thankful every day that i am surrounded by people who will watch for warning signs (even if i don't see them myself) and drag me to the hospital to keep me safe.</p>
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<p>you have every right to grieve her as a sister. you love her, always did, always will. you're heartbroken. who are you? you are a person who loved another person who was killed by a terrible illness. who was she? she was a wonderful person who didn't get all the help she needed in time. people see it as a weakness.. it's not. it's an illness. if it was brain cancer that killed someone you cared about, nobody would question your grief. if only everyone could see mental illness for the horrible affliction it really is.</p>
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<p>I couldn't have said it any better.  I lost one of my best friends to cystic fibrosis in October.  It is so hard but I know it's worse for you.  My friend was sick and as hard as it was, I knew it was coming.  I am so very sorry.<br>
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<p>I am so very sorry for your loss <span><img alt="candle.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/candle.gif"> </span> <span><img alt="hug2.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug2.gif"></span></p>
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<p>zmom, how are you doing? I was so grateful for this thread, yet it was hard to say too much in it as I am still hurting so much. I've been working on a creative writing piece about what happened and that has been therapeutic.</p>
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<p>Anyway, I hope you're as well as can be expected, and that you're managing your grief. I read something kind of cheesy about loss and grief that really resonated with me. To paraphrase, it was the idea that when you lose someone you love you are weighed down by this huge burden of grief. As time passes, the burden doesn't get any lighter, but you do get stronger. That makes sense to me. It also explains why some days I can feel the entire weight of it all over again, like it happened yesterday, and some days it feels like something I can deal with.</p>
 

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<p>thanks katielady. honestly, i've fallen apart. i've sunk into a deep dark depression. i can't imagine the world without her. Her baby turned 1 last month. Everything now is a marker. A first. i still really can't believe or accept it. i'm so lonely. you know, we'd not talk for 6 months and then it would all be the same but all that time we didn't talk, she was still there. KWIM? she was still there if I needed her. still there doing her thing, exisiting, loving, laughing. now she's just gone. I know what you mean about getting stronger - I don't feel any stronger. I heard that the amount of grief you have is reflective of the amount of love you carried for the person. i keep thinking i want to do some art about it. something. purge my soul but there's just nothing there. thank you for your presence though. i super appreciate your thoughtfulness. i often feel like no one IRL understands what it's like to lose a close friend to suicide. it's so much more complicated. <sigh></p>
 
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