Content Note: grief, suicide, murder, murder-suicide, stigma, etc. Let me know if I should’ve mentioned anything else.
In about one month I’ll be walking in one of ASFP’s local walks as part of “the fight against suicide” and to support their bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025.
It’s a smaller walk than the Overnight one I participated in June 2017, and donations are optional this time around unlike that time. I’m mainly sharing my story here rather than asking for you all, my blog followers, to actually donate but if you do want to then the link to donate is at the end. I’m hoping for a few donations but not necessarily from people who have never met me… I just also want to get these words out publicly.
As regular readers of my blog might remember, I’ve lost two people close to me to suicide. Both were middle aged men, and both died very near the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA.
But the more recent suicide, the one that transpired only 9 months ago at the end of November 2017, was so much more horrific and far reaching than a pure suicide, and this is not at all meant to downplay how hugely devastating suicides are.
I just feel like I’m lying by omission and doing a huge disservice to the victim and her family if I don’t mention that I’m in my first year of mourning and recovering from the trauma of my close friend and colleague not only killing himself, but him being the perpetrator of a murder-suicide.
I related to many aspects of this article on Survivors of Suicide Loss, and experienced much of this especially throughout the first 5 months of the aftermath: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/two-takes-depression/201311/understanding-survivors-suicide-loss
And yet most of those experiences listed were tainted by the fact that murder of another person was at the core of many of my emotions and thought processes, so much so that mourning the suicide side of all of it became exceptionally complicated.
I tentatively agree with the theory proposed by psychologist Thomas Joiner, Ph.D. in the book I listened to in audiobook form, “The Perversion of Virtue: Understanding Murder-Suicide”, and these two articles capture his stance on the topic well:
And believe it’s likely that preventing suicides will, for every 50 suicides prevented, prevent one murder-suicide among them, if his statistics are accurate. He tells a very compelling case and I would highly recommend the book to anyone interested.
Now I know this post of mine is getting long, but about the grieving, surviving loved ones after a murder, I ask that you please read this old article from over 2 decades ago in 1997:
and on the same topic also consider reading:
Then about the families of murderers consider reading:
I want you to consider what you believe about free will, maybe after looking into the philosophy of it a bit if you’re unfamiliar with the topic. Crash Course Philosophy has an amazing set of videos that cover some of the basics really succinctly and in a digestible way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCGtkDzELAI
And then really think back to how we treat… all of these phenomenons, and where blame/fault and stigma is being placed.
Notice how murder and homicide are forgotten terms altogether on this otherwise quite thorough article on Disenfranchised Grief, and yet suicide of all things is still on here:
There should not still be shame and stigma around suicide at this point in 2018. Let’s move past this and onto supporting everyone, from those grieving no matter what the cause of their grief is, to having sympathy, compassion, and supportive resources available for those struggling with suicidal thoughts.
I mainly just felt like sharing. But also, if you’re interested and financially and, please help me reach my goal for donations by clicking the “Donate” button on the following page.
All donations are 100% tax deductible and benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), funding research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide.
Thanks for reading. I keep thinking about maybe writing other blog posts but I’ve been keeping busy lately. This was a quick and easy linkspam type of thing I could post though.
Maybe I’ll post something for this month’s Carnival of Aces too. I don’t know.
Oh and if you haven’t seen my videos I’ve made this past year on the topics of the murder-suicide and just on suicide, check them out now: