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Dealing with the Aftermath of Suicide – Grief vs Guilt
My birthday is July 4th. On July 5th, 2018, my cousin Alex took his own life after struggling for many years with deep depression. I was a number of years older, but we'd grown up in the same area and I'd known him since he was very young. I'd babysat him when he was a child and I was in my early- or pre-teens. Even as a kid he'd been fun-loving and very kind. The photo above is him helping his sister at a Washburn family reunion many years ago. Initially it didn't seem to affect me too much. We had our fourth child on July 8th, and he was a bright shinning ray of light that maybe distracted me from the reality. As the days passed and especially when I saw Alex's parents and siblings at the funeral, it began to deeply affect me. I cried a lot at the funeral. I mourned my cousin. As time went on, mourning turned into unhealthy thoughts. The questions "what if I had done more?" "What if I had reached out in recent years?" haunted me and plagued my idle mind. That combined with the