Don’t Fight The Raging Torrent

I have been spending time reading accounts of those who  have lost a loved one through suicide on  “Alliance of Hope: for suicide survivors“. Reading accounts of those who lost a loved one to suicide when they are in the beginnings stages of grief and guilt ridden brought me back to my early days of trying to survive Aaron’s death. The emotions, grief, guilt, confusion, anger etc is so intense you think your going to die yourself. There are times you think it would be easier to give up than have to endure for another day. You can’t see the future and you can’t know that it happens to all of us who lost a loved one.

To me it was like being thrown into a raging torrent of water that was headed for a waterfall and there was nothing I could do about it. To try to swim against the current was impossible and the reality of  going over the edge of that waterfall was a reality that I didn’t want to accept.

That is what it is like in the beginning. You find yourself in this raging torrent of water, sweeping you down stream, knowing that you will be unceremoniously dumped over the edge and down into the river below. Your survival instincts set in trying everything to find a way to stop your forward progress. A tree branch, a log, brushes peeking up over the water’s surface. Anything to stop your forward motion so you can figure a way to get back to the safety of the shore.

That is the problem in the beginning. We weren’t  prepared for this terrifying ride, we didn’t plan it, it wasn’t in our life’s itinerary so we didn’t know how to react.

If we were prepared or had the advantage of hindsight then we would learn quickly that there is no branches to grab onto, no brushes to stop our forward progress. We were headed for the water fall and its drop and there wasn’t anything we could do about it. What we didn’t know is that we would survive the drop, we would survive the undertow and the waters would eventually stop its tumultuous washing machine like churning on course to our new destination.

We try in the beginning to fight something that is greater than us not realizing we have been set on a path that we never asked for, taking us to a destination most of us never knew existed nor a place we really didn’t want to go.

I say this with over six years of travelling that river, making it safely over the water’s edge, surviving the drop ino the raging torrent of water that would sweep me down stream away from the comforts of my old life. A journey I didn’t ask for. I am still travelling down that river knowing that I will never be able to go back to where I started.

It wasn’t an overnight acceptance, even when the waters eased I still looked for a way back to the way it was.  It actually took me six and a half years to understand this and accept my fate, a fate that has brought me to realizing that my life not only will never be the same but that I was put in this position so that some day I may in some small way help those who are struggling to survive suicide navigate their way down stream.

We who have travelled through this raging torrent know that once you have been thrown into the deep end there is no going back. Life will never be the same but as a consolation to those who are at the beginning stages of this river’s journey there is a place where the waters calm and flow at a more leisurely pace.

You can never go back and  once you get far enough down stream away from the danger of the river’s raging torrent, you will understand more fully the new path you have been put on.


10 responses

  1. Sammy, please allow me to reblog as it is a fitting description of exactly how it is for those of us who have lost a child to suicide…or any death, really. Death comes with many faces. Thank you. ~ Brandon’s Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on In the Wake of Suicide….trying to understand and commented:
    I read this heart -wrenching description by a father who has lost his son to suicide. It aptly describes the pain of loss, especially a child to suicide. It describes the emotional range of any parent who has lost a child. Death is an unrelenting enemy and comes to all of us in many forms. My heart goes out to all parents who have lost their precious ones. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With my blessing Brandon’s Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good description of the way it is during early grief. My entire family (husband and 2 small children) were killed instantly by a careless driver, almost 30 years ago. No goodbyes, not even attendance at their funeral as I was still hospitalized being critically injured (in more ways than one).

    Nothing quite prepares us for the most tortuous of roller coaster rides that is bereavement…I “survived” because of my faith in Christ and His help. Even though I will never know in this life, the “why” of meeting a 10 ton truck at a rural highway intersection at that split second-I need to trust in God. Free will can have drastic consequences at times. Having true understanding and compassion for others with child bereavement, is a byproduct of this tragedy, but not the entire reason it was “allowed” to happen (which some seem to think!) Now I look entirely at what the future holds-at our heavenly reunion. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna thank you for reading and your comments. Wow, your loss was immense and I agree, the “why” will never be fully understood until we get to the other side ourselves. My faith has strengthened and I am getting my faith back but I wonder if I will ever get the joy back in my life like I had over forty years ago when I found Jesus. Have you? There are many questions I have too like why was Aaron’s suicide allowed to happen where as some don’t succeed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and may God bless you with a wonderful and meaningful holiday season.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it would be tremendously helpful to consider helping those who are on the brink or want to commit suicide. When any my patients who discuss their wanting to end their lives, I always share with them the experience I have of treating the survivors; the parents, siblings, and even children. This has a tremendous impact, and I have been told it has truly helped them change their perspective on considering it as an alternative to end their torment. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I would love to help those “who are on the brink or want to commit suicide” but I have my hand full with trying my best to tell my story to the survivors. I understand their grief and what they are going through being a survivor myself. My focus is on them right now by telling my story. I wouldn’t know what to do or where to start with those contemplating suicide. How could you see me helping in this area? I’m interest in what you have to say.


      1. I think you should compile your blog into a book. Or you know, just write your story. People find personal stories compelling and the survivors would identify as you know, and those who think of suicide would be drawn to it.
        I think it would be a great way to reach out. Some people who need or want it would want to be anonymous anyway. Read it in the comfort of their own personal space and may not want to go to a group ( groups are awesome please don’t misunderstand me).
        There is much shame in having a loved one take their own life, especially if your a parent or a child.


  6. Thanks, yes that has been my intention from the beginning of this blog. This is the foundation of my book. Thanks for your input velvetmp, I really do appreciate it.


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