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Lost my daughter to suicide


Trishardent@shaw.ca

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Trishardent@shaw.ca

My daughter Candice committed suicide in October 2011. She was a young woman who had tons of friends, had excellent marks in school. She was a bright person who had a wonderful sense of humour. It never occurred to us that my daughter wasnt the happy well adjusted person we all thought she was. Some of her friends knew something was wrong but they never once considered coming to me with their fears until after Candice died. If our teens are telling each other and not telling us then I feel the School Board needs to give them better ways to be able to help their friends when they come to them in need. There has to be better communications between adult and teen, parent and child. Suicide is a word that should send everyone to seek help whenever it is uttered. I was a very hands on parent, very active in the lives of my children and yet I never saw one red flag. Two days after she told me she thought she was suffering from depression I got my daughter her first appointment with a counsellor. It is just too bad she didnt give me enough time to make sure she got all the help she needed. Candice was a successful young woman, a social butterfly who kept her problems below my radar. How many other parents think everything is okay with their teen? I think our kids need to have more classes on suicide prevention that start in grade seven and continuing on until graduation.

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Hi Trishardent,

I'm so sorry that this tragedy happened to your family. For something like this to happen your daughter had to be very depressed, and just wanted to stop hurting. My own daughter had gone through horrible pain and depression for several years, and had almost died several times during that time. Don't beat yourself up for not seeing more warning signs, even if you had you might not have been able to prevent it. Sometimes suicide may be attempted more than once, because we can't always take their pain away. We beat ourselves up for not being able to save them, but sometimes we can't because we just don't know how.

I think for some people the pain of not being sure what happens to someone who commits suicide adds to the weight of losing a loved one. Forgive me for being so bold, but some people do worry and I want to share my thoughts about it. I don't know what your religious beliefs are, but I'm going to share mine with you because it has so much meaning for me. My daughter died in July, and I have never worried once what would happen to her. She had been going through severe depression, and I admit at first I thought she had probably committed suicide. As it turned out she died of acute toxicity to prescription medications. When I found out it wasn't suicide it did make me feel better, but I was already finding comfort in knowing that noting would ever be able to hurt her again. All our hope should be in God, and not in our power to save ourselves. God knew our daughters and what they were going through. I know the love I have for my daughter, and I know that her creator has even more love than I will ever be capable of having. Our children are now happy, and they don't hurt anymore. I understand how it feels to wish to die, and I know God understands too. My hope for you is that you can find comfort in knowing that you can have faith that God is taking care of your daughter. She is happy, and depression can't hurt her anymore.

Pleas forgive me if I said anything that offended you. God bless you.

My daughter Candice committed suicide in October 2011. She was a young woman who had tons of friends, had excellent marks in school. She was a bright person who had a wonderful sense of humour. It never occurred to us that my daughter wasnt the happy well adjusted person we all thought she was. Some of her friends knew something was wrong but they never once considered coming to me with their fears until after Candice died. If our teens are telling each other and not telling us then I feel the School Board needs to give them better ways to be able to help their friends when they come to them in need. There has to be better communications between adult and teen, parent and child. Suicide is a word that should send everyone to seek help whenever it is uttered. I was a very hands on parent, very active in the lives of my children and yet I never saw one red flag. Two days after she told me she thought she was suffering from depression I got my daughter her first appointment with a counsellor. It is just too bad she didnt give me enough time to make sure she got all the help she needed. Candice was a successful young woman, a social butterfly who kept her problems below my radar. How many other parents think everything is okay with their teen? I think our kids need to have more classes on suicide prevention that start in grade seven and continuing on until graduation.

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My daughter Candice committed suicide in October 2011. She was a young woman who had tons of friends, had excellent marks in school. She was a bright person who had a wonderful sense of humour. It never occurred to us that my daughter wasnt the happy well adjusted person we all thought she was. Some of her friends knew something was wrong but they never once considered coming to me with their fears until after Candice died. If our teens are telling each other and not telling us then I feel the School Board needs to give them better ways to be able to help their friends when they come to them in need. There has to be better communications between adult and teen, parent and child. Suicide is a word that should send everyone to seek help whenever it is uttered. I was a very hands on parent, very active in the lives of my children and yet I never saw one red flag. Two days after she told me she thought she was suffering from depression I got my daughter her first appointment with a counsellor. It is just too bad she didnt give me enough time to make sure she got all the help she needed. Candice was a successful young woman, a social butterfly who kept her problems below my radar. How many other parents think everything is okay with their teen? I think our kids need to have more classes on suicide prevention that start in grade seven and continuing on until graduation.

Dear Trishardent,My heart goes out to you for the pain and heartache you have endured. You sound like you were truly a wonderful mom. Sometimes even though we try our best to be a very good parent, we cannot save our child. I gave up a career to be a full time mom and desired to raise a wonderful family. Although I still do have a wonderful family, I have had to accept the tragic loss of my 22 yo daughter, 4 years ago. I too, did everything I could. Did I make mistakes as a parent? Yes, I did. For a very, very long time I mentally beat myself up for that. It has taken me a long time, probably more than most others, to realize I needed to forgive myself and that was OK.That if I did not forgive myself and move on, I was not accomplishing anything by punishing myself. You have endured a tremendous shock and will have a long road of grief ahead as you learn to move forward without your precious child in this life. I agree with you that there probably should be suicide teaching of some type in schools. But for now you need to take care of yourself. Please come back to the site and allow us to reach out to you. We care about your hurt and pain. We grieve with you. We grieve together for the loss of all of our angels.

Love,Maddy - Rachael's mom and her 5 siblings also.

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Trish ~ I am sorry for your loss. A brilliant bright child gone way too soon. There seems to be a false sense of security that comes with seeing a person as 'well adjusted, thriving, achieving'. For all intense purposes we see this and think 'they're okay'.

Its so hard. My son Micheal died in January 2007. He had suffered with depression associated with chronic illness. In his last weeks he was upbeat. His focus had clarity, he talked of future. He reconnected with many friends he had lost contact with and for me it seemed he'd turned the corner. He had a baby girl only 1 yr old. I believed this would ensure his will to survive. I was wrong.

For those first years I beat myself up. What did I miss, how could I not know. Why couldn't he tell me, what was he thinking. I don't think I will ever have answers to those questions that will give me peace.

I do believe as parents we want the best lives for our children. We try with all we have to keep them safe from harm. We don't fail...failure is not to be bothered. To be indifferent, to inflict the harm.

The outpouring from every parent here goes to the depth of love for their children. There isn't one here that wouldn't have gladly changed places.

Suicide is still a tabu in this day and age. Even I felt a form of 'shame' when asked how Mike died. Now that I too have been to those darkest of places I no longer shy away from how he died. It didn't define his 31 years.

I hope you are able to find a place to just be. Take this journey of grief one day at a time...and above all be kind to yourself. ~ Trudi

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Trishardent@shaw.ca

Thank you to all those who wrote in about Candice. She was such a great person and the light of my life. All of my children are special and wonderful individuals. I'd like to believe that the death of any of them would affect me adversely and to the same extent that I am currently suffering. But Candice was my youngest and the one with boundless energy and limitless potential. I've had to go through so much to protect my children over the years. It never occurred to me to protect Candice from herself.

I have faith but i don't believe in religion. I guess my beliefs run closer to Buddhism than anything if I were to adhere to any religion. Because of that I believe Candice has moved on to her next life. For her I hope that she can overcome the adversity in her subsequent lives that she couldn't overcome in this lifetime. Her pain is over while her family's pain seems endless right now. Everyone tells me the pain will lessen over time. I cannot yet see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact I'm only guessing there is a tunnel encompassing the darkness. My family doesn't deal with grief, they run from it or deny its existence. I've had a lot of adversity in my life and tend to meet it head on. However, this tragedy leaves me feeling like I'm in a constant state of being sucker punched. I can't talk to my family; they believe I should have gotten over this by now or they make me feel guilty for bringing it up in the first place.

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Trish,In the beginning of my grief process I tried to plug forward. The pain was so great that in many ways I could not face it. But one thing was certain, there was no escaping it. It is 4 1/2 years later and I have only just stopped to confront the pain and deal with unresolved issues from everything that happened surrounding the loss of my daughter.

It is true, the pain will lessen over time. In fact, for me, that is the only thing that seemed to lessen my pain. For me, I pushed forward letting the days on the calendar pass,trying to relieve my pain by staying busy. I don't know how healthy, or correct that behavior was. But it was what I did.

You have endured a terrible loss and shock. It will take time for you to heal. Many people around you will want to move forward with their lives, while you are still grieving. On this website, we have all gone through the same loss as you. We are here for you. We will listen and give support. We have empathy and we understand. When those around you do not want to listen, you will find a caring ear with us. Please come back and share with us. I know the raw, deep pain you are experiencing right now. We all do.

My heart breaks for you and the pain of losing Candice. I am so very sorry for these tragic circumstances in both her and your life. You are not alone in your pain. We understand.

Love,Maddy

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My daughter Candice committed suicide in October 2011. She was a young woman who had tons of friends, had excellent marks in school. She was a bright person who had a wonderful sense of humour. It never occurred to us that my daughter wasnt the happy well adjusted person we all thought she was. Some of her friends knew something was wrong but they never once considered coming to me with their fears until after Candice died. If our teens are telling each other and not telling us then I feel the School Board needs to give them better ways to be able to help their friends when they come to them in need. There has to be better communications between adult and teen, parent and child. Suicide is a word that should send everyone to seek help whenever it is uttered. I was a very hands on parent, very active in the lives of my children and yet I never saw one red flag. Two days after she told me she thought she was suffering from depression I got my daughter her first appointment with a counsellor. It is just too bad she didnt give me enough time to make sure she got all the help she needed. Candice was a successful young woman, a social butterfly who kept her problems below my radar. How many other parents think everything is okay with their teen? I think our kids need to have more classes on suicide prevention that start in grade seven and continuing on until graduation.

Trish, I am really sorry for your loss. I too lost my son to suicide. He suffered from depression. I agree that education is vital in the battle to help with this. Kids today should feel safe in coming forward when they are feeling this way without fear of being ridiculed, shunned, or put down, due to their depression. Often there are few signs to show us that it is very serious. Kids are really good at masking their feelings if they choose to. The obvious signs of withdrawing, losing interest in every day things, loss of appetite or lack of sleep is a trigger that something is wrong. But there are those that keep it hidden. We are not mind readers when they do this. Sometimes it can hit you out of the blue. We search in depth at how we missed the obvious. But did we? They just became very skilled at hiding the pain. If the stigma could be lifted for once and for all we would have people coming out by the droves to seek help. And so I completely agree that this should be taught in school to children when they reach an appropriate age.

My son ate dinner with us the night he died. He showed absolutely no signs of his intention. He appeared fine to us. At least he did that day. And this is another thing I missed. Looking back now he had already made his decision and appeared calm and resigned to it. We joked and laughed as always.He got up from the table and a few hours later he was dead. We were watching tv in our bedroom. Two rooms away. Who could have known? I wrestle each and every day with my ups and downs. Some good days and some just awful. All perfectly normal. That is the thing about wrestling this beast...it has no set rules. You have to just calmly let it guide you. You will find a sense of new direction starting to flow at some point along the road. It will happen. But for now...be kind to yourself. Eat healthy, try to get proper rest, and exercise. And let the tears flow.

Kate

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Trishardent@shaw.ca

I saw my counselor today. We talked about a lot of things but in the end she pointed out two things: that I feel guilty and that I lost more than my daughter, I lost my identity. I've had to admit that as strong as I've had to be in my life I cant be strong about this. Losing Candice is the strongest thing I've had to face. I've always been able to dig deep and survive. I've cared for my kids for nearly twenty-six years and although Candice was going to graduate this year and was probably going to move out soon thereafter It never occurred to me that my future didn't include her. Kids grow up and leave home, that's normal. I looked forward to visits, long phone calls, introductions to potential spouses, etc. my oldest has been on a list to enter a group home for many years. It looks like she'll be leaving home in two or three months. It feels like I'm losing another child. My oldest is mentally and physically handicapped. I've been her personal caretaker since she was four years old.

I don't know how to survive without her. Everything is duller, less intersting.and yet my senses seem so heightened.

Trish

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I saw my counselor today. We talked about a lot of things but in the end she pointed out two things: that I feel guilty and that I lost more than my daughter, I lost my identity. I've had to admit that as strong as I've had to be in my life I cant be strong about this. Losing Candice is the strongest thing I've had to face. I've always been able to dig deep and survive. I've cared for my kids for nearly twenty-six years and although Candice was going to graduate this year and was probably going to move out soon thereafter It never occurred to me that my future didn't include her. Kids grow up and leave home, that's normal. I looked forward to visits, long phone calls, introductions to potential spouses, etc. my oldest has been on a list to enter a group home for many years. It looks like she'll be leaving home in two or three months. It feels like I'm losing another child. My oldest is mentally and physically handicapped. I've been her personal caretaker since she was four years old.

I don't know how to survive without her. Everything is duller, less intersting.and yet my senses seem so heightened.

Trish

I can completely relate to how you are feeling. You are experiencing the empty nest syndrome. It is hard enough to be going through this...but to have a feeling as if both children have drifted out of your life is so very difficult. Our older son had left and moved away a few years before Jeff died. We see him once a year at Christmas time. He did come home several times this past year to see his Gram who was dying. Had it not been for that I imagine he would have stayed put at home a few thousand miles away.

I find myself in a position of envying those who have their families intact. Not an out and out envy per se, but a sadness at why could that not be me. Many of our friends and neighbours are surrounded by their grown children and grandchildren on a weekly basis. I hear stories daily about all of them. I just smile and offer positive comments, but inwardly it is really hard to listen too. I keep asking myself how did it come to this? Why us? There is no answer that satisfies me. I keep trying to give myself pep talks and encourage myself to keep active and on the go. It is the special occasions that hit home. The birthdays, etc. Finding a new direction is not easy when you reach my age. (fifties) It's no fun having to close the chapter on that part of my life.

You are so right in that things become duller, less interesting. Even just sitting for any given time is a challenge for me. I can't seem to stay still. Reading is getting better but it is also demanding to stay focused. Your senses are heightened because you have been on the go for 24/7 as a Mom providing care to your kids. And then it changes big time. Finding something to become involved in that makes you feel better is a good thing. Volunteering or going back to work if only part time is one possibility. Baby steps is what it is about. One day at a time until you find your way back. A changed person, but able to function better and in a happier state of mind.

Losing a child to suicide is by far the hardest. We never stop beating ourselves up as to what we could have done to have prevented this awful situation. Depression takes them to a point of darkness that is very deep and they are not thinking clearly. I liken this to a Lotus flower that grows out of the mud symbolizing the exquisitness that can arise from dark places. Our kids found themselves in a dark place but their spirit has been released into a beautiful state. Something like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.

Be kind to yourself. One day at a time. It will take time, but it will slowly get better.

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