Can Love Be Yours Again?
By Bonnie Swade
Spring is in the air and love is blooming. Our pond has Mr. Frog who at night sits on his rock and croaks for his mate. The flowers are emerging from the ground and all things are in “bloom mode” except for a suicide survivor. Often times the feelings are I am unlovable and not worthy of love. It could be too that because we have experienced such a loss it may feel like betrayal. A wife or husband feels cheated because all the future plans they made are now lost. The loss of a child carries all the feelings of missed occasions such as not walking a son or daughter down the aisle, not seeing a graduation, never holding a grandchild of his or hers. Losing a parent to suicide leaves many unanswered questions such as “Why didn’t I know my mom or dad was feeling that way?” Anger comes because of missed family times and financial chaos to go through. A sister or brother feels the loss in a totally different way. The loss of a sibling brings about all kinds of memories from childhood. Losing a close friend too leaves feelings of guilt. Why didn’t I know? What could I have done? No matter the relationship of the person you lost by suicide, the feelings of despair and moving through life without that person seem unbearable.
After the loss of a loved one, many emotions emerge. One of the stronger emotions may be I am not worthy to give or receive love. To compensate some survivors find comfort in overeating, overdrinking, doing anything to excess to dull the pain. Others may go in the opposite direction and stop eating, taking care of themselves, overmedicating, and isolating themselves from others. They feel a sense of guilt and shame and do not feel they have the right to ask others who love them for help. So, our feelings stay bottled inside and our relationships with others deteriorates. We no longer feel we have the right to have a life when our loved one is gone.
We do have the right to love and be loved. That is what separates humankind from other species. Yes, we do feel life is over and we cannot love again. However, we cannot take on the actions or feelings of our loved ones. Just like the flowers that wilt and die when the season is over, they break through the earth every spring and seek warmth from the sun. Allow yourself to grieve, as we each have our own timeline. Seek the life you deserve and emerge from the darkness. Bring sunlight to your soul once more and thrive in your new you and love will follow.
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