When a loved one suicides, it’s like they left us standing alone in a room with a very large elephant.
We’ve never owned an elephant before. We have no use for it, nor do we want it. But here we are…stuck in a room with this elephant. We have no idea what to do with the elephant and we certainly don’t know how to make the elephant go away.
People come in and out of our room all of the time. They may notice this large elephant sitting there in the corner, but they try not to comment on it. They walk in front of the elephant, behind it, all the way around it, but they do their very best to totally ignore this elephant.
If we shove the elephant out in the very centre of the room where he cannot be ignored, most people will run. They’re scared of elephants. It’s not their problem and they don’t know how to deal with it either. It’s best to pretend the elephant does not exist.
For all suicide survivors, it would be so much better if people we come into contact with would stop pretending this elephant doesn’t exist. We know they can’t remove the elephant either, but what we’d like most of all, is to have them at least acknowledge that we’re stuck in this lonely room with this large elephant and it will take a while to learn how to deal with it.