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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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When I was 18 years old, my mother told me "everyone would

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When I was 18 years old, my mother told me "everyone would be better off I was 6 feet under" and then committed suicide two days later. I had counseling after that happened in 1981, but there's not a week that goes by that I don't think about that conversation. Being told that at 18 years old really set me up for years of emotional turmoil. I am now 49 years old and I can't seem to quit thinking about her telling me that she was going to do that. Will I ever quit thinking about that and finally move on? Why would someone tell their 18-yr-old daughter something like that? Will I always have fear of abandonment?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

When someone dies, it is very difficult to cope with the feelings. Grief is a strong emotion that includes many feelings like sadness, loneliness, and even anger. When a person commits suicide, however, those feelings of grief are compounded by the feelings of abandonment, guilt, and the endless question of why. Was there something that could have been done to stop the suicide? If the person loved me, how could they leave me?

The fact that your mother burdened you with not only leaving you but telling you about it before she committed suicide leaves you to cope with overwhelming emotions. When people kill themselves, it is to end their pain and they are not thinking of others when they choose to do it. The result is that they leave others behind to cope and try to carry on.

It may help you to talk out your feelings about the suicide to your mother. You can do this by either placing her, in your mind, in a chair across from you and talking to her, or writing her a letter. Do not hold back and allow yourself to express all that you feel about what happened and what she did. Although doing this in therapy is the best option, you can do this yourself as well. By not holding back, you can allow any of the emotions and hurt you continue to have out in the open to be recognized and dealt with.

You mentioned attending therapy. Did it help? If not, you may want to try again. You can find another therapist through a referral, increasing your chances of finding someone you feel comfortable with. Talk with your doctor, pastor or try on line at

You can also join a support group. Try this link to find a group in your area-

There are also resources you can use to help you. Here are some to get you started:

Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief by ***** *****nn-Gust and Ph.D.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Surviving The Suicide Of A Loved One by Carla Fine

Why People Die by Suicide by Thomas E. Joiner

Finding Your Way after the Suicide of Someone You Love by David B. Biebel and Suzanne L. Foster

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

Although your mother's suicide may leave you feeling hurt and wondering why, you can cope with the pain by gaining support through therapy, church, friends and support groups. Educating yourself through books and other resources can help you learn that your feelings are normal and that you can move on and live your life.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

I haven't heard from you. Did you have more questions or want clarification?


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