I'm having a rough time dealing with the recent suicide of a dear friend; looking for some resources.
The first day of college, I met a guy. He charmed me; there was love and a relationship for 6 years (into grad school). His mother committed suicide a couple of months before I met him; he was dealing with depression, sometimes severe, the whole time we were together. He saw neuropharmacologists, tried ECT, the whole gamut (me helpfully participating with rides and nursing skills when needed). I know his depression was one of the reasons we didn't make it; I just wanted more than always making tentative plans, doing a lot on my own because he wasn't up for it, the volatility.... He left the country to do some relaxation, and he basically never came back, apart from a couple of times he visited me. I always loved him, but I also chose not to be with him.
I'm ok with that. It's 9 years since I saw my ex, mainly because he lived on another continent, and I'm happily married to a great guy. I talked to my ex a few times a year; sent emails when I thought about him, etc. But then I got a call from his sister Saturday morning telling me that he killed himself. And I looked back at my email history, and i realized its been more than a year since I talked to him. Life just happened, and my priorities didn't include my relationship with him.
His sister also said this weird thing; she thanked me for keeping him alive as long as I did. I know I was a stabilizer when we were together, but we haven't been together in a long time. I think he had some flings, but no other relationships. Whenever we spoke, I always felt loved - not unrequited, miss you sexually, take me back love, but the dearness that comes after an intimate relationship ends without a lot of drama.
I just can't stop thinking about him, the anguish he must have been in, the loneliness he must have felt. And now he's gone forever, and I can't ever tell him anything ever again. This is the first death I've dealt with other than grandparents, and that part alone is tripping me out. I haven't been able to sleep these past few nights, and I just went to work at 4 am this morning to get my mind off the real, physical pain I feel in my heart.
I never really knew his family other than brief phone conversations, and I want to write them a really nice letter about how awesome he was (in a different light than they ever experienced). I want to send them some pictures I have of him where he's really happy, but I also don't want to intrude. My grief is minuscule compared to theirs, and this is not about me.
Are there any resources that you've found particularly helpful for figuring out death (without being completely overwhelmed by the enormousness of it all)? Any guides for dealing with suicide? I live in a rural area; there aren't going to be a lot of groups available. Do I need to go to therapy to figure out this stuff? Did you do anything after someone's death that helped you grieve and move on? Is this a phase that will end soon? I'm just so sad right now - for him, for his family, for me because he's gone. I'm working through this
, and this
, just wondering if there's something else I'm missing. (I am neither atheist or theist; any resources welcome.)