In another thread I promised to post this letter when I rec'd it. Unfortunately it is too big to copy here so I will type it in myself...ignore any typos please.
We were given this at my bro-in-law's funeral following his suicide. His brother's wife gave it to my sis, it is from the sister-in-law's brother (how convuluted is that?)
Dear xxxx and xxxxx
I thought it might be helpful, in this time of grief, to get a view , from the inside, what this darkness feels like. First you do not want anyone to know the depths of your despair, so it is no surprise to me, that no one was aware of Dave's feelings. Anyone who suffers from deep depression knows how to end their life. Often the actual act is impulsive because the pain becomes so intense that you lose focus on the world around you.
I have often heard from those who do not know this invisible pain, that to end one's life is a selfish act. Those words are spoken by someone who is not in the vortex of this disease. When faced with a world of cyclical pain, relief is an ending. It is a way of managing you own life. His love for you and all those he cares about is no match for the darkness felt within. Because he took his own life does not mean that he didn't love all of you deeply. It meant that out of all the options before him he couldn't face the pain of living.
When you suffer depression and seek out help you are given a myriad of substances to alter you brain chemistries. Each have side effects, some that include suicidal thoughts. Taking a regime of medication is a lifelong activity. There is not one pill that resolves things. There are just groups of chemicals that work at times and not at other times. Many have side effects that put you in constant physical pain or cloud your thoughts so that thinking is impossible.
I have been close to where Dave went on numerous occasions. What held me back was not all the love I knew I had, not the pain of all of those who I would have left behind nor the hurt of those who felt abandoned. I didn not feel I was being selfish. I did not feel that I was weak. What stopped me was that my pain was not greater than my fear of the unknown. This fear, however, could have changed in a second.
Love your brother, and know his illness killed him. Love your brother for the times when his illness didn't manifest itself. Love him despite the fraility that comes with the disease, and tell his children, and all that loved him, that he didn't abandon them, he abandoned the pain he could no longer endure.
This letter helped me to understand a little bit and to forgive his action...perhaps it will help others, I pray so.