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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 06:39PM

I got a call from my mother a couple hours ago. My sister committed suicide last night.

Last time I saw her, sis was a devout Mormon. Temple garments, big 15 justifier, probably itching to have my nieces baptized. I hadn't seen her in two years when she died. Mom claimed that sis had started drinking, having affairs, and fighting with BIL. Character assassination started and her obituary hasn't even been written. I was in too much shock to tell Mom to shut the fuck up. To TBM parents, sis'll just be another story to tell Primary children about sin. Nothing about her two sweet daughters, nothing about the history project that was featured in the Idaho Falls museum, just a morality tale to scare Mormon children into obeying without question.

They're planning a small funeral. Quick and quiet, a dirty little secret to be buried.

All I can keep thinking about is how I haven't been in touch with sis and maybe if I had been, she'd have had someone to talk to. Maybe she wouldn't have been in enough pain to kill herself. The rational part of my brain keeps telling me that I couldn't have known, but I still feel like a shitty brother.

I can't go to the funeral, can't say goodbye. And I'm not quite sure how to handle this. Where on earth is there a pamphlet or book telling the right way to mourn a sister who committed suicide?

If any lurkers are reading this and you feel suicidal, please call the National Suicide Hotline. The admins posted the number on top of the board.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 06:45PM

Write your own little pamphlet on how to go through this, even if you take a month or three.

"Life is what happens..."

--Judic West, from his journal, "What?"

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 06:45PM

I am very sorry for you and for your family, ookami.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 06:47PM

I'm so sorry, ookami. What a tragic story.

I suspect you might have been able to help as well, but one thing about Mormonism is that the shunning is so absolutely that when one sibling leaves the church the relationships are ruined, and when the next one encounters doubt there's nobody left to rely on. My family went that way, too, and each defector has had to deal with the pain more or less alone. One of us died not from suicide but from an emotional collapse and associated problems whose effect was effectively suicidal.

Mormonism wants those of us who lose faith to suffer and die alone.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 07:03PM

Oh, ookami. No words. Just love.

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Posted by: Heidi GWOTR ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 07:05PM

Oh ookami. I'm so sorry. (((HUGS))) for your pain.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 07:33PM

Condolences ookami. I am so sorry. I hope you can talk to us and it is of some small comfort.

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Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 08:13PM

I think that I probably know how you feel, since my own alcoholic TBM sister took her own life a few years ago. She and I had been superficially "close" but she was always aloof with me because of my apostasy, and she insisted that I "really do believe it."

We were close enough emotionally that she could be honest with me about her feelings (negative) toward her husband, and we offered several times to help her separate from him. But, good Mormon wife, she said she couldn't do that because he "wouldn't let me."

So she spent her life fighting alcohol, her only refuge (along with her religion).

Her husband and family tried to keep secret that it was suicide. Officially, she "had some kind of attack" and died.

So, my friend, you have my sympathy. Don't feel that you could have changed things. I did everything I could to try to save my sister, and she's still gone.


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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 08:58PM

Having lost my wife to cancer I most certainly am able to synpathize with you. I am so sorry for your loss. hope that your family gets over their maltreatment of you. God bless

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 09:13PM

So sorry for your loss.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 10:57PM

I'm terribly sorry for your loss, ookami. That must feel so raw. All you are looking for at such a time is genuine empathy, so people who can't manage that for your sake are simply too much to bear.

Try to be kind to yourself as you mourn.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: October 11, 2020 11:46PM

So sorry to hear the news ookami-

I don't know how to respond

My condolences

Stay strong.
Breathe deeply.
Be kind to yourself.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 02:21AM

This made me cry. I’m so sorry. It must be so hard for you. Maybe not for your doctrine-anesthesized parents. Damn the Church, damn their lies. Could you have done something? Getting through to TBMs isn’t usually possible. It seems like she was going through a faith crisis, which would have been good to know.

TSCC is really, really effed up. There’s no excuse for it. There never was. It’s a perversion that leads away from the Christ and unfortunately, toward death. The saddest part is the compassion that your parents were robbed of. Mormonism is not your friend.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 03:09AM

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 04:30AM

Terribly sorry to hear about this, ookami. Condolences.

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Posted by: Definitely Anon ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 08:46AM

My condolences.

"Where on earth is there a pamphlet or book telling the right way to mourn a sister who committed suicide?"

These exist, but I can't name one off the top of my head. These might help:

On the radio the other night, someone said that with suicide, someone passes the pain onto someone else. I think this is what has happened here - this is not your fault, and please remember that.

The world is in a very bad state just now and that was probably a major factor. It is hard to stay well when there is continual doom mongering. I don't watch the TV news much now or parrot the slogans everyone comes out with. A friend of mine volunteers for a well known counseling/suicide line and she tells me that calls have skyrocketed since the lockdown in this country (which is much stricter than the USA.) They have had to double the number of people manning the lines.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 09:23AM

I'm sorry that happened in your family. PLEASE don't blame yourself. You do not deserve the weight of having to be responsible for everything. There were probably several factors involved in your sister's situation. It's hard recognizing who is struggling. It's heartbreaking.

We know Mormonism is not especially helpful when it comes to people dealing with things considered "sins," so it hurts to see parents using Mormonism to justify and shame what happened.

Please take care of yourself. Sending sincere condolences.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 10:04AM

You have my understanding for your pain. Siblings and other family often have distance for very good reasons and what was with you and the sister is okay. Remember there is no way for you to have the whole picture which means the "shoulda's and coulda's" are not your friends. You know you "woulda" if you'd known.

No pamphlet, but my closest friend ever committed suicide out of the blue. This was forty some years ago now. Time heals but it takes a lot of time and time is often not timely and arrives late. When it happened I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, went to work but couldn't be there, went home but couldn't stay home, and kept having the worst nightmare ever. In the end, I had to accept that I would never know and never understand and just appreciate, well, everything and love them still no matter what.

I can't even imagine the pain of a family member doing this.
I wish I had a pamphlet for you or better a whole book. I do believe your subconscious will sort all out in the end. That is what they are for but they just aren't as fast as today's computers.

I have probably said all the wrong things as I do. Best to you.

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Posted by: Nightingale ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 12:59PM

Done & Done Wrote:
> I have probably said all the wrong things as I do.

Not at all, D. I feel you, here and elsewhere. I trust your words resonate, as usual.

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Posted by: wondering ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 01:39PM

I’m sending comforting thoughts your way! Perhaps write an anonymous letter to the editor of several papers on how the church pushes some people to suicide. Suicide numbers in Utah support this. Or build a website or Facebook for mormon or exmormon dealing with suicide. There have been many inspirational stories of people who devote public awareness thru their grief.

But if it were my parent blaming your sister, I would throw it back saying it was Mormonism to blame. But I can just get mean sometimes and blurt the truth.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 01:58PM

You could write a letter to her and post it here. We can stand in for her. I'm sure some of us have been where your sister was. It might help you.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 03:47PM

Thank you all.

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Posted by: Unindoctrinated ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 07:50PM

The spin in order to shift any possible “blame.” The gaslighting. I suspect anyone who so quickly and desperately attempts to define reality for others must feel some guilt, some responsibility. “No. No. It’s not me. It’s not my church. We’re not to blame.” What possible good could come from blaming the victim, especially as a family grieves? Pure selfishness. It’s a tragic loss, and anyone bad-mouthing the lost one need to shut the f up.

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Posted by: praydude ( )
Date: October 12, 2020 07:56PM

When my TBM dad died a few years ago I felt so many different emotions. Denial, hurt, lots of anger, and sadness. It took me a while to process the fact that he died.

Your story is a tragic one because (I suspect) that if she were out of the cult she could have processed her feelings and desires on a more normal level. Being clouded with what the cult thinks you should do can make one feel extremely guilty and worthless.

I'm sorry for your loss.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: October 15, 2020 08:46PM


Thinking of you, ookami.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/16/2020 01:40PM by Beth.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: October 16, 2020 01:40PM

Checking in. Don't feel obligated to reply. Assuming you might. Which I shouldn't do. mumble mumble Um. Here we go. What I'm trying to impart is that I'm not trying to put pressure on you to respond, and if it seems like I am, please forgive me. The last thing I want to do is pressure you. Alright. That's still a bunch of word salad. I'm shaking my head at myself.

I am thinking of you and holding you in my heart.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: October 16, 2020 02:37PM

Thank you, Beth.

Still hanging in there. The funeral home had streaming so I could watch her funeral.

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Posted by: cinda ( )
Date: October 16, 2020 02:17PM

My condolences for your terrible loss.

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Posted by: Phazer ( )
Date: October 16, 2020 09:06PM

Now she knows what is on the other side.

Sorry for your loss. At least it wasn't taken from her.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: October 17, 2020 03:35AM

So sorry for your loss.

My daughter died by suicide in 2006. My brother in 2010.

We are never the same again. It hurts to breathe.

After my daughter's death, I went to the bookstore and bought all five books that I thought might be helpful. I read them all and I don't remember any of them. Maybe they helped. What I know helped was a grief group specifically for survivors of suicide. It was twice a month. I attended for years and years. I can't imagine a zoom meeting being helpful. My daughter and then-husband had zero interest. They grieved in their own way.

One thing the facilitator would say was that "the guilt falls down like rain."

Approximately 100% of the people who talked to me after my daughter's death expressed guilt that they should have been able to do something. Guilt is easier than the awful feeling of powerlessness.

I had no contact with my brother for several years before his death. The could'ves and should'ves get me sometimes.

The WHY question plagues us. Our own speculation is painful. Listening to others speculations is often unbearable especially if they are judgmental and unkind. I was pretty obsessed with finding out all of the things leading up to the death. The truth is we just can't know everything. It was a long time before that question lost it's intensity.

I like the comment I've heard about suicide. Suicide is what happens when a person's pain exceeds their ability to cope.

Wishing you peace on your journey.

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Posted by: josephssmmyth ( )
Date: October 17, 2020 05:13AM

Hi ookami,
A small gift of community and warmth I give to you and yours during this nearly unbearable time.

I want you to know we're fighting for you and your huge loss. We're not going away and we will always be there to help combat this stupid Mormonism, folks like crazy Mitt Romney and all of the mind bending things this LDS organization offers.

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Posted by: Tyson Dunn ( )
Date: October 20, 2020 11:40AM

Whether it's in the local paper or on the likely website that will carry her obituary, usually people can comment. Write about the fine sister you knew, whether there or on Facebook or wherever.

Tell about her good points, if your parents' sweep-it-under-the-rug needs balancing. Take control of the narrative.

Even if they won't see her for the sister you loved, that doesn't stop you from doing so.



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