Grief after a suicide is very complicated and messy.After any loss, adults and children need to be in a safe and gentle environment to feel and to express the tough emotions.There is never a satisfying answer that solves the unknowing. Why didn’t she think she could come and talk to me and let me know what was going on, wasn’t I a good friend? It does not happen because someone breaks up with them or they lost a job.
The way someone dies should not define his or her life.
It is a part of their story but it is far from the whole story.
I've leafed through the letters and emails from parents whose children have died, through the photographs mailed to me of T-shirts with the faces of dead children on them and images from sidewalk memorials.
These were sent and shared by parents whose children's deaths inverted the natural order of things and forced their mothers and fathers to do the business of burying. Each Memorial Day, there is a mourning that defies a natural order. We need a name because of what happened at Columbine and Virginia Tech, for when a child is found beneath the rubble of an earthquake, or for dusty children who starve to death in Darfur. But we have grown used to the word "widow." It's not much different, and it shares the same etymology. Scan the news on the web and you will read about a vilomah.
That ought to have been the labor of a grown child, not a task for their parents. This idea of orderliness and the disorder of a child's death eventually brought me back to the Sanskrit word "widow." And as creative as I thought I might be with language, as liberal as I was willing to be in borrowing a word from another language -- maybe from Swahili or Greek, French or Thai -- or even creating one myself from a collection of letters that I might shape into the meaning I needed, I returned to the language that had already given us one word. And I found "vilomah." Vilomah means "against a natural order." As in, the grey-haired should not bury those with black hair. Our numbers grow daily -- with drive-bys and carelessness, with genocides and accidents, illnesses and suicide. And unfortunately, these days can give us ways and means abundantly to grow accustomed to a vilomah. Walk through your neighborhood, there are homes with vilomahs inside.