Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsFamily · 8 months ago

I lost my eldest son to suicide 5 yrs ago and I still wonder what might have been had he lived?!?

I've had 3 kids: John,Nathan and Tom. John was the eldest and was also the most shy of them. I've watched the other 2 have lots of friend and girlfriends, and John? Not so much..always few friends and never a girlfriend. After 911 he,17 at the time,decided to join the Marines. He was deployed to Iraq. While he no doubt became more indipendent,he became a man,he became less shy,things for him didn't turn up so well. I tried to help him,he had no job...he had couples of jobs but still socially,he wasn't making too many progress. He was just comfortable around other vets. While my other 2 kids started their own families I struggled seeing my eldest being like this. I talked to him, he would always say ' don't worry dad,I'm fine'. He thought nobody loved him,then one day he got rejected by a girl on the same day my youngest son had his first born son and I think that made him even more depressed.. by the time John had a part time job and a tiny appartment. John took his own life a year later, in 2015 at age 31. When I look back at it to this day I ask myself if I could've done more. He was a sad soul.. I am looking his pictures now, the first in high school,the second in his official Marine dress blues picture. He could've had so much..he was kind to others but so shy.. he was my son. Sometimes I wonder what might have been had he found a girl who loved him. I don't blame that girl who rejected him,but I wonder what might have been had he lived. What's your take?


When I go to heaven I hope to see him,I really do.

Update 2:

@myfavouritelucy: I don't give a damn if you do or don't

6 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    All that lives on for any of us are our memories of them, and by imagining what things might have been like had he lived you are keeping his memory alive. That's a beautiful thing to do as long as you can find some solace and even joy in thinking about him. But, if you're just playing "what ifs" over and over again, you should stop before it hurts you. John is part of you, so every moment you are happy, in a sense he is happy too. I'm sorry for your loss.

  • 8 months ago

    First I want to tell you I'm very sorry for your loss.

    Losing someone, but also losing someone to suicide is one of the toughest things you can go through, especially if are talking about a child.

    You are still grieving the loss of your son and many of the emotions and thoughts you have are totally normal. It is totally normal to wonder what could you have done different or what if you had said this or that... The truth is, you couldn't have done anything. Some people are beyond help, and as sad as it is, at that moment your son thought suicide was the choice for him.

    Does it hurt? Of course. Didn't get deserve more? Of course. But you yourself admit he always had issues w interacting w others, being a sad soul sometimes ends up like this. I doubt that finding a girl who loved him could have changed things. When we are not in a good place ourselves as individuals, no amount of external love helps, even if it comes from family or a loving partner.

    Your son also experienced a war, that alone drives many people towards suicide. He was a vet and god knows what kind of things scared his soul. Only thing we can do know is pray for him (if you believe) knowing that wherever he is now, he's better bc he's not in pain anymore.

    Maybe work on something for you to help to honor his memory. There are volunteerings aimed at helping vets. Do something for someone else, and dedicate those actions to your son's soul.

    Wish you the best and hope this helps.

  • Mark
    Lv 5
    8 months ago

    My take is this - we all choose experiences to learn from, master in life, as an expression of the Divine in form. Everyone comes into this reality on a specific timeframe, and leaves the same way. A being who 'dies before their time' is understandable from our limited perspective, but to that one who has left, their life was all they intended to experience on earth. Regardless of whether such a life is 7 months, 7 years, or 70. NOTHING you could have done would've changed that. Love what worked, let go of what didn't.

  • 8 months ago

    OK..... I'm going to say it....... I don't believe a word. 

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  • 8 months ago

    i think its normal for you to feel that way

  • 8 months ago

    You will, I promise! (viz. update). Poor you - and poor John. Clearly he had a problem of some sort which was not your fault, and was very likely exacerbated by his military experiences. You could not have done anything to change him or his decision. We can all spend our lives thinking about what might have been - although obviously few have been through what you have, thank goodness. Now John would not want you to be so unhappy about this. OF COURSE you have a lot of emotions about it, but try to focus now on the rest of your family. I am not suggesting that you forget him, of course, but try not to think of him too much except with the great love you have for him: Love does not die! Good Luck!

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