I turned 44 this September. This birthday was profound for me as I turn the same age my Mother was when she died. I feel so young, full of life, and see numerous possibilities that exist in my future. I cannot imagine dying at this age.
I am blessed with physical health and mental health. My Mother was not so fortunate. She lived with Bipolar Disorder. I should say, she struggled with it. I think about how raising children, having a career, and just managing all that life brings us can be stressful and sometimes difficult without a mental illness. I think about how hard it must have been for her to live with this diagnosis and deal with everything else in life. I cannot imagine what she went through on a daily basis. She was a loving, beautiful, kind, and strong soul, but because of her mental illness it was literally near impossible to even breathe, to live.
It wasn't that she didn't want to live. It was that the chemical imbalance in her brain put her in a state that people without depression/bipolar cannot understand unless they experience it. I understand how and why she died and have nothing but empathy for her. Taking her own life was not selfish. Her brain was not able to even think of that possibility. When one is in this state of mind the brain is not able to consider how others may feel, how this will affect the lives of loved ones, or that things can get better. The brain thinks that the only answer is ending life. When someone is in a suicidal state of mind the thought of death actually seems logical to them. Nothing else matters.
The living cannot take others suicide personally. It has nothing to do with any other human on the planet and everything to do with a physiological imbalance in the brain. It is not necessary to understand what that person was thinking, or "how could they do that". It is only necessary to look to that person with love, compassion, and forgiveness. It took years, but I have released any residual guilt, anger, and regret. Holding on to that is a waste of energy. Let it go, let love in, and know that it is not your fault.