I guess everybody has been in a situation where they didn’t know what to do. I have been in many, too. But this is something only you, people who are going through similar things, can help me with.
This post isn’t going to be about me, but about my aunt. My aunt has lost her son (my cousin) 2 years and 7 months ago if I’m counting correctly. He was only 17 years old at the time and he killed himself one night, somewhat out of the blue. The whole situation and his full reasons are a mystery – he didn’t leave any suicide note, he was too distressed to do that it seems. The circumstances of the night it happened went like this: he borrowed his father’s car that late evening and he and his friends were cruising around the parking lot, all of them slightly tipsy. No-one knows who was behind the wheel, but we have a suspicion that it wasn’t my cousin. They inadvertently crashed the car into a BMW. The owner of the BMW, a 20-something-year-old woman, took my cousin’s ID, yelled at him and demanded money for the car reparation. She was drunk as well. My cousin’s friends have left him, even though he was obviously distressed after what happened. His mother, he and his 3 sisters weren’t exactly solvent and couldn’t afford to give any money away. That night, he ended his life. There were mentions of some other motives he might have for this, but this was what happened prior the incident. His mother hasn’t been the same person ever since. She’s suffering from depression. That’s to be expected and I don’t expect her to ever make a full recovery or anything, it’s just her condition has been turning more severe lately.
She casually speaks of death with my mum and my mum tries to make it into a joke to lighten up the atmosphere, but I don’t think she understands the severity of the situation. Yes, my mum has been through depression, but honestly – I don’t think my aunt’s situation should be taken lightly. I, myself, have been wanting to kill myself – and when such words slipped from my mouth, it was usually a warning sign prior to what I intended to do.
She has stopped crying so much, at least in front of others. She cries in secret instead (sometimes in front of others, too – when it’s too unbearable). She’s trying to put a somewhat strong front, but inside, everybody knows she’s totally devastated. She’s much too angry at my cousin’s friends, her deceased ex-husband and the police and courts for not acting when there was still time (long story). Her only reason for living lies in her three daughters, none of whom really fully appreciate what she’s doing for them. They are growing up, though – I’m afraid what will happen when they are capable of being sustainable. I’m not helping the situation, either. I know that I should talk to her and be appreciative and be thankful for everything she does for me – but I’m at a loss when it comes to supporting people. How to find the right words to say?
How can I help my aunt feel better? What should I do to at least not make it worse?
P.S. I have no clue whether she’s taking any medication now – I know she did in the past, but I’m not sure about now, not even sure whether she still visits the psychologist.