Dear Abby: After son’s suicide, despairing father considers it too

‘My wife and I have been cast into a hell that’s impossible to bear.’

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DEAR ABBY: My wife and I lost our son to suicide a few years ago. We have never gotten over it. I have recovered somewhat and would like to resume having intimate relations, but she’s not that far along.

I no longer feel there’s any reason to continue on this earth. There is no point to my being here. I think about suicide daily. I have been told that if I were going to do this and hurt my family as my son did, I would’ve already done it.

My wife and I have been cast into a hell that’s impossible to bear. There is no way to describe the pain, anger and sorrow we feel. I want to die because I feel the world would be a better place without my sorrowful self taking up resources. I have sought help ever since we lost my son, and have been taking all kinds of medication that I no longer want to take. Is there a way out other than my option? — BEYOND DEPRESSED

DEAR BEYOND DEPRESSED: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the tragic loss of your son. I cannot imagine the hell you and your wife are going through.

Because you can’t get the thought of suicide out of your mind, it is very important that you receive more help than I can give you in a letter. Your doctor should be put on notice about your issue with your medications.

Also, a group that might be helpful for you and your wife is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. If you contact them, they can refer you to a local support group for people who are surviving a loved one’s suicide. The website is If, however, you feel you have reached a point where harming yourself is imminent, I urge you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. Please don’t give up.

DEAR ABBY: I have two children. One is 6, and the other is an infant. My 6-year-old is kind but mischievous at times. I am a firm believer that children need loving parents, but also parents who discipline when it’s needed.

My mother recently came to live with me and my husband. She helps out a lot, but she is causing some confusion in our home. She doesn’t discipline my 6-year-old when needed. In fact, she often acts like a child herself when she should be acting like an adult. This issue causes my 6-year-old to sometimes be disrespectful.

When my husband and I hear the smart-mouth talk, we address it, but there’s only so much we can do when my mother won’t take an adult role. I have had several conversations with her about it, but nothing changes. I don’t want her to leave, but I’m afraid her attitude toward parenting and discipline will cause some real problems in my home. Please help. — DISCIPLINED IN VIRGINIA

DEAR DISCIPLINED: Continue the conversation with your mother. Explain that although she may think you are too strict with your older child, you are that child’s mother, and this is the way you want the child raised. Then tell her that if enforcing the rules is too much for her, she may have to find other living arrangements. Talk to your child, as well. Make sure he/she understands that the rules come from his/her parents and no one else.

I am troubled by your statement that your mother sometimes acts like a child. I wish you had mentioned why she’s living with you. If you suspect there’s a possibility she might be experiencing the onset of dementia, INSIST that she be evaluated by a physician and a neurologist to ensure that she’s well.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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