One of the phenomena that seems to be kind of common in the people who were really close to people who died by suicide is taking on some of their characteristics. It’s like those people are living the life that was cut short.
I have certainly noticed myself doing that some. I’ve taken on some habits that Ian had that I probably wouldn’t have if he were still here. In myself, however, I’ve also noticed that I have taken up some habits that are the exact opposite of what he would do. I notice these things, and I’m not sure they’re entirely healthy, but I also don’t really see any reason not to, as none of the habits are actually harmful at all… in fact, some of them are outright healthy! (I started exercising, for example, and eating primarily vegetables.)
It’s an interesting thing, though. Something I think about regularly. Why am I changing things? Is it because it’s time for a change and it just happens to be at this point? Is it because I’ve got some weird obsessive hang-up? Is it a normal part of grieving this type of loss, and will eventually shake out?
It’s unconscious, mostly. It’s not as though I think about doing something and think that Ian would have done it too, so do it (or the opposite). I find myself doing things regularly, and realize his relation to it. There have been several times where I’m thinking about a situation, or a way I’ve been handling something, and I surprise myself by realizing, “Wow. I’m turning into Ian…” (Or the opposite)
It’s an interesting thing to notice, and I don’t know if there’s anything I can really DO to change it… or even if I should. Right now, I feel like an observer, just watching what happens, what things stick and what doesn’t. Have you experienced similar?
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