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Hannah Died – It’s Not Your Fault

Jul 6, 2016

You didn’t cause Hannah to die from suicide.

He messages me. He says he wants to come visit. It’s been 2 years since she’s been gone. It’s his first time. It’s his time.

Everyone mourns differently.

I don’t think I’ve ever actually met this young man but I know who he is. Hannah wanted to marry him. Not just the crush she said she could marry – she had many of those. No, this one is different.

I turn around and catch him walk up the driveway. I’m stunned by his handsome face and slim frame. Yep, I can see Hannah with him. I have to remember that Hannah’s passed on. For a moment, I forget.

We say hello and embrace almost simultaneously. I feel his sincerity. A slight dread enters my heart then it gives way to curiosity and excitement.

I invite him to follow me and we head to the shaded patio. That’s the healing spot for so many. I invite him to sit. Very naturally, we position our chairs to face each other.

He goes on to share his journey with Hannah. It’s beautiful. It’s fun. It’s Hannah. I love these moments. I’m so grateful for them.

And then he starts to pour out his broken heart.

Just like almost every single person that loves Hannah, he identifies a moment in time that he’s decided he’s the reason that Hannah completed suicide. My heart drops but doesn’t break because I know that it’s not true and that this is a moment of transition for him. A moment of healing. A moment of clarity. A moment of relief.

This story that we hold on to, the one that says we’re responsible FOR someone completing suicide is not reality, not true, and a torture instrument that we can let go of.

I explain to this beautiful 21-year-old young man who has tears in his eyes that ‘What-if’s’ are torture, completely unresolvable and unproductive. And for us, does not acknowledge the extremely powerful gift of the Atonement. If we identify a mistake, we fix it. There’s a better route. We don’t say ‘what if’. We say ‘because of’ Hannah’ we will do it differently now.

If you’re feeling guilty about something then look at it. Acknowledge it. Resolve it. Pay it forward. Guilt is a beautiful gift. Let it motivate you to higher ground, not bury you for a lifetime.

Because of Hannah

I’m not going to say, “Remember to hug your kids or be careful what you say because there might not be a tomorrow.” Nope. Here’s a secret. Regardless of when that physical unexpected separation happens, you won’t be prepared. You’ll have regrets. No matter how perfect you try to be today, you’ll have some kind of regret. Hindsight is always more powerful. All we can ever do is learn, grow, move forward, and love. Love each other and love ourselves.

Unless you willfully participated in ending someone’s life, the fault is not yours. People die. People end their pain and suffering by suicide. It’s not your fault.

Colby Ferrin is the young man in this story. He is a talented artist. He went on to produce a tribute song to Hannah. It’s message is beautiful. Thank you Colby.

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Why did they choose to die?

We are Mutants

Every single person I’ve met dealing with suicide ideation, deals with this.

About the Author

I'm a mom who lost her precious 16-year-old daughter to suicide on June 19, 2014. I am a mom to two young men and a wife to my wonderful husband. We learn from tragedy to make each day better. That's resilience.

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  1. Marge

    Thank you for sharing your words of truth, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance and love. I never thought of guilt as a blessing but your keen perspective makes sense. We are human and carry many regrets. This is a well written piece. God bless you for serving others in your beautiful sensitive loving way. My sincere and heartfelt thanks.

  2. Lucy

    When anyone ends their life ,it’s no ones fault , not the one that ended their life and no one left behind ,it was the illness fault period………..

  3. Susan

    I attempted suicide but was found barely in time. I was angry that I remained alive. What I wasn’t prepared for was the anger and resentment from my children and spouse. They will never understand why, so now I struggle through one day at a time to live. Some days have been very much worth it, some not as much. Suicide is very personal and not because of what another has done, except maybe due to violence. Guilt is natural I guess, but you are right…

    • Laura Warburton

      Sweet lady, I hope you’ll search through this website for possible help. If you’ve found relief, I hope you’ll share that as well.

  4. Joanne Smith

    I lost my son 5 years ago not from suicide but still from an unexpected death. Your comment toward the end about never being prepared for someones death could not be truer. We all need to always say kind things to each other so we don’t have to have regrets when we lose someone. I told my son several times a day how much I loved him and was grateful for this when I lost him. I remind my children all the time to never leave their children on an unkind word and to always tell them they live them so they don’t have to regret it. Losing a child is the hardest thing ever and you’re never the same again, but I can’t even imagine losing one to suicide. My heart breaks for you and your not knowing what brought Hannah to make such a heartbreaking decision. Such a beautiful girl with her whole life ahead of her. Your message to people about fault is so incredibly true, and there is no way of knowing the sadness nor the reason for someone to feel so helpless that they wanted to end their life and we will never know. My heart breaks for any parents that lose a child and wish so much there was something to make their loss any easier. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

    • Laura Warburton

      I’m very sorry for your loss.


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