(Update May 21- Trina Etong committed suicide–NBI )

It was just a matter of time yet the news of Ted Failon’s Wife death came as a shock. Trinidad Arteche Etong or Trina , died tonight at 8:50 PM. She died of cranial injury but was it due to homicide or suicide? Her daughter thinks that her mom tried to commit suicide. To lose a loved one to death is painful, to lose a loved one to suicide is also disorienting.

If it is suicide, it is a particularly cruel form of death for the surviving family and friends. Questions like : How could she have been so full of despair that she felt that death was preferable to life? Additionally, the family has to cope with the police, an inquest, and possibly the media, as well as the ever-present and unanswerable question ““Why?”. Suicide is a complicated loss.

I overheard on Radyo Patrol shortly before 8:00PM the screams of Me-ann and Pamela Arteche, Trina’s sisters as they were brought to the Inquest at the Quezon City Hall of Justice. Was that harsh treatment really necessary? Couldn’t they have waited the next day? They wanted to be with their sister, don’t you know that? It was a total riot as I listened to the screams and yelling in the background as the reporter related how the sisters were dragged to the van. The worst part is they weren’t around when their sister died in the hospital.

Mean Arteche went hysterical when informed of her sister’s death by telephone, saying she could not forgive police for taking them from her sister’s deathbed.

The family is in a very stressful situation, Mr. Policemen so let me explain what grief is like.

If the family believes the death was due to suicide, the family members must unravel in their own way. The common threads are the feelings: numbness, shock, disbelief, and then the questions. And all this is before the pain of grief and loss truly begins. Right now they may feel devastated and shattered. Please be more compassionate, Police and Media. Maybe, you overlooked this because you just want to do your job as quickly as possible. Just a little compassion and understanding.

I cannot even imagine the grief they must be feeling now complicated with the media and police circus. I hope the latter will gain a deep understanding of the family’s grief even if the cause is not too clear yet as of this posting.

Every death leaves a huge gap; there has been an amputation, someone is missing and can never be replaced. This is true even for deaths by homicide. Suicide on the other hand, brings added complications to the bereaved family. Although the days when suicide was regarded as a criminal or sinful act are thankfully in the past, some families do discover how hard it can be to talk openly about suicide, how uncomfortable even close friends can feel about the tragedy, and how this can lead to isolation. There can also be differences, as well as togetherness, even within the immediate family, in the way each person views the past as well as in their interpretation of the death.

In the days to come, there might be inconsistencies with Ted Failon’s and other suspect’s statements but it is just normal to miss out details when questioned under severe stress. Traumatic situation like this does weird things to the brain. It literally shuts down the part of the brain, which is responsible for problem solving, planning, judgment and making sense of emotional experience. (Read Traumatic Loss and the Brain).

Let’s give them the space and time to grieve.

About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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