“I gave you wings but i couldn’t help the winds”. Child’s suicide experienced by parents in 1984-2010, Finland

Arja Ryhänen
pp. 327-339
When parents meet the death of their own child the loss brings along – not only a deep grief – but the death also indicates to parents their incompetence to act as a parent. Simultaneously the parents loose the dreams and expectations of the future and the life changes totally. Especially when a child commits suicide the parents face a difficult task: how to separate your own dreams from the dreams of your own child. In my paper I studied child’s suicide as it was experienced by parents. Experience is today one of the most important core concept in the cultural history. Experience is a process through it a human being as a social subject will be combined to the surrounding culture, language and the world. Simultaneously the experience is a process which makes a human being to become a subject. In my study this means how the suicide of the child as a very private experience of the parents will take a place in our culture by shaping, building, maintaining or perhaps changing it. Texts which parents have written about the experience do not only tell about our time but they also indicate the interaction between the culture and a survivor when he/she tries to understand what has happened and how to survive.
suicide, death, children, parents, Finland.