every month, I am faced with the reality of suicide as I receive letters and
phone calls from people all across the nation who have lost someone they love.
Each time my heart aches with the person (many of whom I’ve never met), because
I know the path before them is one of gut-wrenching pain. I also know that God
is able to bring healing, but only as we face the pain. There’s no shortcut on
the road to healing.
I began working with an organization called SOS (Survivors of Suicide). There
are SOS Support Groups all over the nation. These groups are designed for
adults who have lost someone to suicide to meet with other survivors in an attempt
to face their grief and find healing in a personal way. As survivors meet with each
other, a mutual healing often takes place. Those who are newly bereaved often
find comfort and hope from those who are further along in the grief process.
someone to suicide is different than other types of loss. The grief is
complicated. Not only do you face the normal stages of grief, but you may also
experience guilt or shame. I remember feeling guilty and wondering what I could
have done differently to save Michael. I also remember the shame. There are
times I still feel the shame. Each time someone asks how my husband died, I can
feel the shame rising within me, and I have to remind myself to hold my head
high. Michael’s death did not define who he was. He was an amazing man, and I
need not feel ashamed.
If you or
someone you care about has lost someone to suicide, encourage them to visit a
SOS Support Group. I encourage people to try it at least three times. If after
three times it isn’t helpful, then feel free to stop coming. Sometimes it takes
a while to feel safe in the group. To find out where a group is near you, go to
Labels: Mental Health, My Story, Suicide