Religion and suicide. Two words that are often not found in the same sentence. My religious beliefs and my faith have always brought me comfort. I never stressed about it. I never felt that I needed to explain it. I certainly never felt that I would need to defend it. Then my dad died by suicide. This is a topic I have yet to write about. I think it is time to go there… Faith is often turned to in times of need. Faith gets many people through very hard times, as it allows us to let go and trust that someone greater than ourself will make it right again. Following my dad’s suicide, I found my own faith to be something that almost prohibited me from moving forward as I questioned so many things. […]
One of the most difficult aspects of grief comes from the belief that it ends. While the pain becomes less intense, it still manifests itself as we continue to live our life without our loved ones. Changing our view on grief can be helpful as it allows us to be sad without thinking that something is wrong with us. If you are like me, then you still have sad days. You have times when you cry because the person you lost is no longer with you. We can’t expect to never feel sad when we think about our loved one. As the quote below states, “All we can do is learn to swim.”
More often than not, I’ve heard survivors say they were blindsided by their loved one’s choice to take their own life. I said the same after my dad’s death. Sure, he seemed to be a little down but we never would have imagined something so extreme was on his mind. He was functioning at full capacity and never mentioned he was feeling suicidal. He had even “warned” us decades earlier as kids that there was nothing so bad in life that we would ever have to resort to it. How could we have missed the signs of suicide? I think today’s news and social media landscape paints a picture of depression and mental illness that leads society to believe the signs would be as clear as the lights on Broadway. Think about commercials and magazine […]
For this week’s motivational Monday, I would love for everyone to take the time to focus on their breath. Have you ever experienced panic or anxiety? I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. When we experience anxiety, our breath becomes shallow. The lack of oxygen to the brain, increases our heart rate which ultimately causes the panic that we experience. In that moment it can be so difficult to stop our brain from spiraling and redirect our focus to our breath. But if we can, the result is a calmer more hopeful view on life. This week, if you feel that overwhelming sense of panic, use your breath. Breathe in life and release all the negative energy within. If you would like to read more about the prevalence of anxiety after a suicide, check out Experiencing Anxiety […]
Guest blogger Michelle H., who lost her son to suicide, returns again this week to share about an aspect of loss we have heard many survivors talk about in group meetings: the significance of particular dates and times associated with a loved one’s death. Can you relate? How Markers of Time Evolve I’ve been thinking about why the markers of time are so important to me. In the first few months, I marked the time following my son’s death by days and weeks. Every Wednesday, around 9:30 (when I found Marcus) and Thursday at 9:57 (when his heart stopped beating after we stopped life support) had so much significance in my mind. I could feel the dark cloud increase. Usually, I would light a candle at those times and I spent a lot of time outside at […]
This week we welcome Melissa, a sister grieving the loss of her sister AnnMarie. Since becoming a survivor I have found that suicide loss impacts every culture, every religion, and every age group. We thank Melissa for her courage to share her story. Melissa’s family created a foundation in honor of AnnMarie. They are working diligently to help our youth, a population that has seen an increasing amount of suicide rates. For more information, visit AnnMarie’s Foundation. Melissa’s Story: Visit museums in the city. Go get ice cream. Have play dates with our bunnies. These were just a few of the “to-dos” over the summer that my little sister, AnnMarie, wanted to accomplish. We discussed these plans on Sunday, June 9th. And on Monday, June 10th 2013, I received a phone call that would forever […]
This has to be one of my favorite quotes. It grounds me, and reminds me to manage my expectations when it comes to life. It changes my view on suicide. Life is not always easy. Life is not always happy. All of these moment, rather good or bad are all a part of life. Sometimes it takes the bad to remind us of the good. This week, look at life like a piano, and remember that both the white and the black keys make music. Beautiful music.