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It is often difficult to find inspiration after loss. I discovered this quote the other day and sent it to my sister.  I couldn’t help but think about my dad when I read the quote. I have asked myself time and time again, “Why did this happen to me?” I often watch other families; listen to others’ as they talk about their parents and loved ones, all while smiling graciously as others’ talk about the relationships they have with their fathers. It is hard to not wonder why my father had to be the one that took his life. When I read this quote, it gave me hope. It made me smile, and provided me with inspiration. It reminded me that while bad things happen to good people, there is still good in the world. […]

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youth suicides

Last year, a girl I was friends with in high school, lost her 11-year old sister suddenly. I did not know how she passed away until a few months ago when I was invited to a fundraiser on Facebook. I click on the fundraiser page only to find out that my friend’s 11-year old sister died last summer by suicide. The Ann Marie Foundation “has been established with the mission to prevent bullying and youth suicide and increase internet safety through awareness and education.” From The Bullying Statistics Website, The statistics on bullying and suicide are alarming: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of […]

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predisposed to suicide

As I continue to analyze the reasons my dad chose to take his life, I have learned and read a lot about some people simply being more “predisposed” to suicide. This has come up during conversations with my grief counselor and I remain intrigued by the possibility. I also want to better understand what this predisposition actually means. (I found this article about “The Genetic Basis for Suicidal Behavior” in Psychiatric Times, but haven’t made my way through all of it yet.) Frankly, I’m still baffled …am I predisposed?! How do you know if you are? For example, we’ve talked about the fact my dad faced work stress, scrutiny in the public eye due to his job and other everyday issues, like unexpected bills – just like everyone else. In the past, I’ve been quick […]

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On television’s “The View” this morning, the hosts briefly discussed the apparent suicide of Mick Jagger’s former girlfriend, L’Wren Scott. I did not catch this segment in its entirety; however my attention was drawn to the TV when one of the hosts stated, “You need to reach out to someone, as there are always other options.” Since the segment aired this morning, I have found myself thinking about the treatment available for the suicidal. I couldn’t help but question whether our society is truly able to fully treat the suicidal? There is a piece of my story that is often different from others. It is hard for me to discuss, but I did see the signs, and my father did acknowledge to me that he was feeling suicidal. The last time I saw my father was […]

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our side of suicide

Until my dad died, I had never heard the concept of a “new normal.” Ok… I guess I had heard it in my marketing life as a way to describe the way consumer behavior changed after the recession. But, I didn’t expect it would take on an entirely different connotation in my own life.  Days after my dad took his life, I began attending Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) support group meetings. During those gatherings, I heard many attendees talk about their new normal after death by suicide. At the time, I was too new in the grief process to know how that would manifest for me or what it really meant. However, what I heard from them were stories about how traditions and holidays changed or how their general disposition evolved. Their “new normal” […]

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In a previous post, I wrote about the Stages of Grief after suicide and how they relate to survivors (click here to revisit the post). I challenged the notion that these stages apply to a survivor in the same manner that they apply to someone who loses a loved one “naturally.” As a psychotherapist, I understand that the stages are a blueprint to be used to help others understand their grief journey. However, as a survivor I continue to question whether these stages are relevant to those who have lost a loved one to suicide. I believe there is a missing link; a link that can impact one’s ability to effectively navigate their way through the stages. What is the link? Guilt. If you are a survivor, you might now be familiar with “the signs” […]

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celebrating birthdays after death

These past two weeks have been mentally draining for me. Last Tuesday, February 11th, would have been my Mom’s 60th birthday, and Monday February 17th would have been my Dad’s 57th birthday. Since my Dad passed in 2011, February has been a rough month. Last week, I did not think I was that stressed about their birthdays, but by Friday my face completely broke out, I binged on a ton of sugary food (which is very unlike me) and have felt completely exhausted. Speaking of candy, this year I purchased each one of my parent’s favorite Fannie May candies to bring to my monthly LOSS meeting and to enjoy with my husband in memory of my parents. One thing my counselor recommends for a healthy relationship with your loved one after a suicide is to […]

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