Our Side of Suicide

One feeling that has resurfaced since my Dad’s death is anger towards him. As I said in my last post, my husband and I recently bought a house. After selling my Dad’s house the year after he died, my husband and I stored all of the family heirlooms that used to be in my parents’ basement (family pictures, family China, my Mom’s Snow Babies and other knick knacks she collected, as well as a few boxes of stuff from my Grandparents). The boxes added up, and that is not stuff you just throw away. For the past two years, it had been in a storage unit so it was “out of sight out of mind” for me. Since we moved into the house, we got rid of the storage unit and brought all the stuff […]

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PTSD after a suicide

What do you think about when you hear the term “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?” The first thing I think about is the military. We so often hear about our veterans returning home from war with symptoms of PTSD. We are also all aware that this untreated PTSD often leads to suicide. But, what we do not often think about is PTSD experienced by survivors in the aftermath of a suicide. In fact, I believe that PTSD after a suicide is more prevalent than we think. The National Institute of Mental Health states that, “PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful […]

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Talking to Kids about Suicide

I’ve been struggling with some fairly heavy emotions recently as a result of some youth suicides that have hit close to home. First, I learned of a 12-year-old girl at our local elementary school who took her life because of ongoing bullying. Days later, I read about a young boy of the same age who shot himself at a Boy Scout summer camp. Immediately, I was struck with grief and disbelief that children so young (and younger) even know what suicide is. How could they feel compelled to make this decision and have the capacity to follow through with it? It feels easier to digest that a grown man, like my 64-year-old father, could pursue suicide after living a full life and experiencing most of what it had to offer. But, to think that a […]

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our side of suicide

No matter how much time has passed, I still can’t seem to get over the fact that life continues to progress without my Dad here to be a part of it. It seems like the past few months have brought constant reminders that he’s gone and won’t be able to experience all of the exciting things that are happening for me right now. In May, my husband and I sold our condo in the city and bought our first house in the Chicago suburbs. It was a big step, but we’re really excited about this change and are already busy making updates! We also learned we’re expecting our first child, due later this year. This would have been my Dad’s first grandchild and I can only imagine how much this little one would have meant […]

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Our side of suicide

My previous post, “The Stages of Grief” continues to be one of the most viewed posts on our page. On a daily basis a number of individuals are “googling” these terms, searching for something or someone to direct them through the grief process. In this post, I want to revisit the stages of grief after a suicide. Grieving the death of a loved one who died this way is extremely complicated. There are a number of elements that come into play. As a survivor and therapist, I believe these elements have yet to be incorporated into the traditional stages of grief. I want to talk about shame, and how this painful feeling can impact those who are working through the stages of grief after suicide. Shame is a feeling that is rarely associated with the stages […]

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Our Side of Suicide

This month marks a proud moment for us – it’s our one-year “anniversary” of launching Our Side of Suicide. Early last summer, during one of our regular get-togethers, we each commented how we felt compelled to do more to bring awareness to the topic of suicide/prevention, support survivors and share about our experiences. Today, we reflect on what the past year has meant to us. Becky’s Story We felt so thankful to have been brought together by the Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) support group in Chicago and for the fact that resources like this even exist. We knew others might not have access to groups like this or someone to talk to. The idea of starting a blog felt a bit scary at first – how would it feel to put ourselves out […]

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father's day after dad died

Celebrating holidays after the loss of a loved to suicide can be extremely difficult.  Becky and I wanted to take the time to talk about how we mark Father’s Day after dad died and how it impacts us. While our fathers are no longer with us, their memories are strong. We continue to honor them on this blog and celebrate the lives they lived. Becky’s Story It’s hard to believe another Father’s Day weekend is upon us. I still find it difficult to believe a date that used to hold such significance in our family has become just another day to me. I remember the last Father’s Day celebration we had together, which was just two months before my dad died. We met at a restaurant we’d visited numerous times before – and that he […]

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