By Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt Author’s notes: The Bill of Rights for grieving children is intended to empower them to help themselves heal- and to help direct the adults in …Continue Reading
This life can be unkind, but together, we can make it a little safer place for the hurting mothers on this Mother’s Day. If you have a hurting mother in …Continue Reading
the holiday season can magnify your sense of loss and mourning. Family gatherings and seasonal events can be painful reminders of the absence of a loved one. At the same time, they can also be comforting rituals where you spend time with family and friends, focusing on good memories and trying to recapture your sense of joy. If you are mourning a loss of a loved one this year, here are some important things to keep in mind.
The Austin Center for Grief & Loss As we prepare for a transition into cool mornings and early sunsets, I have been taking the time to reflect on how nature …Continue Reading
Most of the time, fathers are neglected grievers… While we know a lot about grief now, people still aren’t sure how to respond to a man’s feelings. It’s safer to ask …Continue Reading
What parent wants to leave their child? In the depths of illness and what’s known as “the suicide trance,” they quite likely thought their loved ones would be better off without them. I used to view suicide as selfish, before I lost my husband to depression in 2013 and then set out to better understand what had happened. Learning that the brain gets stuck in the loop of the suicidal trance helped me make sense of it all. He would have never wanted to inflict such pain on his family, especially on our then 7-year old son, whom he adored.
The signs of the holiday season are ubiquitous: holiday decorations in the stores, piped in Christmas carols, holiday displays at the malls, TV programs focusing on selecting the perfect gift, …Continue Reading
Recovery means, “to regain,” “to get back” or “to restore.” It has a lot to do with loss and with you. Recovery is not “getting over it” or“closure.” Those terms …Continue Reading
by Connie Kennemer Birthdays and holidays can be tricky business for suicide survivors. My sunshine boy Todd would have turned 37 last summer. On his birthday, we celebrated with a …Continue Reading
By Joyce Bruggeman Human beings are highly complex – we embody the union of physical and non-physical aspects to make us who we are. When we suffer a devastating loss …Continue Reading
I am a granddaughter of an immigrant to this country. I am a daughter of a WWII vet who fought against his ancestral homeland and suffered from severe PTSD, and …Continue Reading
By Jessica Hutchison, or OurSideofSuicide.com Recently, a friend of mine experienced a suicide loss. This was the first time that I had someone close to me lose someone in …Continue Reading
Cupcakes & Dread-Blocking By Jennifer Lane, www.JenniferLLane.com Celebrating after suicide is difficult as we are reminded of our devastating loss. We get caught up telling the story of their death, limiting the …Continue Reading
By Jenni Klock Morel Hold love in your heart. Understand that deep love and gratitude can live side-by-side with deep grief, deep pain. Know your true north. Your lost loved …Continue Reading
By Jenni Klock Morel When my brother died by suicide, my heart broke. I felt something inside me shatter. At first I existed in survival-mode. Able to stand, even speak, …Continue Reading
By Diane Conn I never expected to have anything to do with the word suicide other than to read about it happening out there somewhere, far from me. But one …Continue Reading
By Joyce Bruggeman For us in the survivor community, our stories are different, but we all understand the devastating pain of suicide. In our loved one’s attempt to end their …Continue Reading
By Jenni Klock Morel As the holidays approach, do you feel pressure? Personally, I believe there is pressure during the holiday season. It is multifaceted: societal pressure, pressure from …Continue Reading
By Jessica Hutchison, of www.OurSideofSuicide.com One question that I have been asked by many survivors is, “When will the guilt end?” I see the desperation in their eyes, and remember …Continue Reading
Bonnie Bear in memory of Gordon R. Bear “I have been trying to make the best of my grief and am just beginning to learn to allow it to make …Continue Reading
Our Holiday Journey By Connie Kennemer Todd took his life a week before Thanksgiving 2005. Loss of any kind is traumatic, but a suicide death is surreal and stigmatizing. Thanksgiving …Continue Reading
By Jessica Anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide, knows that it forever changes your life. It rocks your world in a way that no other death can. …Continue Reading
Rea L. Ginsberg, LCSW-C, ACSW, BCD Many people working in the general field of thanatology write about bereavement, commonly considered the period of mourning after the death of a loved …Continue Reading
A Comforter with Wings By Anonymous My tears were already falling, before I even opened my eyes. I had been crying nonstop for forty-seven days straight. As I walked …Continue Reading
By Maureen Hunter When we are feeling overwhelmed and consumed by the inconsolable pain of our grief, we often wonder, is this going to be my life forever? Will the pain …Continue Reading
After the loss of a loved one, holidays and other special days can be very difficult, for the first few years, and for some, these days are always difficult. The …Continue Reading
By Connie Kennermer
Things that help…
Saying you are sorry for my loss.
Hugs. And more hugs.
Very few words.
Cards, phone messages and e-mails that don’t require a quick response — or any response.
Meals, but only when I need them. The fridge fills up fast when the appetite fades.
Giving me generous latitude. My grief has no timetable; its steps are not sequential. I seldom know when grief will “take me out.”
Expressing total and painful confusion over what happened. Knowing that you are perplexed makes me feel a little more sane.
Cards or notes months after. It’s when your life goes back to “normal” that I feel alone and my loss forgotten.
Say his name often. Out loud. Remind me how much you feel the loss.
Help me not forget him. Remind me of funny things he said or how witty and gifted he was.
Things that don’t help…
Saying that you understand. You may care but you don’t understand, unless you have experienced a similar loss.
Tracy T. Dean, M.S.
Asking “Why did my loved one do this?” is the question that haunts most survivors of suicide. The outside world demands to know from us, and we don’t know ourselves. For some of us there were definite clues that our loved ones were depressed or that something was wrong. We either knew that they were in pain and did not know the extent of it, or we did know and tried everything we knew to get help for them. For others the suicide was completely out of character. Many people who end their lives are extremely good actors and actresses. They only allow us to see what they want us to see. In either instance, for many, we never thought it could really happen to us, to our loved ones, and to our families. It doesn’t make sense.
So we search, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Hindsight is 20×20, and sometimes we find bits and pieces, clues to what might have happened to allow our loved ones to lose hope and give up on life. We often want a specific reason, a direct cause and effect. If we can understand exactly why our loved ones ended their lives, maybe we can keep it from happening again to someone else we love.
Jeffrey Jackson * Guilt is the one negative emotion that seems to be universal to all survivors of suicide, and overcoming it is perhaps our greatest obstacle on the path …Continue Reading
by Father Arnaldo Pangrazzi, International Coordinator for ministry for the Order of St. Camillus The suicide of someone you care about is a devastating tragedy. It happens in the best …Continue Reading
Most of the time, fathers are neglected grievers. While we know a lot about grief now, people still aren’t sure how to respond to a man’s feelings. It’s safer to …Continue Reading
By Gisela Luján When our loved one dies, we feel pain. There is not a detour around the pain. The only way to overcome it is to pass through it. …Continue Reading
The toothbrush holder, the laundry basket, the magazine rack, a kitchen shelf—each of these is such an ordinary, simple part of any home. Yet, each can be so completely associated …Continue Reading
Recovery means “to regain,” “to get back” or “to restore.” It has a lot to do with loss and with you. Recovery is not “getting over it” or “closure.” Those …Continue Reading
It is fascinating the way life reaches up and slaps you in the face. Just when you think you have finally gotten back to some sort of stability, you are …Continue Reading
For clarification, the use of the word “better” in this article is meant to imply “improved condition as survivors progress through the healing process”. by Lois A. Bloom It always …Continue Reading
October 28, 2004 started the ripple effect. We received a call at 2:24 in the afternoon to inform us that our son had been found. At first, you think He …Continue Reading
From the Center for Grief Recovery By Chris Rothman, Ph.D. During grieving, it is common to need breaks from our emotions. This in no way dishonors the seriousness of our …Continue Reading
You can laugh and enjoy being with others Taking care of yourself is not only ok, but it feels good. The future is not so frightening. You can handle “special …Continue Reading
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