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 a mother who loved and cared for him and 8 children. I am a sister to 7. I am an aunt to 36 (and counting).
I am a survivor of suicide loss.
I have found through this trial in my life that people want you to “GET OVER IT.” Get over your sadness, get over crying all the time, get over being down, get over it and just move on. When dealing with a loved one’s death and especially one through suicide―don’t ask me to ‘GET OVER IT.’ I will never get over it. I will always be mourning the loss of my grandfather, my grandmother, my father, my mother, my brother, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, dear friends, and especially my husband who took his own life – always.
I will never, never, never get over the death of my loved ones – never.
I will work through my grief. There are days on this journey of overwhelming sadness, despair, guilt, anger, frustration, and anxiety which eventually lead to enlightenment, caring, giving, reflection, and hope. It is not easy. It is hard work and I know eventually I will experience the joy of living without my loved ones in my earth-bound life, but I will never get over who they were to me, what they contributed to my life and how much I miss them.
During my grief journey from my suicide loss, the depth of my broken heart was so overwhelming it took me to a vulnerable place that I had never been before. Through the depths of my sorrow, I continue to conquer the path of who I am without this relationship in my life. I am on a journey I never thought I would have to endure, but continue to face honestly in order to heal and accept my loved one’s life story. What helps me along the way and may help you was to:
Take care of me first – it’s okay to say no.
Educate myself about suicide and what happened – there are plenty of books, articles, newsletters, etc.
Find comfort in those who will continue to be your support group through your grief.
Seek counseling, if you need to.
Experience nature – go for walks, hikes, yoga, exercise, or just go outside and breathe in the precious air or an ocean breeze.
Be inspired – by books, songs, writings, others’ stories or the wonders of this beautiful world and share that inspiration.
Try something new – I formed a monthly bicycle riding group 3 months after I lost my beloved Todd. I call it the Easy Rider Bike Club and it has been going strong for years now. I tried paddle boarding for the first time – what an experience……
Do something to honor your loved one: Months before Todd passed we were working on transforming our front yard from grass to drought tolerant. In honor of him and our life together I worked through my grief, one shovel at a time through tears and heartache to have that beautiful flowering garden. I call it my therapy garden. I am now working on the back yard. I know Todd sees it all and when those monarch butterflies―a symbol of growth, healing and transformation―come to see me, it makes me smile.
Express your pain – don’t hold it in – journal, write a poem, share, scream, stamp your feet, cry until you can’t cry anymore, talk with those you feel the safest, join a grief support group, and volunteer your time to a cause you are passionate about.
Give thanks and count your blessings – they are all around you.
Be a comfort to those who are your kindred spirit in pain.
For me, I pray – a lot!
I will never forget my loved ones who went home to be with the Heavenly Father and I will never get over their absence in my life. Never! Don’t ask me to just get over it – it is a part of who I am now. It is my journey of sorrow, love, and acceptance from mourning to joy. I will experience joy again without them – it just takes time!
~ By D.~
In Memory of Todd Miller
Angel Day 12/09/2012