by Allison Sampite As the chaplain of the Medical Examiner’s Office in San Diego, Joe Davis, 62, has many responsibilities. They include aiding Medical Examiner investigators with investigations, following up with families to offer condolences and answer questions, personally delivering death notifications and releasing property of the deceased, among other things. “There’s a pretty severe …Continue Reading
SOSL would like to announce that Kim Bozart will serve as the new chair of the SOSL Board of Directors. Kim has served on the board for over 2 years, is a supervisor for the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team PERT – and is passionate about working towards mental wellness, survivor support, and suicide prevention in …Continue Reading
by Allison Sampite Unanswered messages: May 9, 2016. It was a Monday and the day after Mother’s Day. It was also the day Sean Petro would have begun his fourth year as a medical student at USC Keck School of Medicine. But that morning he never showed up to clinical rotation. Sean’s mom Cheryl Collier …Continue Reading
Today the words “mental illness” have a similar negative connotation that “cancer” and “HIV positive” had decades ago. The difference to me is that mental illness has existed the longest, yet cannot be tested the way the others can for treatment. It is more prevalent and has the biggest stigma surrounding it. Perhaps that’s because …Continue Reading
Life was good. Envision a backdrop of huge beautiful trees with summer-green leaves, soft grass, lovely flowers, blue skies and being embraced by glorious Georgia sunshine. My husband and I have three adult sons whom we cherish. My greatest joy is to watch my guys interacting, cavorting and carrying on as only they can do. …Continue Reading
My story begins on December 27, 2011, when I received a call from my older sister notifying me that my father had taken his life. The emotions that ran through me are close to indescribable, as I had never felt such pain. How this could have happened, and most importantly, how could this have happened to me and …Continue Reading
I became a suicide survivor on July 27, 2011, when my Dad, Tom, decided to end his life. He rode his bike down the block to a park and shot himself. It still feels weird saying that out loud, let alone reading my words back that I just typed out on this computer screen. My …Continue Reading
The summer of 2011 will always be defined as the best and worst of my life. Two months after saying “I do” to my husband in a quiet lakeside ceremony, my honeymoon-fueled joy would be turned to indescribable sorrow following my dad’s suicide. I still find it impossible to believe that our father-daughter dance on …Continue Reading
I have a stack of journals in my bedside table, “blank books” that are no longer blank. Some of the handwriting is indistinguishable, because they were written in hurriedly, often in the middle of the night with the lamp dimmed so that my husband wouldn’t wake. The dates when the entries were written were 11 …Continue Reading
Dear Family (and we are a family) of SOSL,
Since you are so important and special to me, I wanted to write you a letter to tell you a little about me. I was born on Feb. 1922 in my Grandmother’s home in Iago, Texas. I am from a family of 4 including my parents and two brothers (one died at age 2 and the other at age 56). I met my husband, Richard, (Dick) Wentz at a Berachah Bible Church in Houston, TX.
It’s been two years since my only sibling shot himself. June 2, 2010 is a day that has forever changed my life. I miss him every day! I’ve found out there is such a thing as a broken heart. I’ve gone through so many different emotions. I thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t getting over the loss of my brother.
I am ready to stand in my truth: I lost by brother to suicide. Joey died on April 17, 2009, and it is only recently that I am able to even utter those words out loud.
Camille joined the SOSL Board quietly and cautiously in 2005, just months after she lost her son, Brett, to suicide. Camille lost her brother, Joseph, to suicide in 1977. As she became more comfortable about us and what we do, she soon discovered her niche: The Speakers’ Bureau.
We invite you to include a message and/or photo of your loved one who has died by suicide. Click here for the Virtual Quilt Donation Form.
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