It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Marie Mays, one of SOSL’s founders and avid supporters for over thirty years. Marie passed away on July 28, 2013. She was blessed with a large family, and is survived by many family members, including her children, grand children, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
Marie turned 91 this past February, and she served on our Advisory Board, offering us wise counsel and support, right up until her passing. Over her lifetime, Marie lost her daughter, Donna, her son Stephen, and her grandson Matthew, to suicide. Marie survived each of these losses, as well as the passing of three husbands. Her commitment to help other people survive their own losses to suicide never wavered. Even though she endured so much loss, she always found ways to give to others and help others in their own journeys. She had the heart and soul of an Angel, and for this, we are forever grateful.
Marie considered all of us survivors a family. Losing a loved one to suicide is a special kind of loss, the kind of loss that brings us together and allows us to “meet so many wonderful people we wish we had never met.” Over the more than three decades that Marie served SOSL, her vision remained focused on survivors and how best to help people move forward through their grief and learn how to live in their ‘new normal.’
Marie said of losing a child to suicide: “It’s something you never “get over” you just learn to live with what has happened.” She went on to say, “Over the years, SOSL provided the support that Dick [my husband] and I could not find anywhere else. Our thoughts and feelings were validated and we found a community that understood us.”
In response to requests for ways to remember Marie, SOSL has set up the Marie Mays Memorial Fund for Survivors of Suicide Loss and we are accepting donations In Memory of Marie. These funds will go directly to specific projects that would have meant the most to Marie, namely our Support Group Program. We anticipate expanding our Support Groups by developing options for structured groups to meet the needs of survivors further along in healing, having a bilingual group and providing materials in Spanish, and holding art therapy groups for children, etc.
Donations to the Marie Mays Memorial Fund for SOSL can be made online here: http://www.SOSLsd.org/get-involved/Donate
Or we welcome checks made payable to SOSL (please make a note in the “Memo” section that reads “Marie Mays Memorial Fund”), and send to:
P.O. Box 3297
La Mesa, CA 91944