Surviving suicide loss

For the person you lost, the pain is over. Now is the time to start healing yours.

A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide, Jeffrey Jackson

I discovered the term ‘survivor of suicide loss’ only when I lost my husband to suicide last year. Until then, death by suicide was something that happened to others. It happened in other families. Not in mine. People who died of suicide were faceless, nameless statistics. However, all these defenses crumbled when I had to confront the staggering reality of my loss.

A survivor of suicide loss is someone who has lost a person dear to them to suicide. A close family member, a dear friend, colleague or a health care professional (notably mental health professional) could at any point be a survivor of suicide loss.

You are a ‘survivor of suicide’, and as that unwelcome designation implies, your survival —your emotional survival — will depend on how well you learn to cope with your tragedy. The bad news: Surviving this will be the second worst experience,” writes Jeffrey Jackson, a survivor of suicide loss, in A Handbook for Survivors of Suicide.

Suicide, as we all know, is an intentional self-inflicted death. Edwin Shneidman, the pioneering suicidologist, vividly describes suicide as “psych ache” or intense psychological pain. Not surprisingly, mental health issues have been identified as a predisposing factor in 90 percent of deaths by suicide. According to the American Association of Suicidology, “the primary goal of a suicide is not to end life, but to end pain.” 

The statistics are indeed grim.

  • Globally, 800,000 people die of suicide every year
  • Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies of suicide
  • Every 41 seconds someone is left to make sense of it
  • Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan
  • It’s the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally. 
  • The suicide mortality rate in India is 15.7  people per 100,000, and the regional average 12.9 (WHO 2015-17)

Death and the resulting emotion grief — the loss of someone we love — are universal experiences. However, a death by suicide, has been described as a death like no other. Suicide, like death by accidents, murder (homicide) and even unanticipated sudden death, is another form of traumatic death. However, death by suicide does not elicit the same level of compassion and empathy in people to support the bereavement process. This huge empathy deficit makes a survivor of suicide loss feel isolated and excluded.

The American Psychiatry Association (APA), says suicide bereavement is “catastrophic” and on par with a concentration camp experience. According to the APA, family members of individuals who die by suicide — including parents, children, and siblings — are at increased risk of suicide – almost 400 times higher than others.

Survivors of suicide loss are invisible and marginalised. They often encounter blame, judgment or social exclusion, while mourners of loved ones who have died from terminal illness, accident, old age or other kinds of deaths usually receive sympathy and compassion. Thus, grief and the grieving process for survivors of suicide loss is complex and complicated. It is compounded by negative societal attitudes based on stigma, shame, secrecy and silence around suicide. This is because we tend to view suicide through a morality lens rather than a public health crisis and mental health issue, which it truly is.

“It’s strange how we would never blame a family member for a loved one’s cancer or Alzheimer’s, but society continues to cast a shadow on a loved one’s suicide,” writes Deborah Serani in Understanding Survivors of Suicide Loss.

There is a strong sense of shame associated with suicide. Most survivors of suicide loss prefer not talk about suicide; of someone who died by suicide. We are deeply ashamed to admit this. Instead, we tend to create ‘acceptable’ explanations of the cause of death that we choose to tell others. If a loved one dies of suicide and someone asks us about the cause of death, we often tend to say, “It was a heart attack” or some other ‘natural’ cause of death that is socially acceptable.

We do not seek to glorify suicide; nor do we condemn it. People who die of suicide are not heroes; nor cowards; nor criminals. Suicide is not a crime. It is a public health crisis. It is a mental health issue that is treatable and preventable.

Such informed perspectives can change conversations on suicide and also ensure supportive spaces for survivors of suicide loss to rebuild their lives.

Dr Nandini Murali is a communications and gender and diversity professional. A recent survivor of suicide loss, she established SPEAK, an initiative of MS Chellamuthu Trust and Research Foundation, Madurai, to change conversations on suicide and promote mental health.

https://www.whiteswanfoundation.org/mental-health-matters/suicide-prevention/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-survivor-of-suicide-loss

These are not my words, in any way. I am a suicide loss survivor. This year marks 21 years. I am still struggling. While looking for resources I stumbled across this and found it very in touch with reality. Even if this link does not give you the sources you need to heal, please keep searching. Keep working. Keep healing. In whatever way you can.

Scars in Heaven

If I had only known the last time would be the last time
I would’ve put off all the things I had to do
I would’ve stayed a little longer, held on a little tighter
Now what I’d give for one more day with you
‘Cause there’s a wound here in my heart where something’s missing
And they tell me that it’s gonna heal with time
But I know you’re in a place where all your wounds have been erased
And knowing yours are healed is healing mine
The only scars in heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in heaven are on the hands that hold you now
I know the road you walked was anything but easy
You picked up your share of scars along the way
Oh, but now you’re standing in the sun, you’ve fought your fight and your race is run
The pain is all a million miles away
The only scars in heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in heaven, yeah, are on the hands that hold you now
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, for the hands that hold you now
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see you
You live on in all the better parts of me
Until I’m standing with you in the sun, I’ll fight this fight and this race I’ll run
Until I finally see what you can see, oh-oh
The only scars in heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken, and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now, even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in heaven are on the hands that hold you now

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Scars in Heaven

Casting Crowns

Goals achieved

This year I made the decision to step outside of my comfort zone. The goal was to be more social since the last few (ahem ok maybe ten) years were dedicated to child rearing and family building.

I was NOT dissapointed!

I have gotten to meet some of the best people! From other creative souls, to fellow introverts pushing themselves to open up, all the way to those open minded no filter folks that have taught me more then I expected.

Sometimes change is needed guys. This keyboards allow us to be fierce on our platform, but too many of us use it to hide behind.

Make a decision to step out of your comfort zone, even a little.

You won’t regret it.

Which one are you?

What is the meaning behind saying someone is toxic to you? Understanding those around you that are toxic to you, or that you may be toxic to, is important. There are certain personalities that simply overpower others. This isn’t always changable either. Those are the ones that hurt the most because walking away may end up being the best answer for everyone involved.

I read an article about this so I am going to pop in a few of their experts explanations.

“People with toxic qualities are master manipulators, skilled liars, and great actors,” Thomas says. “They can be hiding everywhere.”

Irwin describes a person with toxic qualities as anyone who is abusive, unsupportive, or unhealthy emotionally — someone who basically brings you down more than up.

“You may begin to feel dependent on him or her for their opinion, doubting your own,” she says.

“They can be draining and leave you emotionally wiped out,” Thomas says. “They want you to feel sorry for them and responsible for all their problems— and then fix these problems too.”

Article can be found https://greatist.com/live/dealing-with-a-toxic-person#So,-what-exactly-makes-a-person-toxic?

Worldwide Beatiful

Take a moment and feel these lyrics. Then go search the video if you can. ❤

White churches, black churches
Different people, same hearses
It’s kinda hard to fight with each other
Laying down in the ground, six under
At every show I see my people
They ain’t the same, but they’re all equal
One love, one God, one family

You’re missing every color
If you’re only seeing black and white
Tell me how you’re gonna change your mind
If your heart’s unmovable
We ain’t that different from each other
From one to another, I look around
And see worldwide beautiful

Thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God
Oh, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God
Coast to coast, city to city
Reach out your hands if you’re with me
Still got some work but we still got a dream
Every shade, every heart come together and sing
Oh, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God (woo)

You’re missing every color
If you’re only seeing black and white
Tell me how you’re gonna change your mind
If your heart’s unmovable
We ain’t that different from each other
From one to another, I look around
And see worldwide beautiful

One love, one God, one family (one family, y’all, c’mon)
One love, one God, one family
One love, one God, one family
One Love, one God, one family (sing it with me)

You’re missing every color
If you’re only seeing black and white
Tell me how you’re gonna change your mind
If your heart’s unmovable (we’re not that different)
We ain’t that different from each other
From one to another, I look around
And see worldwide beautiful
Look around and see worldwide beautiful (so beautiful)


Look around and see worldwide beautiful
(Worldwide beautiful)
(Worldwide beautiful)
(Worldwide beautiful)
Look around and see worldwide

beautifulSource: LyricFindSongwriters: Jordan Mark Schmidt / Kane Brown / Ryan James Hurd / Jordan Schmidt / Ryan Hurd / Shy Carter

Spend the time

At the fun age of 29 plus a few, I find myself having no living grandparents. I have a wonderful grandmother in law, but mine are gone.

I never realized before how much I relied on grandparents knowledge for things over the years. Little daily things that they bestowed advice for that saved more time with the kids instead. Ways to cook more efficiently that somehow tasted better then any recipe I followed!

The hands on my shoulder when I faced something difficult. The smile that gave me the courage to keep pushing through the hard times. The never ending pictures and stories to fall back on when the days were slower.

Why don’t we notice how much we rely on this, how much we LOVE this, until it’s too late??

Hug your parents and grandparents. Take those pictures. Spend that time. It goes too fast.

Missing them always. 😢💔

Little piece of advice

To all beings that are able to read this blog….

Don’t be an asshole!

This doesn’t seem like the hardest thing to accomplish right? Excluding specific experiences that deserve that response of course.

I mean in general. More specifically to what brought me to this topic I will acknowledge that I really mean in a relationship.

When a person has chosen you, and you have chosen them, to build a life with, why would you wreck that by being petty? It’s one thing in the beginning before things get too serious, however years down the road when there is so much invested.

Houses, kids, cars, pets or the simple peice of paper that you both stood up and signed in front of witnesses. Any combination of those listed options works too.

When you can not choose to respect your partner, to CHOOSE your partner every day, in almost any situation then there is a problem.

(Disclaimer before people come at me- I believe in choosing yourself and possibly your children first all of the time. I am in no way speaking of situation that involves people safety, physical or mental.)

I AM however speaking about cheating. If you are unhappy in your relationship, leave. If you are unsatisfied in your relationship, speak with your partner about what could change. If you settled for any reason whatsoever, and you meet The One, and you are sure, leave your relationship.

If you are the one switching from one social media site to another constantly because your partner is catching on, I am speaking to you.

If you are the one deleted texts, calls, DM’s, or changing peoples names in your phone to not get caught, I am talking to you.

If you just can’t help yourself from going to the bar, flirting with people and taking things too far, I am talking to you.

I am sick and tired of having to pick people up mentally, morally and yes sometimes physically because you suck as a human.

You are pathetic and do not deserve the people who dedicated stretches of time to you.

Do better. Be better. Better yet, go the f*** away.

Words

Have you ever noticed that there are sentences said to you in your lives that never go away?

The words spoken didn’t even have to come from someone that mattered too much. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if it was said in a crowd or one on one.

They just stick with you. Your mental health builds around those words. Worse, they build your mental health in the wrong direction.

Do you think the speaker even remembers what they said?

When the memories hit

Lyrics for Heavy by Linkin park

I don’t like my mind right now
Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
Wish that I could slow things down
I wanna let go but there’s comfort in the panic
And I drive myself crazy
Thinking everything’s about me
Yeah, I drive myself crazy
‘Cause I can’t escape the gravityI’m holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?You say that I’m paranoid
But I’m pretty sure the world is out to get me
It’s not like I make the choice
To let my mind stay so fucking messy
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the sameI’m holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same
I know I’m not the center of the universe
But you keep spinning ’round me just the same
And I drive myself crazy
Thinking everything’s about meHolding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Holding on
So much more than I can carry
I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
If I just let go, I’d be set free
Holding on
Why is everything so heavy?
Why is everything so heavy?
Why is everything so heavy?