Surviors of Suicide Day



National Survivors of Suicide day is Saturday, November 20, 2010. This is a day of healing for survivors of suicide loss; it is an opportunity for survivors to ask the questions: “Why did this happen?” “How do I cope?”

For some individuals, every day may be a day of surviving a suicide loss. This is the case in my family…over 20 years ago my husband killed himself, leaving behind three beautiful sons, a widow, and a former wife. As the widow, I shouldered a great deal of the disaster left in the wake of his death. However, I had no exclusive claim to the grief and sadness which we all struggled with.

Grief is such an individualized emotion…everyone experiences it in a unique manner. The sadness and loss that my family struggled with led us to a unique solution. My husband’s first wife, M., and I decided that we would raise our boys together. To put it another way, we would remain a family unit. Thankfully, we lived two blocks apart…the boys would go back and forth between their moms’ homes with ease. All birthdays, holidays and vacations were spent together. Laughs and tears were shared as well.

As single moms, M. and I would constantly commiserate. One day I’d be on the phone with her pleading with her to take my son for an overnight…no problem. The next time it would be her turn. They were driving her crazy…could I take the boys for the weekend? Absolutely.

Has this solution paid off for all concerned? You be the judge…my oldest stepson and his wife recently had a beautiful baby boy. Last week M. and I flew to San Francisco to be a part of his baptism…we shared a lovely hotel room together. All our sons were present. When M. and I arrived at the house there was great excitement that “the moms are here”.

During the service there was a reading of important people who were deceased. My husband’s name was read. Did this impact me? Of course…but any tears that were shed by me that day were for the beauty and optimism inherent in welcoming this little person to the world.

There is life after suicide.

-Leslie

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