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What I Want You to Know About the Grief of Losing Someone to Suicide

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A straight sucker punch — as though I have been physically hit so hard that I can no longer breathe every time I read a post on social media that expresses sadness after losing another dear life. I am tired of hearing and saying “time heals all wounds” and “they’re in a better place now.” Neither holds true; I know firsthand.

Scars remain forever, and the best place for our loved ones to be is right here, right now. I am tired of making spaghetti pie as some type of peace or stability offering when all else is messy. I am tired of hearing of losses and immediately becoming overwhelmed by an ugly feeling that they died by suicide. My heart breaks for this world and our struggles. It’s time to rip off the band-aids and get real about what is happening in and around our lives.

I beg for us to understand; for us to strive to be proactive, not reactive. There is no shame in feeling lost, without worth, or broken. There is no shame in the struggle; whether with addiction, mental illness, or some combination. There is no shame in saying “I don’t think I can do this by myself.” There is no shame in asking for help. Whatever it is that you are battling, I can almost guarantee someone else is feeling the exact same way, at this very moment.

You are not alone.

I promise you that.

Who you are is not about what you believe or how you feel. We have no control in this life, only choice. It can be incredibly difficult for us humans to see past the nature of our current situation, however, we need to hold on to the fact that although there are bad times — the most terrible, awful, no good times — there are better times too.

This passage, written by Glennon Doyle, is raw, relatable and inspiring: “I believe that life starts when we stop running from the pain and instead surrender to it. We can’t avoid pain forever. The running and deflecting and numbing always cause more trouble than the pain would have. Healing begins when we stop running and turn ourselves in. We say: ‘Here I am pain, I give up… Have your way with me. All those things that really happened, I’ll let myself feel them now… Then, I’ll tell the story and let other people feel it, too.’ You know, what strikes me is how desperately we all need to know that we are seen and heard. We don’t need our lives to be different, or easier… We just need someone to see the pain, to know what we have faced and overcome, to say: ‘Yes, I see this. This is real.’ We don’t need a magician to take it all away — we just need a witness.”

You are loved.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Getty image via SensorSpot

Originally published: December 4, 2017
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