To My Fellow Survivors After Suicide:
Deserted streets. Stages and stadiums dark. Schools, workplaces, houses of worship suddenly empty. The world as we know it has shut down.
It reminds me of the windows going dark in my son Noah’s mind and the light draining from his eyes during his decline. How by a month before his suicide, he was almost completely shut down and we couldn’t get through to him. How after his death, life as I knew it collapsed.
If you’re a recent survivor of suicide loss, you've likely been immersed in mourning one tragic death. Now, you’re surrounded by a global tragedy, unthinkable numbers ticking ever upward, each number another person gone and another circle of family and friends plunged into grief. Maybe you’ve struggled to see a path forward for yourself after the suicide; now the whole world is awash in a sea of uncertainty. Just when you’re trying to adjust to your own “new normal” without your loved one, everyone around you is talking about multiple “new normals.”
Maybe you’re so consumed with private anguish that you feel numb to the larger disaster of the pandemic and have to wall yourself off from it. Our son’s mental state was in shambles at the time of the Sandy Hook school shootings in December, 2012; I was so preoccupied trying to figure out how to help Noah, I didn’t have the bandwidth to follow the news or mourn along with the nation. Noah’s seventh death anniversary last month coincided with the declaration of a world pandemic and the first stay-at-home orders in the U.S. My eyes teared constantly at the thought of so much death; I had to tune out the grim statistics.
Do any of these situations sound familiar?
- From What’s Your Grief
- From the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- From the CDC
- From National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
- From the Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Please remember: You are doing the essential work of grieving. Your needs matter. Limit your exposure to the news and social media. Reach out for fellowship and support however you can. Find one way to take good care of yourself every day. Have compassion for your grieving soul.
In shared sorrow,
If you or someone you know are in crisis and thinking of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7, at 800-273-8255.