Today is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Since I heard about it, about two weeks ago, I have been trying to write a blog post. Every night I sit down with my laptop and attempt to write, and nothing comes. Writing is my outlet and my therapy, always has been, but I just can’t get anything to come out on this topic lately.
Months ago the words flowed out with ease, along with the tears. Now, nothing. I can’t even go there. It could be that I am pregnant with my (surprise) 3rd baby, and I just can’t process that during this. Honestly, I don’t know. I just don’t know.
I do know there are different “stages of grief”, or so I’ve heard. I personally believe those stages are different for everyone – the order, the length, everything. This is not a black and white area. This is all the shades of grey. It has been a year and a half since I lost my mom to suicide. I suppose that makes me one of the “survivors of suicide loss”, a category I wish I hadn’t found myself in.
Here I am, though, stumbling through. I can’t seem to express where I am emotionally right now, and I don’t know when I will. I always want to be open and share when I can, because the not talking about uncomfortable things is a big problem we have in our society. Every time I open up and share something I receive messages from people who have been through the same things and are so thankful to know they’re not alone. That’s when I am reminded that sharing is the right thing to do.
When I can, I will share more of where I am at with things. For now I can share a few facts, a few thoughts, and some past posts I’ve written about this.
In honor of International Survivor’s of Suicide Loss Day, here’s what I can share right now:
I lost my mom to suicide on April 14, 2017.
That day, that moment, changed everything.
It certainly changed parts of me, which parts I’m not even completely sure yet.
I’ve never thought of myself as a “survivor” of, well, anything really. I’ve never been involved in any near-death experience, fought off cancer, or done anything significant enough to earn the title of survivor. As I thought about this in more depth though, maybe I have. We have. Those of us who have lost our loved ones to suicide, we really are survivors.
I can’t speak for others, but I know that since losing my mom I am surviving nightmares, guilt, grief, anger, an anxiety I never experienced before, and just doing life without my mother. The loss, the way the loss happens, the things you see, and the questions you are left with…they change you.
We “survivors” have to try to choose how we allow these things to change us. We have to steer ourselves through this the best we can, giving ourselves grace to fall down in the midst of it all, but not permission to stay there.
For me, sharing about my experience is my way to turn tragedy into some sort of positive light for others. The more we talk about it, the less people feel alienated and afraid to talk about what they’re going through. The more we talk about it, the less other people feel alone. The less people feel alone and alienated, misunderstood, I believe that will mean less “survivors of suicide” we end up with.
Past posts I’ve written on this topic:
- It’s been 2 months and I still don’t know what grieving feels like
- I hope I never understand
- When I See You Again
- If I Could Speak to My Mother on Her Birthday
- It’s Not Your Fault
- How I’ve Dealt With The First Year of Grief
- When I See You Again, Part 2
- I Stopped Reaching for the Phone
Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and Koa. I am a graphic designer, website developer and aspiring author. In this space, I share about everything from parenting, working from home, food we cook, and lots of things for kids! Learn more about me here.