Suicide: Some Understanding Is Certain to Initiate and Develop Empathy No Comments

“Suicide is so selfish.” “If he loved you so much why did he hurt you this way?” “Pray for your son so he can get out of purgatory.” “There will always be something unacceptable about the freely-chosen death of a loved one.” “Why did he do it?” “Did he leave a suicide note?” “He took the easy way out.” “Did you…

Thinking – Going Beyond No Comments

We all use our minds to try to understand why our children died. I am no different; when our son Keith died, I continued to ask that endless question—Why? Throughout my pursuit for answers, my niece Juli and her son Cody helped me realize that maybe I was not looking at all possibilities—just maybe I would have…

When Suicide Hits Home No Comments

One person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes in the United States, according to the American Suicide Prevention Foundation. You never think your family will become part of such a heartbreaking statistic. From the outside my uncle’s life seemed perfect — lots of friends, a terrific job and a family who adored him. My mom’s fun-loving, talented brother had everything to live for. How could he have taken his own life? Mental illness was not a subject anyone discussed back then. People were expected to be OK or at least pretend they were. As family members…

Not A Matter of Choice No Comments

Our son Keith was 29 years old when he decided to end his life. Keith’s death was a suicide. Suicide is a frightening word and it is not only ignorance but fear and stigma that keep people from understanding why someone would take their life. In a way it is easier to think that a person made a “choice”, freeing us from knowing the truth. The word , “choice”, continues to perpetuate the stigma of suicide. The definition of “choice” is “the freedom in choosing, both in the way one chooses and in the number of possibilities from which to choose.”…

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What Does Grief Look Like? No Comments

When my brother Rod killed himself the grief itself made me feel like I was going crazy. One minute I was okay and calm, the next I was hysterical. If we are in the depths of loss and grief, the intense emotions and sometimes lack of them often make us wonder, “Am I all right?” or “Am I doing this correctly?” Most of want to know we are doing something properly– even grieving. Think about it, that’s why there are so many self-help and ‘how-to’ books. For many people, those books are hugely helpful because they help us know either what is coming next…

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