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Restoring Hope After a Loved Ones Suicide
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“The ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.” ~ Dean Koontz
“I would have loved to have gotten my  hands on this in the beginning. I spent a lot of money on books!” - Jackie 
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When Does It Stop Hurting So Bad? 

How can we go on?

“The hardest thing you've ever done is not burying your son. It's learning to live without him.” Oh, the truth in those words! Allow me to share  my heart with you...   * All the why's, how's, if-only's, etc. are something every survivor has to work through in their own way. You will wrestle with it, and wrestle  with it, and wrestle with it, and then slowly you'll begin to be OK with the fact that you’ll never really know. In time you'll learn to release it,  but no one can work through these issues for you. You'll have to do it on your own, in your own time frame. Don't let others pressure you to  hurry. * I won't tell you not to blame yourself because every survivor does. However, I will tell you that you are not to blame. In your head you may  know that, but it will take a while to convince your heart of it.   *Suicide isn't about us. (How much we loved/didn’t love them, what we did/said, what we didn't do/say...) Suicide is about the one that died.  * This is something that I remind myself all the time. My son is not dead, he just moved to planet heaven. This is a temporary separation, not a  permanent one. Thank God for that! * Don't be alarmed by the roller coaster of emotions and the 'one step forward, three steps back' that you go through. This is normal. I hit a real  bad slump around 3 months and another one around the 7th or 8th month. These setbacks happen to most of us, so don't be discouraged. I  think that's about the time the "fog" wears off and (for most) it crashes in on you all over again. * Don't be ashamed to join a support group. Studies have proven that those that keep a stiff upper lip and "handle it on their own" will develop  health issues later on. A USC Medical Center chaplain says there is great evidence that one-forth of all patients hospitalized are there because  of unresolved grief in their lives. Talking with other survivors is the best therapy there is! "The one that tries to be so strong is usually the one  that struggles most with it a year or two later." * You will be forever changed by your loss. Becoming a survivor instead of a victim is something that must be worked at, and it's hard work. But  one day you will laugh again, and it won't be a forced laugh. It seems impossible now, but give it some time. It may not feel possible that first  year, but you will learn how to live with it and reclaim life again. And it can be a  good life! (New survivors will never believe this, but you’ll  change your mind later)   * Parents, please remember your other children need your love now more than ever. I have heard so many stories of kids that thought they  weren't loved as much as the deceased one, and even felt like the parent wished it would have been them that died instead of the sibling.  Often kids feel as if they have lost a sibling AND a parent, one to death and one to grief. Please don't distance your children or take away  special times, such as traditional holiday gatherings. This may be very difficult for you, but they desperately need to know you love them  enough to go on with life. And remember, they have also suffered a great loss. * Tears are very healing, but remember that tears and grief are not the same. Release your pain and work through all the issues, but don't let  depression and grief get a hold of you. It's all consuming! This isn't easy, but that doesn't mean it's not do-able. * Don't expect those around you to understand what you're dealing with. Only another survivor will really understand. It's not fair to expect  more of non-survivors than they can give. They can be compassionate and kind, but they will never sincerely understand. Remember, you didn't  understand either until now.   * Try to be kind to yourself, even if you don't feel like it. Eat right, pamper yourself, lie down and rest even if you can't sleep, etc. Allow  yourself the time you need to heal and don't punish yourself for taking longer than you think you should need. This is a long road with MANY ups  and downs. * It's not unusual for a survivor to feel such devastation that they begin to struggle with suicidal thoughts. The pain will not always remain that  intense, and you need to give it time to heal. You CAN reclaim your life if you refuse to give up. Don't quit. Remember, you are a SURVIVOR!! Little by little hope will be restored and having a future will look like a possibility again. Memories that are agonizingly painful will become  bittersweet, pain will lessen, and laughter will cease to be forced. Tomorrow will hold promise again.  © 2000 Louise Wirick Founder- Road2healing
“After reading over half of your book (started it last  night and have NOT been able to put it down, even  when talking) I've been in tears off and on since I read  the first page. I have so many thoughts, emotions, and  grateful feelings toward you right now that if I keep  on, I will tell you of every imaginable way I have  played out to meet you and thank you in person.”  Sonnie