Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The benefits of a support group

After a loved one dies by suicide, family members often feel alone and that no one understands.   In truth, it is hard to identify the enormous sadness and loss felt if one hasn't experienced a similar loss.  Going to a therapist to help put things in perspective is definitely a positive step.  When we first experienced our devastating loss, there was only one support group in the KC area.  We took full advantage of sharing our feelings of guilt, remorse, sadness, the hole in our hearts and the changes in our lives.  Life will never be quite the same and a "new normal" prevails. 
For the past six years, we have facilitated a support group at the Life Dynamics Building meeting the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month.  There are now groups in Independence and  North Kansas City. If you have never attended a group I would highly encourage it.  Many of our participants have made significant
steps toward their healing journey and often now help the new people who are attending for the first time. It is a safe place to cry, if need be, encourage, and share how others may have dealt with situations that arise.  Often times, it is the one place participants can still talk about their loved one.  Family and friends want us to "move on" but we know that we can move through, not on- like it never happenened.  Our group genuinely
 cares about each other and there is a bond in that room that is strong.  Even those participants who now come back now and then have a positive message for those starting this journey.   Life is a cycle and each day we get up we have the choice to make our day better or be bitter.  The clock cannot turn back but we must move forward embracing life and loving those who are a part of us. 
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Monday, March 21, 2011

To Life

As Spring comes walking in the door let's remember that life is a cycle.  There is a time for every season and although we don't always understand a reason for that season.  We have just experienced another loss in our family which is my father-in-law who was almost 94 years old. This  death was from natural causes so it is easier to understand this death than the death where someone takes his or her own life.
I do know that no matter what age our  loved ones leave us they would want us to make the most of our life, feel joy, have fun, and experience love.
May their memories continue to warm our hearts and understand the meaning of peace for them and us.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Seeds of Spring By Bonnie Swade

Spring is renewal and opportunities. It is a time to embrace hope and allow the season to warm and heal a broken heart. Our loved ones died one death and as survivors we have died a thousand deaths as we go over and over the whys, what ifs, etc. Believe me, when I say I know the drill well.

I want to share a bit of wisdom that others have stated before me and I share with you. This is nothing profound just from the heart and a tidbit picked up at a Weight Watcher Meeting: “If you do what you always do, you get what you always got.” This translates to if we continue to dwell on the past, make ourselves and others around us miserable, dwell on the death rather than the life and joy our loved ones brought us then we are diminishing and devaluing their lives and making our own miserable.

Some wisdom other survivors have shared that has helped them.

“Our lost loved one didn’t leave to hurt us. I think they truly believed that we could handle their death easier than they could handle their life” (submitted by SallyAnn G.)

“In the midst of winter, I found within myself an invincible summer” (submitted by Dawn M.)

As we continue our healing journey know that “those who walk together, strengthen each other.” –Swahili proverb