[Editor's note: "Links to Suicide Grief Stories ..." is a SPNAC series featuring stories of survivors of suicide loss--about the effect their loved one's suicide has had on them and how they are coping with their grief. FJC]
“Dying To Change” by Scott MacDonald of the University of Idaho’s Argonaut begins and ends with the story of freshman Amitti Mackey’s loss of her father to suicide and also informs students about the problem of suicide in Idaho and on campus.
Thinking about the future can be difficult, [Mackey] said. “I don’t get to have my dad walk me down the aisle, or have that first dance.”
“You move forward … It’s not going to be normal like you knew. Just talking about it helps. You can’t keep it all bottled up and compartmentalize it. You won’t get rid of it.”
In a first-person essay, “Suicide: A New Beginning for Those Left Behind,” Michele Cole of Colorado looks back 20 years after her older brother, David, died by suicide and shares how his loss has affected her spiritual growth.
While being ‘left behind’ is never easy, it is a dramatic beginning to what can be a larger than life opportunity to grow in spirit … To learn how to fully grieve without giving into depression and to learn how to honor a life regardless of the mental and emotional anguish they have laid at your feet. The lessons of those left behind from suicide are like no other, and as with every experience in my life, I honor it … David provided many lessons that have helped me find my path–the path that has lead me to being the woman I am today.
“Suicide Prevention: One Family’s Story,” by reporter Sarah Barwacz of WMBD TV in Peoria, Ill., is an interview with Sara Davis and Rachael Myers, who are preparing for Chicago’s Out of the Darkness Walk this summer in memory of Jason Hooker. Rachael, who is Jason’s sister, says in the interview that suicide “changes everything. Your life is never the same.”
[Jason's girlfriend Sara says,] “If we can touch one person’s life and save them from having to go through the tragedy that our families have been through, then it makes it all worthwhile.”
“Those Grieving after a Suicide Forever Wonder What They Could Have Done To Save a Life,” by reporter Tim Chitwood of the Ledger-Inquirer of Columbus, Ga., tells the story of a woman who lost both her husband and oldest son to suicide.
“The effect is would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, I think, which is a normal reaction in probably every death, but especially suicide, because in most cases, the writing’s not on the wall, and you don’t really think that could ever happen to you or your family — even when you’re going through treatment for depression and doing all that you can do to help the individual,” said Debi Dinwiddie-Johnson of the local support group Survivors of Suicide.
“Suicide Creates Lifetime of Hurt for Loved Ones” by reporter Megan Loiselle of the Wausau Daily Herald covers the efforts of survivors in Merrill, Wis., to promote prevention through a billboard campaign that focuses on the aftermath of suicide.
Katarina Miller, 16, of Merrill said a lot of people knew about her father committing suicide in 2007. When she showed up at school the next day, many of her friends gave her hugs.
“People (who take their own lives) think they’re taking the problem away, but they don’t know how many people it affects,” Miller said.
[The abridged URL for this post is bit.ly/grief050409 .]