Franklin James Cook

“Good Grief” Worker Preparing for National Survivors Day

In Grief, Grief Stories Series on November 14, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Margie Jones

Margie Jones

ORIGINAL STORY — Today’s Wenatchee World shares the story of Margie Jones, president of the Good Grief Center in Wenatchee, Wash., who is among the thousands of survivors of suicide loss who will be taking part in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s National Survivors of Suicide Day on Saturday, Nov. 22.

Margie’s son Steve died by suicide in 1996 and, as with so many people who have experienced such a tragedy, she has gone on to help others who are grieving after a suicide.

Whenever asked, Jones says, she shares how she started the healing process by setting up a computer science scholarship in her son’s name at Eastern Washington University, Steve’s alma mater. She continues healing by volunteering at the Good Grief Center. She also shares how healing happens, slowly and over time. And how she’s come to understand suicide’s root causes, such as excruciating emotional pain, sometimes accompanied by mental illness.

Joanne Harpel of AFSP explains in a recent interview that one of the purposes for National Survivors of Suicide Day is to counter the stigma that often accompanies a death by suicide.

There is nothing shameful in having a suicide in your family. There’s no reason for you to feel isolated or that you somehow did something wrong.

The abridged URL for this post is http://tinyurl.com/GriefWorker1 .

Editor’s note: Each year in conjunction with National Survivors of Suicide Day, articles are published across the country about people who have lost a loved one to suicide. Several of this year’s stories are linked to below in the “Comments” section of this post.

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  1. Maria Riley writes an op-ed in honor of her husband, Jeffrey, who “lost his battle with alcoholism and … took his own life.”

    “This larger-than-life personality lived passionately, feeling everything — the highest of highs while honorably serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, and then the lowest of lows after we lost a child.”

  2. A North Carolina woman shares her story during National Suicide Prevention Week last September.

  3. This article is about a brother’s loss 40 years ago and the Survivor of Suicide Loss support group now operating in his area.

  4. This article is about a young man who lost hos father to suicide when he was a teen. He now has a vision and a mission to prevent suicide.

  5. “Doug Merrill has had to struggle with how to carry on. He’s lived through the suicide of eight people – most of them teens – in the bedroom community of Bowling Green, Ohio, just south of Toledo. Weekend America’s Desiree Cooper went to hear his story of survival.”

  6. Suicide’s hidden victims” tells the story of a man “who lost his father, mother and sister to suicide over a span of several decades.”

    “There’s always the ‘why?'” said Robert Woodhouse of Phoenix,”That’s the biggest thing people are trying to cope with.”

  7. Bettye R. Callison-Palermo writes an op-ed about the loss of her “19-year-old son [who] took his own life two days before Christmas almost five years ago.”

    “Major depression had robbed him of his inner peace and self-love. We did not know he had this illness and did not have the opportunity to try to save him.”

  8. In this TV report, Kathryn Carroll talks about her 31-year-old son, who died of suicide in April.

    “You’re never going to be the same and that’s okay. A big part of you is gone and you have to learn to live knowing a big part of you is gone.”

  9. Here is a story on the local Suicide Survivor Day program in Rapid City, S.D.

  10. SPNAC’s follow-up post about National Suicide Survivors Day is here.

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