A Survivor’s Story 

November 18 is Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. I kind of see this as an everyday thing, because it is truly harder than you can imagine to lose someone to suicide.

Survivor Day

**TRIGGER WARNING**

There will be resources at the end of this post for that day and for other things.

A Staggering Statistic

While sitting in a Out of the Darkness walk planning meeting, I was also trained on #TalkSavesLives. This is a program that trains people on how to talk to someone that may be or is actively suicidal.

One of the statistics given during that training was an average of 115 people are considered “left behind” when someone completes suicide.

I was rattled by that. Clearly, I’ve never done a final count of people affected by any of the people I’ve lost to suicide but 115 is a large number. This includes family, friends, co-workers, etc.

I am obviously one of the 115 or so considered “left behind” by Jake’s suicide. His death shattered and changed me in ways that I cannot explain. I can’t even imagine what it’s done to his family, even though I’ve been able to see some of the effects.

Aftermath

If you’ve read the previous posts on my drinking
The Drinking Article

What Works

What to Say
it’s clear that it picked up a lot after Jake’s death. Thanks to lots of therapy, I have developed much better coping skills. I can’t say that first year was the easiest because it wasn’t. I fell into a horrible depression that I hope to never see again. This year has been slightly easier, but I still miss him. I always will. I’ve been able come to peace with his decision to take his own life, even though I wish he hadn’t.

All that Remains

Going to Jake’s grave is hard. It is so hard me to go, I only go on his birthday and the anniversary of his death.

It’s the little things that are hard- not just his birthday, the whole month of April or any other days. He loved Taylor Swift, for example. There are lyrics in some of her songs that will always stay with me, but it took months for me not to cry though them. I still haven’t listened to her new album yet. I’ve heard all the new radio singles and love them, especially the lyric in “Gorgeous” where she sings about a set of ocean blue eyes. I just grinned.

I haven’t been able to watch a Miami Heat game since his death. He loved that team and I broke down crying when I tried. Both of us loved Gillian Flynn, the author of “Gone Girl”. I’ll never be able to watch the movie or read the book and not think of our very deep discussions on that.

The little things are what stick with you, no matter how you lose someone.

If you have lost someone you love to suicide, please know you’re not alone. There are a lot of people that share your pain. I never thought that I would be in this group of people, but here I am.

Memories

Resources:

AFSP website

Psychology Today- how to help someone who has experienced a loss

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