I’ve never publicly promoted music before, but the first time I heard songstress Sara Bareilles sing, Brave, it was an extraordinarily painful moment for me. Everything in the room faded; it seemed Sara and I were the only ones left. She was singing the words I had wanted to say to my daughter. Tears ran down my face and literally brought me to my knees.
My daughter had just committed suicide, and while she was an extraordinarily bright and exotically beautiful girl, at age 15 her introverted personality and severely depressed brain wasn’t brave enough to accept the help she’d been offered. She was so much sicker than any of us ever suspected. Continue reading “I Want To See You Be BRAVE”→
Our son Keith was 29 years old when he decided to end his life. Keith’s death was a suicide. Suicide is a frightening word and it is not only ignorance but fear and stigma that keep people from understanding why someone would take their life. In a way it is easier to think that a person made a “choice”, freeing us from knowing the truth.
The word, “choice”, continues to perpetuate the stigma of suicide. The definition of “choice” is “the freedom in choosing, both in the way one chooses and in the number of possibilities from which to choose.” In a presuicidal state an individual is overwhelmed in a given situation. They suffer extreme mental anguish and a painful sense of hopelessness. Their sense of judgment is distorted, and they do not have the ability to make “choices” or options. They literally want to kill the pain and not themselves. Continue reading “Not A Matter of Choice (adult child suicide)”→
Once the Storm is Over: From Grieving to Healing after the Suicide of my Daughter
by Nina Bingham
Raw and honest, the author shares her painful past: an abusive alcoholic father, a failed marriage, the rejection she suffered after she came out as a lesbian, and her own brush with suicide. What could have been a story mired in self-pity and misery, ultimately is a story of hope. Nina’s compelling life journey shows how pain and loss can be transformed into strength and purpose. This book is not only for survivors but for anyone facing depression with suicidal tendencies.
It has been almost 14 years since my youngest of three sons, Ryan, took his life at Niagara Falls. I definitely remember those first days, weeks, months, the first year. Three years after Ryan’s death I started a support group for suicide survivors. When people new to the grief of losing a child attend the support group their first questions are does it get better? Will I survive this? Helping others survive and get beyond those first years is what also helped me in my healing and moving forward. So the answer is yes, it does get better.
But it does take a while and you do have to want to move forward. Most important of all is that moving forward does not mean leaving the memory of your child behind. I have moved ahead and keep Ryan’s memory with me always. And I do still get knocked over by a wave of emotion now and then, but it is much less often than at first. Continue reading “Does It Get Better? (a child’s suicide)”→
July 5, 2014
I spend my time with guilt, horrible grief, regret, missing her. I know you know these feelings, too. I know I’m not the only one that has lost a child and feels this way….but I still feel like I’m all alone on an island somewhere.
Rhonda Sellers Elkins was my friend. I had not known her long, but she had written to me after her daughter, Kaitlyn, died last year. Rhonda took her own life on August 29, 2014, sixteen months after her daughter committed suicide. The excerpt above came from an e-mail she sent me just a few weeks ago. She wrote to me often in the past few months, desperately grasping at life, sometimes hanging on by her fingernails. Like all of us have.
July 12, 2014
Nancy, when I think of the people that have gone 10, 20 or 30 years and more, still feeling this loss, it brings me to my knees. I know it may soften, but even a fraction of this pain is too much to bear, and it’s hard to know I have to live like that until I die one day…who knows when.
Even though she went to support group meetings, tried seeing various therapists, wrote a memoir describing her personal journey, Rhonda was despondent beyond anything she could have imagined. Her grief was a dark room without any door handles, any way of escape. It was suffocating, it slowly squeezed the very breath out of her. She tried for a time, I think, to resist this onslaught of anguish…it overwhelmed her, moment by moment.Continue reading “Grieving One of Our Own”→