It is stories like "Members of a Very Small Club," by Jessica Lamb-Shapiro, that help literally to bring us together as survivors of suicide loss. Jessica's mother died by suicide when she was a toddler, and she shares what it meant to her -- many years later -- to meet for the first time someone else who had been affected by suicide:
Suddenly, here was someone I didn't have to protect from the truth. She understood ... the feeling of being an outsider that comes from not having this very fundamental relationship [with one's mother], and the feeling that you have to lie about it most of the time ... the wish to shield people from the grisly idea of a mother violently abandoning her child, and the paradoxical wish to punish them with the thought.Many of us have had the experience Jessica describes so wonderfully -- of being uniquely and powerfully understood -- and her story goes a long way toward accomplishing her aspiration of "teaching the world's silent orphans an important lesson about openness and connecting with others."
Indeed, knowing that we are not alone is one of the most healing forces that exists.Thanks to Joanne Harpel for sharing this story on LinkedIn.