"Survivor Showcase" is a feature of the Grief after Suicide blog that highlights the personal stories of survivors of suicide loss (and occasionally other bereaved people) whose experiences with grief and recovery have been reported in the news.The news from Inside Ottawa Valley includes a report on a husband and wife bicycling across Canada to raise funds in memory of their son, who died by suicide in 2001 at age 21. Ginny and Kerry Dennehy "have raised $700,000 so far on this trip, and they are confident they will reach their goal" of $2 million.
"It fills a bit of a hole for us," said Kerry of the trip. "We have a duty to talk about it and, let's face it, time does heal." "You never get over it," added Ginny. "You integrate these changes into your life."The Monroe (La.) News Star shares the story of Teddi McGehee and her fellow survivors of suicide loss who started the support group Heartbeat Monroe: Suicide Loss Support in 2006. McGehee, whose 24-year-old son died by suicide in 2002, says of losing a loved one to suicide:
"Those who suffer from mental illness, they feel that they are alone, no one understands them," said Ginny. "And no one cares." At this point, Kerry jumps in -- "and they do care."
"I think the main thing is you feel like it was a death that didn't have to be ... You ask yourself 'Could I have stopped it? Could I have done this? Could I have done that?' Our goal [in the group] is for other survivors to realize that what they are feeling is normal."Group adviser Betty Jean James, whose 30-year-old son died by suicide in 2001, says the support group gives survivors
"... hope that they can survive the suicide of a loved one and that there's still meaning to their life ... It gives them the willingness and the desire to get better."
WFMY News 2 of Greensboro, NC, reports on Meredy Swafford's efforts to lift the stigma of suicide in the hope that more people will "openly talk about suicide before it's too late." Meredy's husband died of suicide in 2005 at age 48.
"I was never angry at my husband," [she says.] "I never thought that he did this in any way to get at me. I believe that someone gets into a deep, dark hole, and it's the only way out. They don't think about those around them."Tom Smith looks back a decade after his 26-year-old daughter's suicide, writing in the National Catholic Reporter's "Soul Seeing" blog that ...
"Why?" and "What if?" questions hunted me down like tornados swirling into my head and twisting my life into debris. But now ... I no longer feel the need to ask the "why" question. The mystery remains and as I pray to see it with the eye of my soul, I know that the answer is "hidden in the mystery of God" (Ephesians 3:9). That is sufficient. That is why it is better now.Joe Gray, online editor of the Southgate (Michigan) News Herald, reflects on the suicide more than 10 years ago of a fellow employee at a pizza shop, recalling the last interaction they had, while washing dishes and talking about the man's children:
He became really angry for a moment and snapped. He said: "I need time to get training to make money, but I am always working to make a little money. I don't have enough time!" His face was flushed and he was breathing hard. He walked away and came back a few minutes later. He was happy again. Less than 24 hours later, his wife found his body. I was stunned. I never believed for a moment he would commit suicide.A newspaper in Kawartha Lakes, Canada, tells the story of how a 19-year-old man's suicide affects a small circle of loved ones, including the man's cousin, sister, and two close friends, who "believe that if he had taken the time to think about what his suicide would do to them and his family, he wouldn't have done it."
"I'm sure if Nolan could go back and saw the devastation, maybe he wouldn't have done it. It has the power to tear apart your family," says [his sister] Abbey ...Columnist Anne Reeves, in central Pennsylvania's Patriot News, recently interviewed Kathy Geller Myers, whose nephew died by suicide at age 18.
"Think about your parents, everything they've done for you, think about your friends and everyone who cares for you," would be the advice [his friend Brock Beers] ... would give someone contemplating suicide.
Myers and her family are now struggling with being the ones left behind. The guilt, the grief, the shock that comes with a suicide haunts them every day; the endless, torturous thoughts of "why," and "what if."
"All of us worked to reach Chris, to make him laugh and talk when we knew he was troubled. We told him all the time that he was loved and bright and that the future was his to master," Myers said. "And yet it wasn't enough. He could not be saved."