I recently sent an essay to TAPS Magazine, which is going to be published in its upcoming edition; and I decided to recognize National Survivors of Suicide Day by sharing an excerpt from the essay here on the Grief after Suicide Blog. In the excerpt (you may download it here), I begin with this statement:
I believe the love we feel for a person who has died and the pain of grief we feel are directly and profoundly connected: When people die, our immense love for them is, in a way, the source of our pain.Then I say that realizing the "pain following the loss of a loved one is a natural phenomenon ... can empower you to give yourself permission to express your pain." I call expressing your pain "a healthy response to the death of a beloved person," implying that such expressions are connected to the loving relationship between you and the now-deceased person. In fact, I declare, "the pain of grief can provide the 'fuel' for profoundly heartfelt discoveries ... [about] the meaning in your loss." I close the excerpt with a list of questions that I hope might help people cope with their pain, followed by this conclusion:
The pain of grief can be terrible, and there is often no sure way to stop pain from unfolding in real time. But finding safe ways to process your pain can help you see beyond it even as it has you in its grip. And reflecting on the connection between your pain and your love for the person who died can help you uncover meaning in your life that comes directly from the relationship you had -- and still have -- with your loved one.