Suicide.  Such a daunting word with such a punch, for me it packed an additional punch because it was my spouse who was the one who died by suicide.  The person who is supposed to stand by you for better and for worse is suddenly gone.  I had tons of people offering their support and condolences but unless you have personally gone through the process of grieving for someone who died by suicide you don’t have a full understanding of what one goes through or the thoughts that run through your head.  Every single person has a different experience in their journey of grief, whether it is your spouse, parent, sibling, uncle or friend.

There’s still the countless why’s.  Why now, why me, why didn’t I know just plain why.  Unfortunately, with suicide we never get to really know those daunting why questions. These are just a few of the never-ending thoughts continuously running through your head.

For me I started questioning everything in our entire relationship.  We by no means had the picture perfect family.  We definitely had our up and downs and in reality there were more downs than ups.  But then again they say the first 5 years of a marriage are the hardest so it should be getting better since we were on year number 6 and nearly approaching 7! I thought it was getting to that better point, but then life happened again.

My husband’s mom passed away suddenly from heart disease.  Loosing her was hard on the whole family but especially my husband.  He began to drink more and more to the point I couldn’t tolerate it anymore.  So I did what I felt I needed to do and gave him the choice to quit drinking or loose me and the kids.  It had appeared he choose the kids and I.  I was beyond excited and we started to do more things as a couple and most importantly as a family.  I felt like the last three months of our relationship were the best they have ever been.

Then I start questioning was this his way of saying goodbye?  In a sense was this the calm before the storm?  I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around it and I was back at the why questions.  At the end of the day I had to pull myself up, not for myself but for my children.  My poor babies, how are they going to handle this, what am I going to tell them, when do I tell them and how are they going to handle the truth?  They’re just 5 and 8 years old if I don’t understand the why’s how are they going to?

Personally going through this whole process we call grief is the number one reason I felt there was a need for an organization to help guide other suicide survivors.  There are numerous programs out there for prevention but none that focus on the recovery.  That is where Survivors Joining for Hope comes in to change that.  We want to help navigate people through their journey of grief and help relive the financial burden that suicide usually leaves behind.

Number one rule is there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Some people cry, some become angry and some feel relieved.  No matter where you fall on the spectrum just know there is someone else who has felt similar to you, so most importantly always know you’re not alone.  After all we’re survivors helping survivors.

If you or a loved one need help navigating through the journey of grief, please call 605-838-6656 or email us at assistance@survivorsjoiningforhope.org

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