ANGER IS PART OF THE PROCESS

“None of this was supposed to happen to us”, I’d say to myself. It was too early for him. It was too early for our family. It was too early for me. And now I lie in bed, my jaw clenched so tight it feels as though my teeth are going to shatter. I make fists with my feet and sweat at night. I bite my nails down until they bleed. I want to break something. I want to put my head through a wall. How the hell did this happen? I hear you. I know. I’ve felt it with you. But this anger shows the intensity of your love. It affirms that YOU CAN FEEL after the shock of death. It affirms that YOU DID LOVE and YOU HAVE LOST. You’re so angry for so many reasons. You’re angry at the person that died. Angry at yourself, family and friends – where were we in the rescue? Angry that no one could have rescued. Angry at God. Angry that every time you walk past their bedroom door and look in, it will be empty. Angry that you will NEVER physically see that person ever again. You feel cheated. This is such bullshit.You’re angry because you’re scared how this might affect you. You’re angry at the therapist that prescribed medication. You’re angry at the doctor, who in your eyes should have done more. Someone needs to be accountable for this mess! You’re angry! So, so fucking angry! […]

WHY DENIAL HELPS YOU SURVIVE

This can’t be happening. This isn’t real. Someone tell me this is just a joke. Everything will be back to normal when I wake up tomorrow, right? Right? Don’t we all wish this was the case, We deny what has happened as a way of protecting ourselves. We only let so much in that our minds can handle. To fully comprehend the reality of death in one instance would be too emotionally overwhelming for anyone to handle. Denial is our friend and nature’s way of helping us cope and making the daily survival possible. In a really weird way, denial gave me moments away from my own pain. Subconsciously I was managing my own feelings. When you are in this first stage of grief (if we use Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s model of the 5 stages of grief) – denial – the world feels completely meaningless. Life makes zero sense and you wonder what the point of it all is. Your view on the world becomes empty and hallow. I know for me, it was like hovering through daily life in a haze of shock, as if someone had blasted me with stun gun. I use the word hovering because I never felt like I was walking anywhere. My feet never felt planted on the ground. I couldn’t feel the earth beneath my feet. I would begin in Point A and somehow managed to get to Point B with no recollection. It was such a surreal experience in my life. There I was hovering, blank on the surface, where underneath I questioned my reality to no end. […]

THIS IS A SAFE PLACE FOR YOU

Hey everyone, I thought I’d write a letter today and remind all of you that this website and my work is a SAFE PLACE FOR YOU. What I am creating and building here is for you guys. This is a sacred place where you too can have a voice. In this space you are invited to share your stories, thoughts and insights with a community of people that have experienced suicide or tragic loss, and who wish to heal themselves of their gaping wounds. You can feel alone and isolated under these circumstances and feel like your only companion is a book relating to the subject. The truth is – dealing with suicide and grief can make you feel like you are going crazy. It can also make a terrific liar out of you. What looks like a happy face on the surface – because that’s what everyone wants you to see – underneath there can be a heart that has shattered into a thousand tiny pieces that needs help putting the puzzle back together again. I know for me personally, after hearing other people’s stories of grief I felt a little less alone. That is why you are invited to connect with other people on this site and my social media channels who are going through, or who have gone through the same experiences. I believe one of the most powerful tools available to us on our paths to healing and growth, is to TALK ABOUT IT. To bring up and release what emotions and thoughts you may have carried with you, in fear of not being seen as “normal”. Let me tell you – there is nothing normal about NOT speaking about grief. Unfortunately, it is a subject (especially when it relates to suicide) that all too often is swept under the rug. What is perceived as “normal” is to get on with life as quickly as possible. Return to the herd where life is “safe”. This by no means is normal. Grief doesn’t work like that and when you go against the grain and start swimming upstream, that’s when you drown. […]

GREATNESS WEARS NO MASK

Losing a loved one to suicide or tragedy can be the trigger for you to face the truth of yourself. The question is – are you willing to go there? What are you hiding beneath the surface? What’s begging to be let out? What are you afraid of and why? Are you willing to face the truth and discover what’s truly possible for your life? I knew there was something MASSIVE for me to investigate. Something far BIGGER than I could have imagined when my brother, Mitch committed suicide. The temptation though was to distract myself. What would I find out and see? Looking within was going to be too painful I said to myself. As a result, I pretended that none of it was happening and became angry, cynical and indulgent. When you suppress your authentic self – you are living in denial of who you are – flaws and insecurities included. […]