Guest Posts

Survivor of Suicide Loss

“We all know that when we physically lose people we love, that part of them is never lost because they are always in our hearts.

But for me, there are times like this morning, when the giant hole in my heart seems to get bigger and bigger. As the teardrops continue to fall and enlarge the hole, it feels like you get farther and farther away…

And that unbearable feeling, of your seeming to get farther and farther away, the feeling of losing touch with what is in my heart, restarts the cycle.”

-Mel

Mel is a suicide survivor. She has survived the loss of her son.  He died by suicide.

AlecHis name is Alec.  He was 25 years old and shot himself on 2/10/14.  He was an Airforce Reserve Airman and a phlebotomist and worked in a hospital lab.  You can tell by talking to Mel how much she loved her son.  He was successful and had a lot of friends but Mel started to see over time that there was something broken in Alec.  One bad choice led to another.  He wouldn’t listen to anyone.  He wouldn’t talk to anyone.  His brother said one time, that his biggest problem was that Alec thought he was smarter than everyone else.  This translated into him not wanting to go to anyone to ask for help.  His mom says: “he was too stubborn to ever let anyone help him with anything and his foot was stuck in the ‘alcohol door’ which had many resulting consequences.  He was muddling along with the emotional support of a girlfriend and when she broke up with him, it was the last straw for him “ he just gave up.

AlecThe one thing that really keeps Mel going is that she saw her son give his life to the Lord at an Acquire the Fire event.  It’s  encouraging for her to know that one day she will see her son again because she knows that God keeps His promises.  God promises that if we give our life to him and ask Him to be our savior and forgive us of our sins then He will, and that’s all it takes to get to heaven.  Mel says: “For those few that take the heartbreaking path that Alex went on, at least they had the opportunity to know the Lord.”

Like so many others, Alec probably had no idea of how many lives he had touched and how many people loved him.  On the Facebook page set up in his memory, there are so many stories about his sense of humor, how he was always smiling, joking, laughing.  And how he encouraged and helped so many people in his life.  Here are just a few of the comments taken from Facebook:

AlecIt’s hard to fathom that you’re no longer with us. It feels like yesterday we were passing notes and sneaking out of our houses to meet each other In the middle of the night…I hated walking back home in the dark by myself. You would walk me back so I wasn’t scared or the nights where you would knock on my window scaring the hell out of me. lol. I will never forget those bus rides home after soccer games. You were my seat/snack partner. You were my first love and will always have a place in my heart.

Rest In Paradise brother. Very very sad and upset that you’re gone. I remember I could talk to Alec about anything. He always used to check up on me in Jacksonville from time to time. Obviously I fell short somewhere. I just wish there was a way that I could say one last word, have one last conversation, one last look at that genuine human being god placed on this earth to share smiles and love… I am going to miss Alec a lot.

Alec probably never knew the immense effect he had on me. When I was a painfully shy, self-conscious high schooler, Alec’s genuine kindness and sweet smile went such a long way. We weren’t considered “great” friends, nor did he ever know the crazy crush I had on him.throughout our high school years, but his smile will always shine bright in my mind. Gone too soon, you are clearly missed so so much. Rest easy, sweet boy.

If you are a survivor of suicide loss….

you have been through a traumatic experience of losing a loved one to suicide.  This will be something that will stay with you forever.  Suicide can be very different than losing a family member in a different way other than to suicide.  There are feelings and emotions that can be unique to losing someone to suicide:

Guilt “ You may feel as if you could have stopped the suicide.

Stigma “ Society still attaches a stigma to suicide.

Anger “ You may feel anger towards the person you lost, as they are also the murderer of the person you loved.

Disconnection “ You may feel disconnected from the person you lost and their memories because they made a choice to end their life.

The American Association of Suicidology has a handbook for Survivors of Suicide: Download it here.  You can find out: how to explain suicide to children, the stages of grief, about battling guilt, acceptance, moving on, ways to get support and more.

Also, you can read stories from people like you, who have survived suicide loss: THEIR STORIES HERE. (Posted by the Survivors of Suicide Loss Group.)

And you can check out Survivor Day Documentaries, posted on the 2015 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day website, which is a program of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If you or a friend need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, for free confidential, 24/7 help. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world. For additional help, please visit the suicide prevention resource page.

If you want to understand more about suicide or if you are having suicidal thoughts, download our free eBook.

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