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Newsletters & Articles


LOSS Program Office
721 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Main Line: (312) 655-7283
Fax Line: (312) 948-3340

Featured this Month:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Father Ruby
In one of the recent LOSS support groups participants found themselves talking about the impact of stigma they experienced in the wake of their loved one’s deaths. Our groups are intended to be a safe place for survivors to meet others and talk about any struggles they are experiencing. There are many things that make suicide more painful and disorienting for those left behind, and one of those things is the experience of stigma.
Private Grief Stories
Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Private Grief Stories
On 9/11/17 I was watching speeches and ceremony regarding America’s evolving grief in the wake of its huge loss of life on 9/11/01. The anniversary events were beautifully intentional, formal and moving. I thought about Emily Dickenson’s verse: “After great pain, a formal feeling comes.” And I couldn’t help but think about our LOSS families. Is it odd that I might connect those experiencing the devastation of suicide loss with this grand scale, national observation of lost lives and collective meaning?

Archives:

From the Desk of Rev. Richard Jakubik
Wednesday, April 01, 2015 by Rev. Richard Jakubik
Sometimes in life, a tragic event occurs that fractures the very foundation on which we stand.  Survivors of suicide navigate in a world that is profoundly and irrevocably different and challenging from the world they once knew. Survivors now find themselves in an unexpected and life long struggle with the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide.  Grief and its complications manifest as painful thoughts, feelings and behaviors that can derail the natural process of healing. Survivors who experience complicated grief go through deep, acute, and intense levels of pain, that often leave them feeling “stuck” and left behind.
From the Desk of Deborah Major
Sunday, March 01, 2015 by Deborah Major
The loss of a loved one to suicide represents a critical turning point, because it imposes into the survivor’s life a crisis of attachment and of identity.  What we hear in the first moments of every caller’s voice is shock, devastation, confusion and a sense of feeling utterly overwhelmed.  We hear these questions sometimes openly stated, at other times implied beneath the details of each caller’s story: “How am I to make sense of this? What am I supposed to do next?  How could this have happened? Why did he do this?”  Often callers interpret the suicide as containing a message from the loved one that the survivor feels compelled to decode: “What was he trying to tell me?”  Those who did not receive a note persist in the hope of finding one, a final communication that would explain why she chose to end the relationship so abruptly and in such a painful manner.   Those who did receive a note return to it repeatedly, hoping to understand the loved one’s frame of mind and the meaning beneath the words.  Suicide, more than other deaths, holds significant relationship meaning for those left behind.  In the earliest phases of the grief process, survivors see the suicide as encrypted with deep meaning about the relationship that they shared with the deceased.   Indeed, if we lose a loved one to cancer, the crisis of attachment may also emerge, but the struggle with the relationship meaning will never be connected to the cancer itself.