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From the Desk of Father Rubey
Sunday, January 01, 2017 by Father Rubey
As we begin a New Year, many survivors begin or continue on their grief journey. In the immediate aftermath of losing a loved person to suicide survivors are in a state of shock. They can’t believe that this loved one actually took their life. For some this fact can be very difficult to admit, the unspeakable act of suicide has happened to their family now. Survivors oftentimes walk around in a daze for a long time trying to figure out why and what lead this loved one to perform such an awful and destructive act. This family does not deserve this, no one and no family deserves such a tragedy. The first step in this process is to admit that this has happened in this wonderful and loving family. It takes some time for this admission to take place. If survivors are to have happy and satisfying future there is one very important admission and action that needs to happen. It is not going to happen automatically. It takes time and a lot of courage to come to this conclusion along with a lot of tears.

Sister Dolores Hart has very poignantly and succinctly stated “that one’s greatest wound ‘integrated’ becomes one’s greatest power”. The important word in that quote is “integrated”. What does that mean? It means that a survivor has admitted that the unspeakable act has happened to their family. There is no hiding that fact. There is no covering up. There is no such thing as minimizing this act. It is very important to call it what it is and that this loved one ended the intolerable pain that had engulfed their life. That is what has happened and that is the reason for the suicide. That act of suicide needs to be integrated into the life of the survivor with all the aspects of the admission. If the survivor is able to integrate the act into their life then the survivor can move forward with zest and vigor. Once the act is integrated into the life of the survivor then the survivor has the tools to make a difference in the field of suicide. Educating people about the ravages of suicide and the impact it has on a family and friends is a powerful way to change the way people think about suicide. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about suicide such as the act is cowardly or selfish. It is neither cowardly nor selfish but it is an act of desperation, the person who completes suicide can no longer handle the pain in their lives. They believe the only way out is to complete suicide and end the pain.

In order to better move on in life it is best to integrate this event into one’s soul and this is not any easy task. It means owning the fact that a loved one found life to painful and the only way out is to take their life. These suffering souls saw no other way to end the pain except to take their life. To survivors this does not make sense but to those suffering souls it made all the sense in the world. If one looks at the act through healthy eyes is appears senseless but people who complete suicide are not looking at the world through healthy eyes. Their world has been engulfed with the pain caused by mental illness that distorts the reality of the world and leads these suffering souls to conclude that this is the only way to end their pain. If they saw another way out they would have taken it but to these hurting souls ending their life was the only solution.

The most important thing that survivors can do for themselves is to integrate the reality of their loved one’s suicide into their own lives and then to move on in the journey of grief. This is a very difficult admission and exercise but it can make one’s future bright and enable survivors to experience the joy and happiness that all of us are entitled to experience. The integrating of this painful experience into one’s life is a major step on the grief journey. I am reminded that Shakespeare lost his only son three years before he wrote Hamlet.  The words of the play take on different meaning when they are read or heard with the thought that the author lost his son three years previous. The artistic director of a theater in New York also lost his son to suicide. Subsequent to his son’s suicide the theater was putting on Hamlet. As the director watched the play there were tears when the ghost of the dead king cries out to his son, Hamlet. There were tears when Hamlet declares that “he has lost all my mirth”. There were tears when Hamlet declares “To be or not to be” the speech in which Hamlet considers ending his life. For the artistic director these were more than words. This part of the play stirred up many feelings related to the suicide of his son. The director has integrated his son’s suicide into his life and his work. This does not mean that the experience has no effect on him but it does mean that he is looking at the play through different lenses since the death of his son. That is going to happen to all survivors when there is a situation that brings them back to their loved one’s suicide. The painful reminder does not mean that the experience of a loved one’s suicide has not been integrated but it does mean that survivors look at life differently since losing a loved one to suicide. It is also a reminder that the journey of grief is never over. The pain has become part of the DNA of the survivor. It has become part of the life of the survivor. It has been integrated into the soul of the survivor and will be there for the rest of one’s life. That is as it should be.

As we begin a new year I want to assure all members of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis and I encourage all members of the LOSS family to do the same for each other—especially for those who have recently joined our family.
Keep On Keepin’ On,


Archives:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Sunday, January 01, 2017 by Father Rubey
As we begin a New Year, many survivors begin or continue on their grief journey. In the immediate aftermath of losing a loved person to suicide survivors are in a state of shock. They can’t believe that this loved one actually took their life. For some this fact can be very difficult to admit, the unspeakable act of suicide has happened to their family now. Survivors oftentimes walk around in a daze for a long time trying to figure out why and what lead this loved one to perform such an awful and destructive act. This family does not deserve this, no one and no family deserves such a tragedy. The first step in this process is to admit that this has happened in this wonderful and loving family. It takes some time for this admission to take place. If survivors are to have happy and satisfying future there is one very important admission and action that needs to happen. It is not going to happen automatically. It takes time and a lot of courage to come to this conclusion along with a lot of tears.

Sister Dolores Hart has very poignantly and succinctly stated “that one’s greatest wound ‘integrated’ becomes one’s greatest power”. The important word in that quote is “integrated”. What does that mean? It means that a survivor has admitted that the unspeakable act has happened to their family. There is no hiding that fact. There is no covering up. There is no such thing as minimizing this act. It is very important to call it what it is and that this loved one ended the intolerable pain that had engulfed their life. That is what has happened and that is the reason for the suicide. That act of suicide needs to be integrated into the life of the survivor with all the aspects of the admission. If the survivor is able to integrate the act into their life then the survivor can move forward with zest and vigor. Once the act is integrated into the life of the survivor then the survivor has the tools to make a difference in the field of suicide. Educating people about the ravages of suicide and the impact it has on a family and friends is a powerful way to change the way people think about suicide. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about suicide such as the act is cowardly or selfish. It is neither cowardly nor selfish but it is an act of desperation, the person who completes suicide can no longer handle the pain in their lives. They believe the only way out is to complete suicide and end the pain.

In order to better move on in life it is best to integrate this event into one’s soul and this is not any easy task. It means owning the fact that a loved one found life to painful and the only way out is to take their life. These suffering souls saw no other way to end the pain except to take their life. To survivors this does not make sense but to those suffering souls it made all the sense in the world. If one looks at the act through healthy eyes is appears senseless but people who complete suicide are not looking at the world through healthy eyes. Their world has been engulfed with the pain caused by mental illness that distorts the reality of the world and leads these suffering souls to conclude that this is the only way to end their pain. If they saw another way out they would have taken it but to these hurting souls ending their life was the only solution.

The most important thing that survivors can do for themselves is to integrate the reality of their loved one’s suicide into their own lives and then to move on in the journey of grief. This is a very difficult admission and exercise but it can make one’s future bright and enable survivors to experience the joy and happiness that all of us are entitled to experience. The integrating of this painful experience into one’s life is a major step on the grief journey. I am reminded that Shakespeare lost his only son three years before he wrote Hamlet.  The words of the play take on different meaning when they are read or heard with the thought that the author lost his son three years previous. The artistic director of a theater in New York also lost his son to suicide. Subsequent to his son’s suicide the theater was putting on Hamlet. As the director watched the play there were tears when the ghost of the dead king cries out to his son, Hamlet. There were tears when Hamlet declares that “he has lost all my mirth”. There were tears when Hamlet declares “To be or not to be” the speech in which Hamlet considers ending his life. For the artistic director these were more than words. This part of the play stirred up many feelings related to the suicide of his son. The director has integrated his son’s suicide into his life and his work. This does not mean that the experience has no effect on him but it does mean that he is looking at the play through different lenses since the death of his son. That is going to happen to all survivors when there is a situation that brings them back to their loved one’s suicide. The painful reminder does not mean that the experience of a loved one’s suicide has not been integrated but it does mean that survivors look at life differently since losing a loved one to suicide. It is also a reminder that the journey of grief is never over. The pain has become part of the DNA of the survivor. It has become part of the life of the survivor. It has been integrated into the soul of the survivor and will be there for the rest of one’s life. That is as it should be.

As we begin a new year I want to assure all members of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis and I encourage all members of the LOSS family to do the same for each other—especially for those who have recently joined our family.
Keep On Keepin’ On,