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From the Desk of Father Rubey
Monday, February 03, 2014 by Father Rubey
An aspect of life after a suicide are the new friends that survivors meet at support groups for people who are also grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. It is often said people meet some of the nicest people that they never wanted to meet when they meet these new friends at a support group. The bond that is formed results from the commonality of losing a loved one from suicide. As time goes on the fact of the suicide that initially bonded these new friends fades as the friendship grows. There is a comfort level with survivors that they do not have to pretend anything because these new friends know exactly what the feelings are that result from losing a loved one from suicide. There is a certain comfort level resulting from the fact that someone else knows the feelings of grief from a completed suicide. The social interaction that began by meeting someone else who knows the feelings that go along with losing a loved one to suicide moves on to other levels and other topics of interest. With these new friends there is a renewed interest in life. This renewed interest in life can become a very satisfying experience. There is always a risk to be taken as a survivor moves into another phase of life. There is fear as survivors move on to other new ventures in life. The hurt that results from losing a loved one to suicide leaves a lasting impact on the life of the survivor and this can cause fear of venturing forth to new and different life experiences. It is important for survivors to realize that this fear is normal and to give in to the fear can result in survivors never venturing forth to create a new life for themselves. It would be tragic to be paralyzed for the remainder of one’s life and not attempt to venture forth to new and different experiences that can enrich one’s life. The potential is there waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. There is a new and different life for the survivor who is willing to take the risk and experience a life beyond the suicide. The suicide ended a life of pain for these loved ones but it did not end the life of the survivor. There is and can be a life of joy and fulfillment for survivors who are willing to take a risk and discover new opportunities for themselves. It takes courage and determination to want to discover new and different experiences that can enhance and enrich the lives of survivors of suicide. These new experiences are waiting to be discovered. The potential is there.

One of the fears that survivors have as they traverse the journey of grief is the fear of losing contact with their loved one. As time marches on survivors fear remembering this important person in their life. Sometimes survivors erroneously are under the impression that if they hold onto the pain resulting from the suicide that will be a guarantee that they will not lose contact with this loved one. Nothing could be further from the truth. Granted the pain is a connection to the loved one and it is the last connection with the loved one but it is not the only connection. There are myriads of connection with those people who have gone before us. There are countless memories of these loved ones. There are countless stories that recount when these people were alive and the antics that made survivors laugh and memories that bring tears to survivors. While the pain is the last connection that survivors have with these loved ones the pain can also be a way that survivors torture themselves because they feel that they failed their loved ones and were not there when these tortured souls were at the nadir of their lives. Survivors failed to see how desperate these loved ones were. Survivors replay the final hours or days or weeks that their loved ones were still alive and missed the signals that these loved ones gave. In most instances these signals were either not there or were so very subtle that no one could comprehend the meaning of the signal. It is only when survivors look back do these signal make any sense at all. The point is that experiencing the excruciating pain that accompanies the loss of this loved one from suicide for years after the suicide is not helpful in the grieving process. Certainly in the immediate aftermath of the suicide there is going to horrendous pain that all survivors experience. That is a very normal reaction and a very normal step that survivors need to experience as they journey the path of grief. There does come a point in the grief process when survivors are able to relinquish the excruciating pain and allow the pain to become ordinary. That is a very important step in the grief process. The pain has been incorporated into the psychic part of the survivor. The pain becomes an ordinary part of the life of the survivor. It is there but it is not all consuming and so distracting that the pain impedes the future life of the survivor. The survivor is able to go about the other activities of their lives. To reach that point is no easy task. Survivors need to make a decision that the initial pain that is experienced is not going to interfere with the rest of the life of the survivor. There are other aspects of life for the survivor and these other aspects will eventually distract the survivor and put other meaning in their lives. Does this mean that this loved one who died is going to be forgotten? Absolutely not. These loved ones who found life too painful to continue will always be a part of the life of survivors.

Getting to the point where the pain from a suicide becomes ordinary is not easy. It results from a survivor making a very calculated decision that this pain is not going to be the cause of ruining the life of those left behind. It is all part of the grief journey. Reaching this point will not come about automatically but will come about by a decision that all survivors need to make. None of the steps in the grief journey come about automatically. Like all of the other steps on this journey there is work involved and decisions that need to be made. It all flows from making a resolution that this tragic event that has become a part of the life of the survivor is not going to unravel the life. Certainly there is going to be a detour in life but it is only a temporary detour. The life of the survivor is going to continue to be lived but it is going to be lived in a different way. There is always going to be a missing person in the life of the survivor. That person who was so loved is no longer part of this life and the life of the survivor as the survivor knew it. Does that mean that that loved one is no longer a part of a family or part of the family makeup? Absolutely not. That would be a tragic result of a tragic death. I have often said that a tragedy worse than losing a loved one to suicide is that if this loved were to be forgotten. There are many other ways to remain connected to the loved ones in our lives who have gone to the hereafter. Survivors do not necessarily need to experience the pain resulting from the suicide in order to keep connected to these loved ones. There are pictures and favorite songs and a myriad of stories that keep these loved ones a part of a family. In time there will be laughter and survivors will look forward to hearing about their loved ones. This will come about only if there is a comfort level about losing this loved one from suicide. Again, this is not going to come about automatically or with the passage of time. This will come about as a result of a lot of hard work. Taking part in this journey is not for the weak-hearted. Survivors of a completed suicide are among the hardest working people in creation and all survivors merit a deep appreciation from those of us who are not survivors. All survivors should be given a merit badge with the title of “Job Well Done.” This work is not easy but with any task the rewards are tremendous and certainly the efforts will be worthwhile in that a life that was thought to be destroyed has risen out of the ashes. Survivors will live again and will enjoy life again –albeit a different type of life.

As always, I want to assure each and every one of the members of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis during my quiet time. I encourage you to do the same for each other – especially for those members who have recently joined our family. Our family continues to grow constantly. It is an unfortunate aspect of the LOSS program that our services are in constant need but it is also fortunate that LOSS is here to help survivors in their time of need.
Keep On Keepin’ On,


Archives:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Monday, February 03, 2014 by Father Rubey
An aspect of life after a suicide are the new friends that survivors meet at support groups for people who are also grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. It is often said people meet some of the nicest people that they never wanted to meet when they meet these new friends at a support group. The bond that is formed results from the commonality of losing a loved one from suicide. As time goes on the fact of the suicide that initially bonded these new friends fades as the friendship grows. There is a comfort level with survivors that they do not have to pretend anything because these new friends know exactly what the feelings are that result from losing a loved one from suicide. There is a certain comfort level resulting from the fact that someone else knows the feelings of grief from a completed suicide. The social interaction that began by meeting someone else who knows the feelings that go along with losing a loved one to suicide moves on to other levels and other topics of interest. With these new friends there is a renewed interest in life. This renewed interest in life can become a very satisfying experience. There is always a risk to be taken as a survivor moves into another phase of life. There is fear as survivors move on to other new ventures in life. The hurt that results from losing a loved one to suicide leaves a lasting impact on the life of the survivor and this can cause fear of venturing forth to new and different life experiences. It is important for survivors to realize that this fear is normal and to give in to the fear can result in survivors never venturing forth to create a new life for themselves. It would be tragic to be paralyzed for the remainder of one’s life and not attempt to venture forth to new and different experiences that can enrich one’s life. The potential is there waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. There is a new and different life for the survivor who is willing to take the risk and experience a life beyond the suicide. The suicide ended a life of pain for these loved ones but it did not end the life of the survivor. There is and can be a life of joy and fulfillment for survivors who are willing to take a risk and discover new opportunities for themselves. It takes courage and determination to want to discover new and different experiences that can enhance and enrich the lives of survivors of suicide. These new experiences are waiting to be discovered. The potential is there.

One of the fears that survivors have as they traverse the journey of grief is the fear of losing contact with their loved one. As time marches on survivors fear remembering this important person in their life. Sometimes survivors erroneously are under the impression that if they hold onto the pain resulting from the suicide that will be a guarantee that they will not lose contact with this loved one. Nothing could be further from the truth. Granted the pain is a connection to the loved one and it is the last connection with the loved one but it is not the only connection. There are myriads of connection with those people who have gone before us. There are countless memories of these loved ones. There are countless stories that recount when these people were alive and the antics that made survivors laugh and memories that bring tears to survivors. While the pain is the last connection that survivors have with these loved ones the pain can also be a way that survivors torture themselves because they feel that they failed their loved ones and were not there when these tortured souls were at the nadir of their lives. Survivors failed to see how desperate these loved ones were. Survivors replay the final hours or days or weeks that their loved ones were still alive and missed the signals that these loved ones gave. In most instances these signals were either not there or were so very subtle that no one could comprehend the meaning of the signal. It is only when survivors look back do these signal make any sense at all. The point is that experiencing the excruciating pain that accompanies the loss of this loved one from suicide for years after the suicide is not helpful in the grieving process. Certainly in the immediate aftermath of the suicide there is going to horrendous pain that all survivors experience. That is a very normal reaction and a very normal step that survivors need to experience as they journey the path of grief. There does come a point in the grief process when survivors are able to relinquish the excruciating pain and allow the pain to become ordinary. That is a very important step in the grief process. The pain has been incorporated into the psychic part of the survivor. The pain becomes an ordinary part of the life of the survivor. It is there but it is not all consuming and so distracting that the pain impedes the future life of the survivor. The survivor is able to go about the other activities of their lives. To reach that point is no easy task. Survivors need to make a decision that the initial pain that is experienced is not going to interfere with the rest of the life of the survivor. There are other aspects of life for the survivor and these other aspects will eventually distract the survivor and put other meaning in their lives. Does this mean that this loved one who died is going to be forgotten? Absolutely not. These loved ones who found life too painful to continue will always be a part of the life of survivors.

Getting to the point where the pain from a suicide becomes ordinary is not easy. It results from a survivor making a very calculated decision that this pain is not going to be the cause of ruining the life of those left behind. It is all part of the grief journey. Reaching this point will not come about automatically but will come about by a decision that all survivors need to make. None of the steps in the grief journey come about automatically. Like all of the other steps on this journey there is work involved and decisions that need to be made. It all flows from making a resolution that this tragic event that has become a part of the life of the survivor is not going to unravel the life. Certainly there is going to be a detour in life but it is only a temporary detour. The life of the survivor is going to continue to be lived but it is going to be lived in a different way. There is always going to be a missing person in the life of the survivor. That person who was so loved is no longer part of this life and the life of the survivor as the survivor knew it. Does that mean that that loved one is no longer a part of a family or part of the family makeup? Absolutely not. That would be a tragic result of a tragic death. I have often said that a tragedy worse than losing a loved one to suicide is that if this loved were to be forgotten. There are many other ways to remain connected to the loved ones in our lives who have gone to the hereafter. Survivors do not necessarily need to experience the pain resulting from the suicide in order to keep connected to these loved ones. There are pictures and favorite songs and a myriad of stories that keep these loved ones a part of a family. In time there will be laughter and survivors will look forward to hearing about their loved ones. This will come about only if there is a comfort level about losing this loved one from suicide. Again, this is not going to come about automatically or with the passage of time. This will come about as a result of a lot of hard work. Taking part in this journey is not for the weak-hearted. Survivors of a completed suicide are among the hardest working people in creation and all survivors merit a deep appreciation from those of us who are not survivors. All survivors should be given a merit badge with the title of “Job Well Done.” This work is not easy but with any task the rewards are tremendous and certainly the efforts will be worthwhile in that a life that was thought to be destroyed has risen out of the ashes. Survivors will live again and will enjoy life again –albeit a different type of life.

As always, I want to assure each and every one of the members of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers on a regular basis during my quiet time. I encourage you to do the same for each other – especially for those members who have recently joined our family. Our family continues to grow constantly. It is an unfortunate aspect of the LOSS program that our services are in constant need but it is also fortunate that LOSS is here to help survivors in their time of need.
Keep On Keepin’ On,