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LOSS Program Office
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Chicago, IL 60654

Main Line: (312) 655-7283
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Featured this Month:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Thursday, January 01, 2015 by Father Rubey
Now that the holidays have come to an end, members of the LOSS family breathe a big sigh of relief that the decorations can come down and the grief journey can continue. The holidays are generally a very stressful time because there is so much gaiety and cheerfulness, and survivors of a suicide are almost forced to put on the “happy face”. It is very difficult to get through the holidays with such a heavy heart.

With the New Year comes all of the best wishes that people express to each other. There is a resounding call for “Happy New Year”. I stress the word “new” because there is a lot of new things that impact survivors of a suicide. There is the new person that oftentimes evolves during the grief process. I remember years ago talking to a survivor who stated very clearly that “part of the grief process is grieving the person that I used to be”. That makes perfect sense to me because losing a loved one to suicide is such a pivotal event that nothing is ever the same after as before. There is a sea-change that takes place in the life of a survivor. Very often these changes are for the better because the survivor is more sensitive to the world around them. Survivors look at life in a very different way. Things that were viewed as so important in the past don’t look all that important once a loved one has ended their life. Survivors are more sensitive when they hear about someone else losing a loved one in any way. When a survivor hears or reads about some family losing a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan or some other place in the world survivors know that this family is going through an incredible amount of pain. Survivors look at the world in a very different way. Survivors are more sensitized to the plight of other people whose lives are changed by a sudden and tragic death. This is a positive characteristic that becomes part of the person who is grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. This is part of the new person that is evolving as a result of losing a loved one to suicide. That is a characteristic that would gladly be returned to have that loved one back to life. Since that is not going to happen survivors are challenged to accept the fact that a new and different quality is going to emerge as a result of losing this loved one to suicide.
Another part of the grief process is recognizing the new life that will emerge as a result of losing a loved one to suicide. The “old order” has died with that loved one and in time a “new order” will evolve. Survivors often long for that life that was lived and enjoyed. Was it the perfect life? Probably not. None of us lives the perfect life. All of us have challenges in our lives. But, in general, it was a good life and it was enjoyable. All of a sudden when a loved one has completed suicide the previous life is over in a flash. In the immediate aftermath of the suicide survivors long for the life that was lived before. Part of the grieving process is grieving the life that is now over and will never be the same again. Survivors wonder if there will ever be happiness, joy or pleasure again in their life. The answer to that question is yes. There will be joy, happiness and pleasure in the new life but everything is going to be different as this new life emerges. The process is a very lengthy and arduous one but it will happen in time. Survivors need to have patience as this new life emerges and develops. If survivors long for and plan for the old life there will be endless frustration because that life is over and never again to be experienced. Survivors are challenged to patiently await for this new life to emerge and develop. Unfortunately, survivors are not in control of this process. The grief process is in control and the unfolding of the new life comes in time and the result of a lot of hard work and patient waiting.

Another new factor in the grief process is recognizing the void that has been created as a result of the suicide of a vital person in the family system. If we look at the family as a systemic entity each person has a vital role to play in the makeup of the family. Once a loved one has completed suicide the family system has suffered the loss of an integral part of the family system. The interactions of the other family members who remain are going to be different because of the absence of this loved one. A new family system is going to evolve and be different due to the fact that someone is missing. Again, it takes time and patience to allow this new system to develop and evolve. No one can be expected to take the place of the missing person. That person is gone and never to be replaced. The family system will shift and develop without this loved one. The family system will change and a new system will evolve. Nothing will ever be the same due to the suicide of this loved one. Is the family system destroyed irreparably? Absolutely not. It is different but not destroyed. It will take patience of the remaining family members to allow the new system to develop and evolve. Will it be better? Maybe. But one thing for sure is that it is going to be different. It is up to the remaining family members to jockey around and fill the void as best as it can be filled realizing that no one can take the place of the missing person. The void and gap will always be there. The system of the family is going to be new and different. The family will never be the same again because of that missing person. It is a new and different system and it just might be better. Only time will tell.

Allow me to express my holiday greetings to each and every member of the LOSS family. I hope and pray that your holidays were fruitful and pleasant and you made the most of them. The first couple of holidays are extremely painful without this loved on,e and the newness and the freshness of the suicide will slowly become part of the lives of the survivors. Allow this to happen and allow the new life to evolve and emerge. Better days are ahead and I wish all of you the best in the new year.

As I gather for the holidays I want to assure each and every one of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers and I encourage you to 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
Thursday, January 01, 2015 by Father Rubey
Now that the holidays have come to an end, members of the LOSS family breathe a big sigh of relief that the decorations can come down and the grief journey can continue. The holidays are generally a very stressful time because there is so much gaiety and cheerfulness, and survivors of a suicide are almost forced to put on the “happy face”. It is very difficult to get through the holidays with such a heavy heart.

With the New Year comes all of the best wishes that people express to each other. There is a resounding call for “Happy New Year”. I stress the word “new” because there is a lot of new things that impact survivors of a suicide. There is the new person that oftentimes evolves during the grief process. I remember years ago talking to a survivor who stated very clearly that “part of the grief process is grieving the person that I used to be”. That makes perfect sense to me because losing a loved one to suicide is such a pivotal event that nothing is ever the same after as before. There is a sea-change that takes place in the life of a survivor. Very often these changes are for the better because the survivor is more sensitive to the world around them. Survivors look at life in a very different way. Things that were viewed as so important in the past don’t look all that important once a loved one has ended their life. Survivors are more sensitive when they hear about someone else losing a loved one in any way. When a survivor hears or reads about some family losing a loved one in Iraq or Afghanistan or some other place in the world survivors know that this family is going through an incredible amount of pain. Survivors look at the world in a very different way. Survivors are more sensitized to the plight of other people whose lives are changed by a sudden and tragic death. This is a positive characteristic that becomes part of the person who is grieving the loss of a loved one from suicide. This is part of the new person that is evolving as a result of losing a loved one to suicide. That is a characteristic that would gladly be returned to have that loved one back to life. Since that is not going to happen survivors are challenged to accept the fact that a new and different quality is going to emerge as a result of losing this loved one to suicide.
Another part of the grief process is recognizing the new life that will emerge as a result of losing a loved one to suicide. The “old order” has died with that loved one and in time a “new order” will evolve. Survivors often long for that life that was lived and enjoyed. Was it the perfect life? Probably not. None of us lives the perfect life. All of us have challenges in our lives. But, in general, it was a good life and it was enjoyable. All of a sudden when a loved one has completed suicide the previous life is over in a flash. In the immediate aftermath of the suicide survivors long for the life that was lived before. Part of the grieving process is grieving the life that is now over and will never be the same again. Survivors wonder if there will ever be happiness, joy or pleasure again in their life. The answer to that question is yes. There will be joy, happiness and pleasure in the new life but everything is going to be different as this new life emerges. The process is a very lengthy and arduous one but it will happen in time. Survivors need to have patience as this new life emerges and develops. If survivors long for and plan for the old life there will be endless frustration because that life is over and never again to be experienced. Survivors are challenged to patiently await for this new life to emerge and develop. Unfortunately, survivors are not in control of this process. The grief process is in control and the unfolding of the new life comes in time and the result of a lot of hard work and patient waiting.

Another new factor in the grief process is recognizing the void that has been created as a result of the suicide of a vital person in the family system. If we look at the family as a systemic entity each person has a vital role to play in the makeup of the family. Once a loved one has completed suicide the family system has suffered the loss of an integral part of the family system. The interactions of the other family members who remain are going to be different because of the absence of this loved one. A new family system is going to evolve and be different due to the fact that someone is missing. Again, it takes time and patience to allow this new system to develop and evolve. No one can be expected to take the place of the missing person. That person is gone and never to be replaced. The family system will shift and develop without this loved one. The family system will change and a new system will evolve. Nothing will ever be the same due to the suicide of this loved one. Is the family system destroyed irreparably? Absolutely not. It is different but not destroyed. It will take patience of the remaining family members to allow the new system to develop and evolve. Will it be better? Maybe. But one thing for sure is that it is going to be different. It is up to the remaining family members to jockey around and fill the void as best as it can be filled realizing that no one can take the place of the missing person. The void and gap will always be there. The system of the family is going to be new and different. The family will never be the same again because of that missing person. It is a new and different system and it just might be better. Only time will tell.

Allow me to express my holiday greetings to each and every member of the LOSS family. I hope and pray that your holidays were fruitful and pleasant and you made the most of them. The first couple of holidays are extremely painful without this loved on,e and the newness and the freshness of the suicide will slowly become part of the lives of the survivors. Allow this to happen and allow the new life to evolve and emerge. Better days are ahead and I wish all of you the best in the new year.

As I gather for the holidays I want to assure each and every one of the LOSS family of my thoughts and prayers and I encourage you to the same for each other –especially for those who have recently joined our family.

Keep On Keepin’ On,