Get Help Now!  (312) 655-7700
  Do You Need Rent, SNAP or Utility Assistance?

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
Monday, August 01, 2016 by Father Rubey
As people experience the loss of a loved one from suicide there are a few basic questions that survivors are challenged to address as they traverse the grief journey. The first question is what can be learned from this tragic event, if anything? The second question is how can the survivors become better persons as a result of losing a loved one from suicide? These are very basic questions that each survivor can grapple with.  Instead of being paralyzed by this loss some survivors challenge themselves by asking this first question and busy themselves in the immediate aftermath of the suicide by just trying to get through each day and respond to the daily tasks of surviving this tremendous loss. While some survivors deal with this first question immediately, a majority of people may notice that the idea of learning something from the loss may come at a later point in the grief process. As with any event in life there are always things to be learned. For example, one possible lesson survivors of sucide learn is to be more sensitive and caring to people in the world around them. Another is expanding their knowledge about suicide and realizing how
common of an occurrence it is. The act of suicide generally is not part of the radar screen of survivors. While there might have been signs of discomfort, survivors generally do not think that this loved one was thinking about ending their life. It does not cross the mind of survivors.

There are a myriad of other questions that survivors can think about as they begin the journey of grief. This first question can help survivors get off the dime in the journey. By learning from the tragedy, survivors are engaging in something that is called “emotional granularity;” a process where survivors reach beyond just feeling lousy, sad, or depressed and become immersed in an activity that can have a positive outcome. “Emotional granularity” results in a change in the brain that can have a positive effect. Instead of becoming immobile and paralyzed, the survivor may engage in a constructive activity that can be beneficial not only to themselves, but the others as well. Some survivors have set up foundations and other types of organizations that have a greater impact, creating awareness and support in the community and beyond. The resulting effect never would have come about unless this loved one had taken their life – the loved one did not die in vain. Channeling emotional distress contructively is “emotional granularity” in action.

This is not something that is going to occur in the immediate after effect of losing a loved one to suicide. It might take months or years. In the immediate aftermath of the suicide survivors have to absorb the enormity of the act. This loved one is gone forever, it is final and there is no turning back the clock. The second question relates to becoming a better person. None of us is perfect. We all have feet of clay and we make mistakes in dealing with family and friends. Very often survivors are consumed with guilt. Sometimes survivors blame themselves for causing the death of this loved one. Rarely, if ever, is this the case. Survivors closely examine their words or actions immediately prior to the suicide to see if there was anything that might have caused this loved one to end their life. Survivors scrutinize everything looking for a reason why and to see if there was a misunderstood message that might have prompted the act. Was there a fight, disagreement or harsh words that resulted in this person taking their life? Rarely, if ever, is this the case. The vast majority of suicides occur as a result of some form of mental illness. In most instances such an illness is rarely thought to be life threatening. The person who completed suicide might have been confused about their inner feelings. All of us can be challenged to become better people. If there is guilt in the aftermath of losing a loved one to suicide survivors can determine that they are going to be more caring and understanding to family members and friends or co-workers. This a positive result of losing a loved one to suicide. Survivors are going to make a concerted effort to be better in their interactions with the people in their lives. Making a resolution to become more caring and patient to people is a positive result of this tragic event. Self-growth always has a positive effect. To be forced to analyze how survivors come across with other people is a good exercise in personal development and hopefully the results will be positive.

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, addressed the graduates at the University of California, Berkley. Her husband, Dave, died very suddenly. She told the graduates that “for many months afterward, and at many times since, I was swallowed up in the deep fog of grief – what I think of as the void – an emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or
even to breathe. Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways. I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. I learned that in the face of the void – or in the face of any challenge – you can choose joy and meaning.” 

As summer continues I want to assure each and every one of our LOSS Family members of my thoughts and prayers on a very regular basis and I encourage each of you 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
Monday, August 01, 2016 by Father Rubey
As people experience the loss of a loved one from suicide there are a few basic questions that survivors are challenged to address as they traverse the grief journey. The first question is what can be learned from this tragic event, if anything? The second question is how can the survivors become better persons as a result of losing a loved one from suicide? These are very basic questions that each survivor can grapple with.  Instead of being paralyzed by this loss some survivors challenge themselves by asking this first question and busy themselves in the immediate aftermath of the suicide by just trying to get through each day and respond to the daily tasks of surviving this tremendous loss. While some survivors deal with this first question immediately, a majority of people may notice that the idea of learning something from the loss may come at a later point in the grief process. As with any event in life there are always things to be learned. For example, one possible lesson survivors of sucide learn is to be more sensitive and caring to people in the world around them. Another is expanding their knowledge about suicide and realizing how
common of an occurrence it is. The act of suicide generally is not part of the radar screen of survivors. While there might have been signs of discomfort, survivors generally do not think that this loved one was thinking about ending their life. It does not cross the mind of survivors.

There are a myriad of other questions that survivors can think about as they begin the journey of grief. This first question can help survivors get off the dime in the journey. By learning from the tragedy, survivors are engaging in something that is called “emotional granularity;” a process where survivors reach beyond just feeling lousy, sad, or depressed and become immersed in an activity that can have a positive outcome. “Emotional granularity” results in a change in the brain that can have a positive effect. Instead of becoming immobile and paralyzed, the survivor may engage in a constructive activity that can be beneficial not only to themselves, but the others as well. Some survivors have set up foundations and other types of organizations that have a greater impact, creating awareness and support in the community and beyond. The resulting effect never would have come about unless this loved one had taken their life – the loved one did not die in vain. Channeling emotional distress contructively is “emotional granularity” in action.

This is not something that is going to occur in the immediate after effect of losing a loved one to suicide. It might take months or years. In the immediate aftermath of the suicide survivors have to absorb the enormity of the act. This loved one is gone forever, it is final and there is no turning back the clock. The second question relates to becoming a better person. None of us is perfect. We all have feet of clay and we make mistakes in dealing with family and friends. Very often survivors are consumed with guilt. Sometimes survivors blame themselves for causing the death of this loved one. Rarely, if ever, is this the case. Survivors closely examine their words or actions immediately prior to the suicide to see if there was anything that might have caused this loved one to end their life. Survivors scrutinize everything looking for a reason why and to see if there was a misunderstood message that might have prompted the act. Was there a fight, disagreement or harsh words that resulted in this person taking their life? Rarely, if ever, is this the case. The vast majority of suicides occur as a result of some form of mental illness. In most instances such an illness is rarely thought to be life threatening. The person who completed suicide might have been confused about their inner feelings. All of us can be challenged to become better people. If there is guilt in the aftermath of losing a loved one to suicide survivors can determine that they are going to be more caring and understanding to family members and friends or co-workers. This a positive result of losing a loved one to suicide. Survivors are going to make a concerted effort to be better in their interactions with the people in their lives. Making a resolution to become more caring and patient to people is a positive result of this tragic event. Self-growth always has a positive effect. To be forced to analyze how survivors come across with other people is a good exercise in personal development and hopefully the results will be positive.

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, addressed the graduates at the University of California, Berkley. Her husband, Dave, died very suddenly. She told the graduates that “for many months afterward, and at many times since, I was swallowed up in the deep fog of grief – what I think of as the void – an emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or
even to breathe. Dave’s death changed me in very profound ways. I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss. But I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. I learned that in the face of the void – or in the face of any challenge – you can choose joy and meaning.” 

As summer continues I want to assure each and every one of our LOSS Family members of my thoughts and prayers on a very regular basis and I encourage each of you to do the same for each other— especially for those who have recently joined our family.
Keep On Keepin’ On,