Community for Survivors 2017-07-25T17:36:54+00:00

Survivor Experiences

Sadly, if you are reading this website, you or a loved one are grieving the loss of someone special to you. You probably know that we are not well prepared to deal with loss, especially traumatic loss. You are most likely feeling confused, lost, and unable to understand the conflicting mass of emotions that you are experiencing.

Simply defined, grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional loss of any kind.  Everyone experiences grief differently and the range of complex emotions are varied.  While grief is normal and natural, we were never taught how to deal with grief.  Most of the information we have learned about dealing with our grief is based on six common myths that we all recognize.

  • Time heals all wounds
  • Grieve alone
  • Be strong
  • Don’t feel bad
  • Replace the loss
  • Stay busy

We also hear the the advice to “let go” and “move on”.  This advice couldn’t be farther from what we need to heal.  The traumatic loss of a loved one can be totally debilitating and life changing for most of us.  We struggle to find meaning and purpose after a loss while we are solidly stuck in the depths of our darkness.  It is hard enough to just to wake up each day let alone move on in life as though things will ever get back to normal.

There is no right or wrong way to feel, there are no set stages that you process through, there is no “normal” in the process.  There is a web of emotions all occurring individually and at the same time as well.  Overwhelming, confusing.  I once heard an analogy about how powerful the feelings of grief can be . . . “Grief is like waves on a beach.  You can be standing in water up to your knees and feel you can cope, and the suddenly a big wave comes and knocks you off your feet again.”  For me, the words I have used to describe my grief over the loss of  my youngest son by suicide are shock and numbness, disbelief, sadness, anger, guilt, and extreme exhaustion.

The way you grieve is unique to you.  Completion of our pain associated with loss is what allows us restore peace and acceptance in our lives.  In order to heal, we must dismiss some of the myths that keep us from healing and build a plan to release old beliefs and take new, empowering actions to move through our pain.  We hope that the resources, ideas, tools, and words of comfort help you integrate your loss into your life so that you can begin to reclaim joy and happiness in your life.

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