Confused, bewildered, hurt and ashamed, we enter the realm of the suicide loss survivor. We never intended to be here. We never asked to be here. Not in a million years did we ever dream things could turn out this way.

But they have. Our faith may be shattered. Our hopes may have hit the rocky shoals. We may feel numb, split off, and like we are hovering over our own bodies.

People are coming up to us and saying the most loving and comforting words. We may hear them. We may not remember anything they said. Some people are speaking the most ignorant, uneducated, hateful and obnoxious words we have ever heard.

We will hear them. We will remember everything they said. Maddening, frustrating, and incredibly sad times are these. But it is merely a stage, and stages pass. Just as hours pass. Just as days pass. Just as weeks and months pass. Things do get better. You will get better.


Catherine Greenleaf

Catherine Greenleaf is a non-denominational spiritual director and longtime member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is a three-time survivor of suicide loss. Greenleaf travels all over the United States to speak with suicide loss survivors about how to heal from suicide loss. She is the author of the book, "Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations For People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide." She has also produced a spoken word/healing music CD: "Today, I Am Healing: Affirmations for Rebuilding Self-Esteem After a Suicide Loss." Greenleaf has documented 12 stages of healing involved in the suicide grief process. She believes that becoming involved with one's community is essential to healing from suicide loss. Greenleaf most recently has been researching the prevalence of suicide within alcoholic homes.

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