My 26-year-old son, Rob, died by suicide in December 2016. He was smart, successful and kind, and suffered from a depression that was deeper than I could have fathomed. I miss him every day.
Last summer I was asked to recommend an organization to be the recipient of an annual fundraising event by the Heughans Heughligans Facebook Group. Until recently, I had been one of several admins for the group which began as fans of Diana Gabaldon’s book, “Outlander.” Outlander is the first of eight novels and various novellas in the series.
Alliance of Hope immediately came to mind; I was so impressed by the support provided to myself and other suicide loss survivors. I forwarded the contact information for Alliance of Hope to Heughans Heughligans.
Afterward, I wondered if perhaps I should’ve recommended a suicide prevention, rather than a suicide loss survivor group. But as soon as I had that thought, I was struck by the notion that my son wanted me to heal. He wanted me to be happy again one day. He knew his death would cause me indescribably pain, and yet his pain was so vast, so overwhelming, he could no longer hold onto this life. His struggle ended at last and I believe he is at peace. However, while my pain has eased with the years, it will endure as long as I’m living.
I’ve heard the following analogy. Picture a bookcase with a solitary book on the shelf labeled “Grief.” Your bookcase has only that one book for quite some time, but eventually, other books are added. One day the shelves of your bookcase are full. You may exchange one book for another over the years but that volume, labeled “Grief,” is the constant that will remain on the shelf forever.
That forever grief is the reason Alliance of Hope provides such a valuable service to suicide loss survivors and the reason I’m grateful to have been able to help by giving back to this community. I know deep in my heart it’s what my son would have wanted. It’s what all the loved ones we’ve lost to suicide would want for us. They would want us to survive -and also to see us thrive. They would want to see our bookcase overflowing. Alliance of Hope offers the help we need to begin.