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The Healing Power of Connecting with Others

The Healing Power of Connecting with Others

In those awful first few weeks, the Alliance of Hope gave me a way to say how devastated I was feeling, to tell the story, to voice my anguish. My ‘real-life’ support system (family, friends, and community) is great, but I just never felt comfortable showing them how broken I felt. I was – and still am – inconsolable. Here, on the Alliance of Hope Forum, I found other voices that commiserate and are painfully honest, but also encouraging.

This space has allowed me to vent, to work through questions with others, and to get out of my own head, engaging with other survivors and hopefully giving back the support I have received. At the four-month mark, I’ve seen so many new members join. I’ve read so many stories of unimaginable heartbreak, perseverance, and hope.

As sad as it is to learn how startlingly prevalent suicide is in such a deeply personalized way, my newest healing revelations have come from seeing myself and my lost loved one mirrored in so many others. Connecting with others whose background, age, and other traits may be different but whose suicide loss is an eerily similar journey has helped me to quiet my own guilty replays, paralyzing regrets, and unanswerable questions.

The path to acceptance has gotten a bit easier now that I can see so clearly how many others share this same tragic road. Not just the sadness and grief, but the confusion, betrayal, frustration, longing that goes along with loving and losing someone who ended their own life, suffered from depression and/or addiction, or maybe just had a really hard time with life.

I can’t blame my guy now that I know he wasn’t the only infuriating irresistible mix of sensitive, giving, loving, impulsive, delusional, and destructive. I can’t blame myself knowing that other parents, girlfriends, siblings, friends, and others were ultimately unable to avoid the same terrible outcome despite their efforts.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for telling their stories, sharing their pain, baring their souls. It helps.

About the Author

Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »