Tag Archives: survivors

It’s really simple, but it’s hard.

My house the night of the fire

My house the night of the fire

Some readers follow me on the social network scene may know that there was a fire at my house last month.

News coverage of fire at my house

My meditation brought me to the place in the Christian Bible, which says “Ye shall know them by their fruit.” and my fruit was pretty good. Because although something bad, scary, completely unfair and wrong happened to me. I was okay, no one was hurt, and I was able to go on thinking in a positive and healthy way about the situation. Now I can share with you what I learned.

Worry. When something happens that is scary, wrong, unfair, and often completely unexpected, a person can take this as an opportunity to worry the rest of their life away. Now here comes the simple, but really hard part about life, especially life after tragedy… (drum-roll please) Are you ready to take notes? Ok here it is…. Live in the moment. Live in right now.

Oh man! How many times have you heard that before? It even comes on cheesy little plaques and everything. The thing is, it’s true. It’s exactly true. And here is another little bit that came to me and this is how it goes:

Several years ago my high school Psychology teacher Mr. Mason asked us a very important question “If something really bad happens to you, how much of your life are you willing to give to it?” I am not willing to give my entire life to something that happened in 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, 1 day, or 1 year. If the bad incident is actually happening in that period, then it is happening and it is out of a person’s control. The question is how much EXTRA beyond the time it took to happen are you willing to give the incident?

This is something a person has to ask themselves BEFORE a bad thing happens, so that when the fear, anxiety, anger flares up inside, when you are human it will flare up inside. The mental mechanism is there to say, “I won’t let it have any more of my life.” Take a deep breath and go back to now. Now is work. Now is hugging my kids. Now is enjoying a beautiful day. Now is doing the dishes. Whatever Now is I go back there and time moves on and things get easier, maybe not easier all the time, however life goes on I survive and even thrive with planned moments of happiness. This is how, despite bad things happening I can still live a satisfying life.

Planned moments of happiness is something I’ll talk about next time.

I wish you all the optimum of happiness in your experience.

Until next time…

How to keep breathing after someone you love commits suicide


How do you describe the feeling? The moment when the life is punched out of your gut and blows a hole in your heart at the same time? The moment playing over and over like a skipped record. The last moment you saw them alive. What could you have done? This is the reality of being close to a person who commits suicide. How do you go on living without them?

With any death deemed by the survivors to be premature, adds another dimension of pain to losing someone you love. There is this assumption that there was more for them to do, that they would be missing the best things in life, that they were denied accomplishments and life experiences. This is compounded when the person takes their own life. The feeling of senselessness of the death can sometimes be even more overwhelming than the knowledge that the person is dead.

The first thing a survivor needs to come to terms with when they are ready to heal is to look at it as though a person had cancer or some other terminal illness. There is a different mindset that comes from your loved one dyeing of a terminal disease however the depression that took your loved one’s life is much like a terminal illness. It is not that you didn’t do enough, or could have done anything, the same way it is when a person is unable to stop a loved one from dyeing of cancer. One must release themselves from the guilt of not being able to prevent the tragedy.

At some point we must come to terms with the master plan of life. Something we cannot always understand, nor do we need to understand it, just know that if any other outcome was possible at the time it would have occurred. The suicide happened because at that particular point in time, with the specific circumstances that were happening, that was the only thing that could have happened. It is a difficult thought to take in, however it is necessary to be open to the idea that it couldn’t have been any other way at the time. This frees the mind from the broken record thought pattern of playing out the many ways the mind thinks that moment should have happened in order to have saved the individual from themselves.

Finally, there comes a reality that happens with anyone whose loved one dies, whether naturally, by foul play or by their own hand. That reality is that to heal we must find another way to have the needs met that the person who died fulfilled for us. Although a person can never be replaced, there can be a surrogate found to give the hugs, to be there in the physical world the way a survivor of suicide needs someone to be there. One can always send love to the person who died and that is healthy. However, there are times when there is love to give and sometimes having someone the same age as the person who died to nurture instead helps fill a hole that would otherwise cause more pain.

It is important to take each day after a suicide one day at a time. Although like having a scab or a limb removed there is always a reminder. The fact is there can be life after suicide. There still can be happy moments and a life worth living for. A survivor is here because they have more living to do and although there is pain there is also love and a lot of other really great things to look forward to as well.