Nearly 4 years after my son’s suicide, I received this message:
“Peggy, I’m not sure if you’ll remember me or not but when I saw your post that Karma tagged you in, I clicked on your name to send you a friend request. Peggy, I had no clue about Connor’s passing. First and foremost, I’m sorry for your loss…I feel the need to tell you what Connor meant to me.
I loved that kid – his energy was like no other – – he was athletic, funny and he had the best smile. I remember him being a kid that was honest – if he got into trouble for doing something, he owned up to it. That piece of his personality stands out in my mind. He loved to run fast at recess, if you called him out on something he did, he would look at you and smile (that was what got to me – he knew he could smile his way through sitting out at recess).
I just wanted to reach out and let you know that those memories of your son will never be forgotten. I will always hold him in my heart as a student that stood out. I loved his competitive spirit. I loved seeing his face when you would come into class parties or lunch. He was special. I’ll remember him always.” ~ Lisa
“Hi Lisa, thank you so much for reaching out to me. I do remember you. You have no idea how much it means to me to have you share your sweet memories of Connor. I truly love hearing stories about him and getting to know him through other’s eyes.
I miss him dearly and your words are so uplifting. He was an athlete. You should have seen him as he became a highly skilled skateboarder. He definitely owned up to things when he got into trouble. It is that which gives me solace – as I know he would take ownership of ending his life. That piece… about his face lighting up when I came in for class , I would have never known without you sharing. Very special.
Once again, thank you for reaching out.” ~ Peggy
The point of the story is that it is never too late to offer condolences, stories, and memories of those who have gone before us. You could make someone’s day, like it did for me. It helps to know that our loved one is not forgotten.
This Saturday, November 19th is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It is a day to bring together those who are affected by suicide. A day which to promote healing and offer support. It is a day to help gain understanding about suicide, grief, and mental health.
Reach out to someone you know who a suicide loss survivor is. Lend a hand to those who are struggling.
Remember, it is never too late to speak about those who died by suicide. Remember how they lived rather than how they died.
Attend a group meeting to share your story, speak your loved one’s name, find hope and inspiration, and encourage others. Talking through your experience is healing, and good for your soul. You can find a meeting by googling a local event or virtual like the one I attend.