Choosing Recovery: Letting Go of Grief to Live Fully

The death of a loved one can cause deep hurt and grief. Where does one turn for help? One may choose to attend local support groups, meet personally with a professional or talk to a close group of friends. In today’s modern age, additional options include social media support groups.

Personally, I have participated in several of these modalities. At the encouragement of close friends, I attended a few meetings of a nationally known grief support group. From the first meeting, I didn’t feel that I fit in. I was the only person who lost a child – by suicide – none the less. Others had lost spouses, and their losses were much longer than mine. We watched a video then had circle time.

I literally felt heaviness in the air and found that others in the group were in much deeper pain than I was. I attended a couple more meetings, not finding the inspiration and hope I was looking for. I moved onto other modalities.

I sought help from a professional. With him, I did find relief and encouragement. Then CoVid happened and we stopped meeting. Video conferencing was not an option.

Friends and family were my best resource. Many of those who supported me in the death of my daughter in 1991 were the same ones who stood by when my son died. They were familiar with my pain and suffering. They also knew I had navigated my daughter’s death and that I could, and would, survive my son’s death.

They took my phone calls, talked about my son, let me talk about him and listened to me cry. There were days that all I needed was someone to acknowledge that I was hurting.

I spent the first year blogging my journey on Facebook. I told of my pain and suffering. It was raw and real. I didn’t hold anything back. Around the third month, I started including the progress I was making, what I was doing for myself and how it was working. Those blogs were the seed for my two books. As a matter of fact, this weekly blog, Thursday Thoughts, is a direct result of those posts.

I also turned to Facebook grief support groups. I joined groups specific to child loss. I chose ones specific to suicide loss. I chose ones specific to child loss by suicide. I felt this would be a better fit since I didn’t have a good experience with the in-person grief group.

At first, I believed the groups were helpful. I was surrounded by others who had the same experience, the loss of a child by suicide. While the details were different, the pain and suffering were the same. We connected on the deeper level of losing someone we loved and cared for deeply.

I posted the same things in these grief groups as I did on my personal page. I read the posts from others. Almost daily, someone found the group and shared their heart wrenching stories. Each time I read their story, I relived the horrible day that my son died. It was as if I poured salt into my wounds. After checking posts from numerous groups, I felt the same gloom and heaviness I had in the in-person group. I was drowning in the sorrow of others losses. I wasn’t making progress and was at a turning point on my grief journey: I could either stay in the darkness or move towards recovering. I chose recovery, subsequently leaving the groups.

Leaving those groups was one of the best decisions I made in my recovery. From the surface, they were a good idea. Once I dug into them, I discovered they were a determent and possibly made my recovery more difficult.

Just yesterday, I bumped into another women whose son died by suicide. We met several years ago through a mutual friend. We checked in with each other on how we were doing after the death of our sons. We talked about what we did to get past our losses.

She had a similar experience with Facebook groups. We found that being positive was critical and there is a point in our journey that it is necessary to let go of the past and live in the present. She has another son who needs and wants her. I have two daughters, their families and my niece’s family that wants me. I owe it to my friends that have supported me to be there for them, be a light in their lives and pay it forward.

Choose your support resources wisely. Find the ones that will inspire and help you, not the ones that bring you down. .

My children will always be in my heart. I occasionally get a pang of pain. However, it is fleeting. I am grateful that it only lasts a brief moment.

From Facebook blogs to published books, I turned my pain into purpose. I help others move forward in their recovery. Reach out to me to get help and move forward. You deserve it.

Share This :

Search by Category