After a conversation with a friend on frustration and alone-ness in this season, she passed on to me a post from To Write Love on Her Arms from November 20.
November 20 was National Survivors of Suicide Day.
Along with the post, she had found a list of resources on suicide, way more than I have ever been able to find. And at the top of the list were several online support groups for survivors.
Sometimes I feel like hiding what has happened - talking about it is just too huge and painful and awful. Perhaps that is because almost anyone I can potentially talk to has never lived it.
But somehow, the thought of opening up to others who know this grief, it came as a relief.
To know I am not alone, that my family is not alone, that our grief is different and that's okay... it helps.
And what Reese Butler says in that post..."The greatest honor and tribute I could give [her] was to become as healthy and productive as possible and use the power of that loss to help others not suffer the same fate. Loss can trigger in those left behind powerful emotions that if channeled can move mountains."
When I read that, something clicked.
I don't have to keep dwelling on the pain, although that is legitimate and good for a time. I want my emotions and my grief to be used for something. I want to be healthy and productive and - as trite as it may sound - happy again.
So I guess that starts with the opening, the honesty, the community.