Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let your kids talk about suicide!

Thursdays have routinely been happy days for me. Adam’s children have been staying with us on Thursday’s since he left us. I look forward to our time together each week, but today and the last few days have been a bit wearing on me. I could list the many reasons but that's not what’s important. What is important is that I acknowledge my feelings and allow them to be, but not let them get the best of me. Like blogging today even though I didn’t feel like blogging. It is a task I gave my word I would do once a week and so here it goes…

I received this sympathy card from a few people when Adam left and sadly I’ve given it a few times since… just mailed one again today.

I’m truly sorry for your loss, Hoagland Family.


That’s what we ask.

The truth is, we may never be able to know for sure why.

But we do know that there is no single “should have done” or “could have done” or “did” or “didn’t do” that would have changed that why.

All that love could do was done.

With that shared I’d like to also share this… isn’t it time we START talking about suicide with our young people. Why is it that teens are being denied by their parents to attend a “let’s talk” session about how everyone is dealing with and feeling after the loss a classmate. How is that teen going to relate with his/her feelings if they can’t talk to their peers about it? The parents, I’m guessing, are saying “well they have us to talk to”. That’s great, but it’s only a start and not even close to enough. These kids, YOUR KIDS, need to be able to converse with people that are going though the same stuff. 9 out of 10 times they are experiencing feelings that they cannot begin to explain to themselves much less someone that hasn’t lost someone in their life to suicide.

I personally still express myself to a group of people that have similar stories and similar loss. Even 9 months later, I go once a week. They have been gracious to offer comfort to me while dealing with this sometimes overwhelming grief we are each walking through. I have learned many things along the way. Most importantly that grieving is a process that one must travel through. There's no way around it or over it. It can be put aside when necessary but it doesn’t really go away. Getting to know the others has helped me understand my feelings just a little bit clearer. I can deal with things just a little bit easier. For me to describe how being in a group with the others has helped me would be that I can allow myself to experience the emotions as they come one by one. I do have many bad days still, but I can determine which emotion I'm facing and give it its due attention. Instead of feeling them all at once, I now allow one at a time instead of letting one to bring on another. All that might not make sense, but that's what's so hard... making sense of any of it. There are times in the beginning after losing someone to suicide that you feel crazy, foolish, bizarre, just to name a few.

By sitting with the others I have been able to hear that they sometime feel the same things I do and knowing this has taken some of the frightening feelings away. Young people need to be allowed to talk and interact with other young people on this subject just like the many other subjects of their young lives. Just as you, the parents would talk with your peers on this subject or other subjects you may be struggling with.

Our Prayer for the week: please God speak to the parents of these teens and guide them to the importance of understanding. Help them help their grieving children. Show them the importance of communication. It is you, God that has taught us through church that it takes a village to raise a child and with you as the leader. In Jesus name we pray. ~Amen


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