Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Victors versus Victims"

A blog from the archives….

You can't go back

The Webster's Dictionary defines the word anniversary as: The date for celebrating when an important event happened. A date when you celebrate something that happened in a previous year that is important to you.

So I ask, how do you "celebrate" the anniversary of a suicide? How does the word anniversary even fit in this situation if it means to honor a special occasion? As you can tell I'm having a hard time with this concept.

In group this pass Monday it was suggested "to rejoice in the marked date that your loved one entered heaven." To observe the day almost like a birthday of your loved one being with God.

For many, today is their one year. My heart goes out to these families. I pray for your moments of sweet-tenderness as you shed tears and moments of laugher as you share stories.

So how should you celebrate the anniversary of a loved one's passing? There is no right or wrong way. Do what feels natural, even if that means feeling sad and overwhelmed with grief–right now. Maybe a celebration IS what you want. Serve their favorite food and do something they loved. Gather your family and tell all those great-funny stories. Maybe you wish to be alone with yourself. You could write them a letter or create a memory box.

I even have a friend that works on the date her brother passed away. She prefers to celebrate his birthday, they share the same one.

Whatever you decide for your day please remember that grief takes time. Lots of time and that it's different for every person.

I have this book that I've been trying to complete for awhile now. My friends and family have heard me refer to it as "the stupid book". I call it that because it has put many things into perspective for me, some hard realities. There really isn't anything stupid about the book, quit the opposite.

Finding Your Way after the Suicide of Someone You Love. By David B. Biebel, DMin, & Suzanne L. Foster, MA
~You can't go back. The suicide of your loved one changed everything. But you may wonder, will it always be this way? Will it ever be possible to do more than just barely survive each day? Will I ever laugh again, be happy- really live again? Possibly not. Some people get stuck in their grief, so their epitaph reads, Died at 50; buried at 70. (rough, I told you it was) ~But this epitaph is not inevitable for survivors of suicide. You can move forward. We're not going to burden you with false expectations. We won't use terms like "victors versus victims" or other trite phrases that imply that if you have the right kind of faith, or courage, or resilience, or whatever, you should be able to rise above this trial and somehow leave it all behind.
~As you survive, you move with your grief, through it, and beyond it, even to the point of learning to use the lessons you've learned and the character you've gained to help others who are on a similar path. You cannot make this happen in your own strength. To be real and effective, this must be a work of God, who is more powerful than anything the Evil One can bring or has brought your way. God is able to align even the most dreadful tragedy with his primary purpose, which is redemption.
~Grieving's timetable is as individual as you are. You can't "hurry up and get over it," nor can others push or pull you through it. And just as you have your own unique timetable for grief, you will have your own timetable for coming out of grief. You will know when you are ready to move on. Embrace your "new normal."

For me and my family it is one year without Adam. But I still wake every morning having to learn all over again that he is gone and it wasn't just a bad dream.

Our prayer for this week: give us insight this day, Lord our God, to understand Your ways, and consecrate our hearts to worship You. From our sins redeem us with forgiveness; from pain and sorrow give us spiritual insight. Let us rejoice in the understanding of our redemption. Blessed is the Lord who beckons us to prayer. In Jesus' name. ~Amen


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