About Keeping Memories Alive:
I often hear about the frustrations survivors experience in trying to keep their loved ones’ memory alive.
This is just some thoughts on this topic. Suicide makes everyone uncomfortable to a certain extend. Much of this stems from the fact that the majority have little feel for the actual event or its continuing aftermath. Many care about us (YOU) and fear their presence or words will make things worse. So the easy route out is avoidance.
Over time I have sensed the majority will distance themselves. A sort of passive rejection . . . for lack of a better approach.
I don’t think there is a solution for this. We are no-longer the same people as when we first become friends. One of many tough realities we must digest. You can just not bring up the topic (of loss or aching) in any way that will not distance you either immediately or gradually over time with the closest of friends.
This dilemma (for me) has been calmed in two ways. Finding things to do or places to go on those special days (. . . birthdays, death dates, or others.) I most frequently go to an open space (alone) and launch one or more helium balloons. By finding some alternative like this, I find I am more at ease.
NOTE this did not work all that well in the beginning, but over time it has warmed my soul. BTW, This was not an original idea, I picked it up from other survivors. I have opted over the years not to mention these special days entirely . . . I just keep them to myself.
On the other hand I have discovered (for me) making a comment (within family or friends) with something like “Your Mom would have love this or am sorry she is not here to experience this” will sometimes bring on an affirmation or maybe a complimenting comment.” For whatever reason . . . this spontaneity seems to calm others just enough to participate. Over time I find certain family and friends will do the same things? Maybe it is an icebreaker of sorts?
We never forget and I believe most folks (close to us) know that. But then the masses that we encounter have never experienced Suicide (as we have) just remain clueless.
You have to save your emotional wits and strengths for things you can do. If you think you are going to change the world in this regard, you are setting yourself up for discouragement which can lead to anger or bitterness.
For those in your survivor family . . . this is where sharing becomes productive. We feed off each other . . . either to lift each other up . . . or drag each other down. It is a crazy balance and takes some practice and master.
No one becomes better sitting around waiting . . . that certain event (which we have no idea what it is) to happen (at least I have never seen it work.)
Communities of face-to-face survivor groups have been the best avenue for me. There are many potential benefits to reading but there is a certain power that rams things up when you can hear and see positive changes in fellow survivors. For me it planted the idea "If they can get better . . . well, maybe I could too."
I will go back and visit old ones and am encouraged to see folks from over decades in the past. FHAS-0706-2015 0706-2015-&-(V2)0202.2016 Blessings dJ