About Facing Reality:

This week, my thoughts have centered on how complex life is. Lengthy encounters begged for simplistic answers or solutions.

In last night’s session, I was reminded of the endless stresses a survivor (of the suicide of a family member) endures as they emerge from shock to face reality.  The intense period of mourning tends to fade away for most in the three to six month time frame.  Afterwards concerns and misgivings dominate survivor’s thoughts of the present and visions of the future.  Typically the grief stage sets in and consumes the survivor.

One of the big obstacles that appear is the common belief that we can and should be able to work this out on our own.  Deep inside everyone wants to be the master of our own destiny.  Sometimes a survivor can get so caught up in trying to control things that they begin a life of pretending.  Performing is really hard work and not a representation of who you are but more how you appear.  So many survivors offer the statement “Oh, I am doing fine.” 

There is the need to develop coping skills, since this situation never goes away.  It can fade into a manageable state for sure.  But a survivor initially finds they are no longer who they use to be and face living a different life than intended.

From a personal side:  I encountered folks offering the long standing platitudes like “time heals all wound, you will get over this, you will find someone else or put your trust in GOD,” among others.  These statements made things worse . . . not better.  Most folks (even some of my closest friends) began to distance themselves and some just vanished.  Suicide has the built-in belief that it might be contagious.  There are slants on that theme that are persuasive, but I have found most or misguided.  In the final analysis no one truly knows.

On the other hand there were folks I hardly even knew that stepped up to the line and became involved in meaningful ways.

Another topic of the evening centered on the idea . . . I did not know where to go or how to go about finding help.

While there are books on the subject and various crisis counseling therapies available, most lack that special touch that can be provided by someone who has actually experienced this dilemma.

Over time I wanted not only to gather insights as to how to work through this crisis, I wanted to physically see and judge for myself how successful I thought they had been.  If you think back to when you were a child being instructed by parents, relatives, teachers and on and on . . . there was also the observance thing going on.  In most cases it was not a conscious thing really . . . it was visual learning.  Demonstration over time has sticking power lecture cannot provide.

Another topic offered was the desire not to get stuck and subsequently the desire not to stay stuck.  The topic of “stuck” comes in many flavors.  In the beginning a survivor might better be described as frozen or as one survivor I recall expressed it as “petrified.”

Another personal note:  I was reminded during these discussions of how much is lost without visual learning.  There is something about seeing inflicted grief that penetrates the hardest of hearts.  You simply cannot get that from writings.  In turn considering accepting, trying out and adopting suggestion can be better done in a face-to-face setting.  Again, the observed perception is always competing with academic knowledge available from so many sources.

In the end, each survivor has many choices to make as to what approach they take in the After Era.  Not to make a choice is in-fact a choice that they are staying camped out where they are.

Again, a personal observation:  I have watch some take a quick stance only to see them dissolve.  The more verbose and public a survivor is the harder it is to back track and correct course.  Blessings, dJ  FHAS-0004 -V02 edited 2015.227