“It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in this broken world.” — Mary Oliver
Losing a loved one to suicide shapes your life forever. Even knowing someone who’s lost someone to suicide can change your life.
Suicide loss presents a unique kind of grief, complicated by unanswered questions, stigma from those who don’t understand, and sometimes immense guilt in the face of such devastation.
It’s uncomfortable to talk about. Which is why we should talk about it.
Today, for me, talking about suicide loss means writing a prayer for those who have survived it.
Whether you’ve lost a loved one to suicide or not, I think it’s important to show up to the conversation with compassion and an open mind — with the willingness to understand what someone else is going through or has gone through.
If you do know someone who's lost someone this way, please pass this prayer along to them as a heartfelt "I see you." It always makes me feel less solitary when people do that for me.
For better and for worse, for each other and for yourself, thank you for showing up for this life. It does mean the world to someone.
A Prayer for Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones to Suicide
May we be free to grieve in our own ways.
May we take all the time we need to heal the wounds nobody can see.
May we give ourselves the compassion we wish our loved ones could have felt.
May we open our hearts even though it hurts, and recognize that it hurts because it mattered, and that our hearts are big enough to hold it all.
May we allow ourselves the space to process such great pain.
May we learn patience and forgiveness and accept that so many questions will not have answers.
May we never close our own lives to the support we know we need.
May the support systems we build teach us courage and faith, and to honor our loved ones’ lives and everything they were to us.
May the pain we carry grow lighter as we grow stronger.
May we find purpose in the darkness we’ve crawled through, and be brave enough to make meaning out of what we can’t change.
May we choose expression over silence, and solidarity over solitude.
May we create something beautiful out of what happened, whatever kind of beauty we’re drawn to, and may everything we do in love, be done for them.
In their name, may we learn to love all over again, and again, and again.
"May the radiance and beauty of their lives never be defined by their death." (unknown)
As we remember their light, may we feel that same light flowing through our veins.
No matter how long it’s been, may we feel their presence so completely, it’s almost as if they’ve never left.
. . .
What did you need to hear most today, or what did you need most back when your grief was brand new?
Tell me in the comments. Hearing your thoughts helps us all.