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November 2015

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Leesburg Chapter

November 2015


A Warm Welcome

Kristin Thompson, Mother of Gabriella

A Suicide Survivor’s Beatitudes

Blessed are those who recognize our grief is compounded: that we grieve the death of a beloved person, we grieve the cause of the death - suicide.

Blessed are those who give us permission to mourn the loss of one dearly loved, free of judgment, censure and shame.

Blessed are spiritual guides who relieve our concerns for the repose of our loved one’s soul with the truth that God is All-Knowing, All-Loving and All-Forgiving.

Blessed are those who don’t offer the meaningless cliché, “Time heals,” because, for a long while, the passing of time holds no meaning or value for us.

Blessed are those who don’t say, “I know just how you feel,” but instead say, “I am here for you. I will not tire of your tears or your words of sorrow and regret.”

Blessed are those who have the patience and love to listen to our repetitive obsession with “why?” without offering useless answers or explanations.

Blessed are those who reaffirm the worth of our deceased beloved by sharing memories of his/her goodness and times of fun, laughter and happiness.

Blessed are the mental health care providers who explain to us that, very probably, our loved one died of a terminal illness called depression.

Blessed are those who challenge our sense of omnipotence with the reminder that no one has enough power or control over another to cause them to end their life.

Blessed are the first responders to our loved one’s suicide who try to relieve our sense of guilt and responsibility by assuring us, “This death is not your fault.”

Blessed are those who lend acceptance to the value of the relationship we shared with the one who died by allowing us to speak of them and “what might have been.”

Blessed are those that allow and encourage us to use our loved one’s death in a manner that gives our loss and grief meaning and purpose.

Blessed are those who do not expect us to find “closure,” “grief resolution,” “recovery,” or to “be healed,” understanding that these terms define “grief work in progress” that will take the rest of our life.

Blessed are community caregivers who direct us to suicide bereavement support groups where our anguish is understood, our loss validated and where we are encouraged by the example of others who have traveled this road before us.

Blessed are long-term survivors after suicide who role model. Not only can we survive, but, in time, we can thrive, we can regain peace of mind, restored confidence, renewed productivity and revived zest for living.


~LaRita Archibald

Reprinted from The Survivors Group (friends and families of suicides) newsletter

Norwell, MA, May-June, 2004

National Survivors of Suicide Day is November 21, 2015


Thanksgiving Prayer

I’m thankful this Thanksgiving

That my grief is not so new.

Last year it was so painful to

Think of losing you.

Death can’t claim my love for you

Tho we are far apart,

Sweet memories will always be

Engraved upon my heart.

Time can never bring you back

But it can help me be

Thankful for the years of joy

You brought our family.

To all the parents with grief so new

I share your loss and sorrow

I pray you find with faith and time

The blessings of each Tomorrow.

~Charlotte Irick, TCF, Idaho Falls, ID



Thanks to the friend who did know the right words to say: "There is a group in town that might help you."

Thanks to the parent who somehow found the courage to call that phone number and find out about "that group."

Thanks to the mother who went to that first meeting knowing it would really hurt to talk — and talked.

Thanks to the dad who said after the first meeting that he could never come back — but did.

Thanks to the parent who, at the fifth meeting, put her arms around a "new one" and said: "They really can help."

Thanks to the mom who, for the first time, was again able to bake cookies — for her "Compassionate Friends."

Thanks to the homemaker who could never talk in front of people — who became a facilitator.

Thanks to the six-foot father who cried in front of the other men — and didn't say he was sorry.

Because of you, we will be able to help someone we don't even know — next month.

~John DeBoer, TCF, Omaha, NE