Today I HOSTED on the AFSP's International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day!
The first time I attended this event was in person in 2019 right before the pandemic. I had just started on my grief journey and remember just being in a puddle of tears all day long but finding great strength in being among peers. That day I knew it was my calling to become a bondholder in the community. It is amazing to see how having attended and co-facilitated over 200 group meetings has radically changed my life, other peoples lives and my grieving process.
It was a lovely event where survivors came together to share in their experiences of loss and ways to heal on this journey of complex grief. One of my biggest take aways was the idea of "post traumatic growth." The concept that we can blossom from such a deep pain and grow into a new version of ourselves that knows nothing but the desire to give back. It seems that grief is our pathway to greatness and acceptance is our road to freedom. That our struggles with guilt, shame and failure are woven into the fabric of this complex journey.
Beyond digging deeply into our pain, we found moments to reframe our "difficulties" into "challenges" and found strength in each other. Finding your community is like discovering your superheroes and as we come together and shed light on our darkness we have the opportunity to create a more beautiful world. A world where the stigma associated with suicide loss doesn't exist and survivors feel free and safe to share their stories. Stories that can create indelible bonds and help to save the lives of others, for in a world where people share their pain they also share their love.