November 17 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. This is a day when people who have lost a loved one by suicide come together all over the world. The three main goals is to 1) educate, 2) offer an opportunity to share and 3) help suicide loss survivors meaningfully commemorate their loved ones and Survivor Day.
There are many reasons to attend Survivor Day.
1. You will be in a safe and supportive space.
You will be in a space shared by other survivors and you will be safe to express any and all of the painful emotions and thoughts you may be experiencing.
2. You will find a connection.
You will be in a group of survivors who understand what it means to lose someone to suicide.
3. You will learn that your feelings are normal.
This atmosphere will give you the chance to talk with other people who have gone through or are going through the same thing you are. You have the opportunity to hear others speak about their feelings and you can share how you are feeling if you choose.
4. You can find hope and support and learn things to help you cope and heal.
Important topics are addressed and there are no “right” or “wrong” ways of dealing with a suicide loss. You will be in a nonjudgmental atmosphere and you will be able to connect with local resources.
5. Survivor Day films tell stories that resonate and inspire and you will find comfort.
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention provides a yearly film that shows true stories that the sadness and anger do not last forever. Life does go on in time. This year we will watch two films. The first film is Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss revisits the grief and healing journey of a suicide loss over time. The second film is A Daughter’s Journey, a documentary that follows Sarah, a young adult, through her story of the loss of her father. Sarah shares her milestones, family, coping positive growth, hope and resilience in the aftermath of a suicide loss.