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  1. You know, I look at all of these messages from everyone and I think wouldn’t it be amazing to come together as a group of mum’s and put pressure on the medical health system to properly fund and support mental health issues? Wouldn’t it be great to see suicide and other mental health issues treated like cancer or heart disease! To me, to see that happen would be the ultimate tribute to my son and his brief but very lovely life. Please contact me if you are interested…

  2. I am so thankful for this forum.I lost my 20 year old son to suicide in Jan./2009.He had many issues one being bi-polar.Meds wher always a problem for Evan growing up as soon as someone would find out he would stop taking them.Evan leaves behind a very large family that all suffer from his lose in different ways.And guess what no one wants to talk about it.Well I want to talk and talk because it helps with my healing and people have to realize that it does happen and the ones left behind need to talk about it.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on Tuesday 2 March. My older brother whom I worshiped as a child was depressed and an alcoholic, and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. He left behind a wife and 2 small children, 3 brothers and 2 sisters . He was in such a state before he killed himself that he kept calling one of his sisters-in-law to go get him, she couldn’t, as her young child was sleeping and her husband wasn’t home, he called her for a few hours every 15 minutes. the last call he made and she still couldn’t go ,he said, fine. You won’t have to ever worry about coming to get me again. Hung up and shot himself. I feel he was so cruel to her as she blamed herself for his death then. We don’t discuss his death in the family.
    When my Mom died my co workers were great, flowers and cards and lots of support…when he did’ not one person even said the were sorry for my loss. That is the shame that suicide still carries in our society. I hope to attend your talk in Dartmouth, and we have room for an extra soul if need be, we are retired military and both work for The Corps of Commissionaires her in Nova Scotia. God Bless Maggie G

  4. On February 19, 2010 I lost my 17 year old son Brandyn. This is a pain like no other I have ever experienced. I am looking for other mothers out there who have lost a child to talk to. I have four surviving children as well as my husband and it seems we are all grieving differently. I have support from friends and family but they just don’t understand what it is like to lose a child in this manner. Brandyn shot himself in our garage and walked through the house and up to his bedroom. The dog barking was what brought me unpstairs. I was not prepared for what I would see. Brandyn was aware and talking to me. He told me he had been shot and said “I love you mom am I going to die.” My husband was on night shift and I had 4 younger children all tucked in their beds in the other rooms. Chaos ensued, 911 was called, I was frantic and screaming. Brandyn made it to the hospital and was flown out to Winnipeg. The ambulance was NOT there when we arrived and Brandyn woke up and knocked his breathing tube out. They performed CPR and got his heart beating again. Brandyn died 2 days later as a result of brain damage due to lack of oxygen. Brandyn and I aregued that day about his grades. He was capable of so much but just seemed to want to coast by with a passing grade (if that on some occasions).
    Brandyn’s death has rocked us all to the core. I don’t understand how it is that we are dealing with this, how do we deal…. so many questions…so few answers. If there is anyone out there that wants to talk please email me at jodiejames@shaw.ca.

  5. Scott March12 will be the one year anniversary of the death of my beautiful daughter Sarah who comitted suicide.. I did not realize that there are so many people who have lost a loved one to suicide I have felt all alone in this most difficult time in my life . I am touched by the work you are doing .. I look forward to your book .

  6. Scott,

    Words for me dont come easy, I have visited a number of times in the last few months and just want to thank you for opening up my eyes to the world and giving me the streanth to keep going. This world is hard enough to live in when things are good let alone when challenged by depression, reading these entrys every now and then kind of ground me.

    Thanks

    Rob

  7. Hi Louise and family

    I am glad to see that I am not the only one who comes to Scott’s site often. I feel less alone knowing that there is someone out there like Scott who truly cares. Sometimes it is a very painful challenge to keep talking and sharing but it is a great way to help others and ourselves. Some reactions are not what we want or need and it is not always easy to pray for the ones who are mean.
    I try so hard to focus an all my other grandchildren and one of them now has a web cam so I can “focus” on him each night and talk to him.

    We have so many blessings.

    I am going to meet some of my Joshua’s friends when I come to Ontario at the begining of February so we can share our memories and love.

    I now have lots of other “granchildren. I am so blessed.

    Pat

  8. Hi Scott

    I have been talking to more of my Joshua’s friends and they have found you on Facebook.

    When they were chatting with me they saw that I had connected with you and so they went to your sites.

    What a great job you are doing. Thru these teens they will help others to move on with your help.

    They say once their exams are over more of them will join.

    Thru talking to these teens I am truly realising that it is not just the immediate family that is devastated by the death of our precious loved one.

    Others are so deeply affected and thru talking to them it is helping me to heal but it is also helping them to heal and move on.

    They say that I am greatly helping them but really, it is them who are helping me.

    Josh would turn 19 this April 13th and would have finnished his first year of university.

    They say they keep his memory in their hearts.

    Bless you Melanie.

    Pat

  9. I am 16 years old and lost my brother to suicide 9 months ago in april. I saw the website on facebook on the american foundation for suicide prevention. It was so hard for my whole family to go through what we have gone through and i would love to see less familys go through it. Eachday is a new day a day without him but we move on keeping him alive in our hearts.

  10. Dear Scott – Thank you for the project and providing this space for others. I lost my beloved “baby” brother to suicide in October, 2004. He was a 47 year old father of two grown children. The loss was excruciating and I still don’t know how I lived through that time myself. There are so many different stories around each death like this and yet the survivors all sound eerily similiar when recounting their feelings and experiences. It’s been 5 1/2 years but that is all I am able to write at this time. I have visited the site several times before taking advantage of the forum. I appreciate the opportunity.

  11. It has been almost 7 years since I lost Trevor (my son) to suicide.

    Since that then I have become very active in the community.
    I have trained as suicide bereavement facilitator and taken Suicide Prevention training (ASSIT).

    I have done much public speaking and presentations creating awareness/ dispelling myths about suicide, educating the public on where to turn for help and how to approach the topic with friends and family, facilitating bereavement groups and sharing our family story.

    I salute forums like this that permit people to share their grief and their stories, and hope all are able to heal and move forward in their lives.

    I have become a member of the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Commity and am pleased to say changes are occuring.

  12. Hi everyone.

    I just wanted to share that I had contacted my grandson’s school and I am going to make donation to their breakfast program.

    Also the teacher said I could send along the letters by Fr. Rolheiser as they are beautiful and every year he writes another letter about suicide.

    His letters, I was introduced to by my counsellor, have travelled every where, to everyone I have spoken to.

    They gave me the strength to carry on. I could not have done it without the wonderful people at TSN, Susn, Jackie, Linda, but these letters carried me thru.

    It felt so good to hear that a year later Josh is very much loved and missed and they are still thinking and talking about him and it has started them talking about suicide and why there is so much silence.

    I am so far away from Ontario where they live but his friends chat with me and knowing he is still loved and missed makes my heart sing.

    Pat

  13. Hi Scott
    Did you hear any more about the meeting you had with the MPP?

    Hope it went well. Look forward to hearing more from you.

    Pat

  14. Hi everyone,

    Yet one more thing. I know that for those of us that have lost a loved one to suicide we will never be the same. Our pain is immense and unending, yet I know that we are the ones to make the difference. We are the voices of those lost. If you are in the Toronto area please see below.

    MOVE Conference: Toronto
    November 6, 2009
    Addiction, self-injury, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and suicide. These issues are rarely talked about, if at all. The Move Community Conference is an effort to begin a conversation that battles stigma and shame with honesty and compassion. Led by professional counselors, attendees will gain a better understanding of what is behind these struggles, what drives them, what recovery looks like and how we can make a difference. Our hope is that you leave encouraged, inspired, and informed.

    Upcoming conferences:

    MOVE Toronto
    December 4-5
    Meeting House | 2700 Bristol Circle | Oakville | ON | L6H 6E1
    Limit: 150 attendees

    Download the application form here.
    Note: payment is not due until after acceptance

    Fax completed form to: 321-433-3185
    All application forms need to be received by November 16, 2009

    Accepted applicants will be notified via email. Here you will receive further instructions.

    For questions, contact move@twloha.com

  15. Good morning,

    My daughter Maggie showed me a website last night that might interest some of you. Please check out http://www.twloha.com/vision/. Just like the arts organization mentioned above this group is giving hope and help to many! We have to create change! To ensure that depression, suicide and all mental illnesses are treated with the same respect as any other disease!

  16. Thank you for doing this Scott.

    I think it will be a great success and help so many people to lift the silence and be able to move on.

    I lost my 17 year old grandson on December 13th 2008 and the pain is so great. As David said, I don’t think my Joshua realised how many lives he touched and how many people would have helped him if he had reached out.

    I am very touched by his wonderful loving friends who chat with me on Facebook every day and now call me Nana.

    I have gained so many “new grandchildren” and they feel that I really help them but it is them who are helping me.

    It is like a really bad dream that I can never wake up from. I can see him, hear him, feel him but I know he is dead and never coming back…just why why WHY

    He has a young brother and sister and I pray that Scott has great success in getting his program off the ground so someone can be there to reach out to the little ones left behind by suicide.

  17. On my way into work this morning I heard about a film festival in the city this week that deals with the issues of mental health and addiction. It’s called
    “The Rendezvous with Madness” film festival. As my son Liam was a very creative soul involved in writing, photography and film-making it was fascinating to listen to the discussion regarding creativity and mental illness. Hopefully, this is yet another vehicle to help remove the stigma of mental illness and suicide from society.

    About the festival
    The fever dreams of the movies are an ideal medium to chronicle mental illness.”
    Stephen Cole, The Globe and Mail, 2007

    MENTAL ILLNESS AND ADDICTION are fundamental parts of our human experience and they have always been difficult to present and discuss in the public arena. Fear and stigma routinely make accurate representations and presentations next to impossible.

    The vehicle through which mental illness and addiction are most often presented publicly is mainstream film. Through these films the public can, in most instances, sit back and watch from a safe distance. Audiences are secure in the belief that they are watching the experiences of others and remain divorced from the realities of society.

    Film can also enable new and established artists to visually explore ideas and express stories of mental illness and addiction in ways that are nearly impossible in other artistic media. The technical freedom of film allows for these artists to challenge perceptions of reality and to express the truth of mental illness and addiction.

    RWM explores these cinematic representations and hosts panel discussions after each screening. The films are the art, the discussion gives them perspective.

    About the Presenter
    Workman Arts (WA) is a not-for-profit multidisciplinary arts organization that supports individuals who receive mental health and addictions services in their artistic pursuits and promotes a greater understanding of mental health and addiction issues through various artistic media.

    Since its incorporation in 1991, WA has produced more than 38 original new Canadian plays, 16 Rendezvous with Madness Film Festivals, 9 Annual Being Scene Art Exhibitions, 4 multi-disciplinary festivals and 1 international festival. WA has formed partnerships with well over 100 organizations within Toronto, across the country and around the world.

    The company has a current membership base of approximately 250 member artists to whom it offers year round arts training opportunities. WA members have presented their work in a variety of venues such as the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Second City, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario Suites, Harbourfront Centre, the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, and the Pumphouse Theatre in Muenster, Germany.

    More information about the Workman Arts and its other projects.

  18. I was wondering if anyone can tell me whether there is anything in the Toronto area that would be similar to the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC). I found that for a city the size of Toronto that there are few resources for parents dealing with a suicidal child or support for survivors. I’ve just completed a wonderful program with the Toronto Distress Centre but they seem to be overwhelmed with the demands for their services. I would appreciate any information or hearing from someone who might be interested in looking into starting a foundation (local or national).

  19. Hello, My name is David. I lost my 17 year old son to suicide in 2005. I really don’t know where to start. I’ve never felt any anger towards Keir; I believe he wasn’t thinking clearly that night. I don’t think he knew many lives he touched and the number of people that would have done anything to help him.

  20. Thanks Marilyn for the advice. I will continue to keep the lines of communication open. It’s just so heartbreaking for everyone involved….

    As for Laura’s mention of the Suvivor Support Program through the Toronto Distress center I too am receiving counselling through this wonderful organization. I encourage anyone in the GTA area to contact them. They are kind, very supportive and without them I don’t think I could have made it this far.

  21. Dear Forum,

    In way of introductions, my name is Ray. I lost my mother to suicide in January of 1980. I think in a sense , it was a measured act in reponse to losing a child (my twin when we were six years of age in 1960) and her husband, our father in 1975. I believe she looked at things and just had an overwhelming sadness of losing a child and didn’t wish to be alone any longer.

    I remember my reaction upon seeing her (carbon minoxide poisoning from her car with a vacuum cleaner hose) and personalizing it, in the “mothercare” aspect. I was truly alone.

    I’ve have never faulted her for this decision, but I have largely been silent on the subject all these years. It was only when my nineteen year old daughter (in university), had a doctors appointment and didn’t really have my side’s medical history, that I told her. I have yet to tell my seventeen year old son. I feel the reason for this, is not to present a potential alternative, because someone did it in our family, to those of a tender and inexperienced age.

    I do remember being in a profound state of shock for months afterward. I functioned normally, but was shocked and emotionally paralyzed.

    We are the “leftovers”. The one’s who live with “it”. It’s hardly mainstream, although common, and we are left as the walking wounded who have one more experience that most other people don’t.

    For those who have suffered recently, I say, I’m sorry, but I understand your pain. You’re not alone!

    Sincerely,
    Ray

  22. Hi Scott

    I took your advice and have started preparations for a game in my brothers name. I am waiting to hear back from the CMHA, I have tentatively Scheduled For His Birthday Feb 20th 2010. I have asked some of the guys my brother and I grew up with to play and will be asking others to join aswell! trying to keep it small, there is always room for growth! I am hopeful I can get this up and running. Thanks for the encouragement. I will keep you posted!

  23. Hi Scott,

    A group that helped me through the roughest time of my life was The Survivor Support Programme, a section of The Distress Centres of Toronto. I was not ready to seek help until six months after my husband of 27 years hung himself in our basement. Even two years later, I still have a need to analyze the events that led up to it. I am shocked how many times I have heard or sensed from friends, foes and acquaintances that my children and myself must have had something to do with his depression and are somehow guilty of “allowing this to happen”. Blaming the people closest to the deceased makes us victims and only increases our grief and suffering.

  24. Hi my 19 year old daughter Laura died of suicide at age 19 on October 28, 2005. A day that is etched in my mind forever. Like many Laura left behind two siblings who at the time were 16 (brother) and 21 (sister). I worried about them as they both seemedk to like Joanne’s children keep everything bottled up and wanting to “get on with lives”. It was hard for me but I came to realize that they will cope with the loss of their sister in their own way. What I tried to do was to keep the lines of communication flowing and asking how things were going. I tried to give them space but often found myself being overly concerned that I would lose them too. Laura’s older sister did see a counselor and has a couple of very supportive friends. She wrote a 12 page story about the death of a sibling two years after Laura died which I think was a way for her to heal. I think the best we can do for our surviving children is to be there for them and understand that they are grieving the best way they can.

  25. I lost my son Liam in April of this year. Since his death it has been a real roller-coaster ride for me in particular. It’s so interesting to read the comments from the brothers and sisters of those lost. Although I am receiving help at present but both of my younger children (ages 20 and 16) have told me that they don’t need therapy they just want to get on with their lives.

    Should I push them to see someone? Any comments or suggestions?

  26. It has been almost 4 years since my brothers suicide. I can t tell you the pain my family and I went through. I have been to places emotionally I would have never ever guessed I would see. I have gone through something that has forever and irrevocably changed the core of the person my brother knew. I hide my pain, temper my rage and conceal that I am broken from within! In that concealment I have however, learned two things: people don t understand what I feel and are ignorant to what mental illness is and its effect on the people it leaves behind. I hope this website and your book changes that!
    I do feel as though I am coming through this emotional rollercoaster! I have found an outlet, All the anger and rage bottled up inside of me is released in a positive way through Hockey. The power of Sport as a method of healing is by far the best thing I have gotten involved with since his death! It brings a focus and sense of direction that was lacking for so long after his death! I use Baseball and especially Hockey to Vent my negative energy and honor the memory of my brother and carry on one of our shared passions through life together. For an hour every week through the winter, I get to play a sport that brought us together even when our differences kept us apart! I feel as though by playing Hockey I am still close to him and he, to me! Knowing this makes all the pain I endured after his suicide, melt away, if only for an hour and I feel closer to him out there on the ice than we were in life! I wish that everyone had an outlet like this to escape to if only for an hour a week. I find the Game to be a sanctuary, a safehaven and especialy an outlet to channel my frustrations at my familys heartbreak and societys lack of empathy towards those left in suicides aftermath! I am planning to create a memorial adult Hockey tournament in my brothers name to rasie funds for the charities directly involved with the prevention of Suicide! And to hopefully give some people that sanctuary that I get from being on the ice!

  27. I must say that the stories I have read have touched my heart. Finding support at the time when I lost my brother was difficult. I tried to find books that were helpful and truly was not able to. They were all about the reasons people complete suicide. I needed to connect. I joined a suicide survivor’s group. It had 2 other survivors in it and one quit attending. I think Scott’s book will provide comfort to those who have lost somebody to suicide. Knowing you are not alone and that there are people who understand is beneficial when trying to come to terms with your loss.
    My brother completed suicide ten years ago, in 1999. He was 32 years old. But first, he killed his wife. Their two children became orphans on that day. The media reported things that were not true about my brother. They took the story and distorted the facts. My brother wanted answers to questions from his past that he would not share. He made comments about there being nothing left. He saw things in his mind that nobody else could see. We have no clue why he needed to take his wife with him. There was no note. The only clues he gave as to his intentions were in conversations with me. I knew he was suicidal but could not help him. In one conversation about the impending suicide, he made a reference that there was more that I did not know about. Nothing concrete but enough. I could not help him. I could not help his wife. I tried. I really did.
    That day, and the days preceding it, will haunt me for the rest of my life. The telephone call in the middle of the night……the aftermath, which to this day, is still visible in those he left behind. I love my brother unconditionally……..I wish I could have helped him.

  28. I believe that we are all suffer as a community when someone dies by suicide. I believe that this is a wonderful project that Scott has embarked upon and I would like to see it succeed.
    I encourage all of you to continue the dialogue by sharing Scott’s video about “collateral damage” with everyone that you come in contact with…you never know who it will touch.
    I’d also like to ask that you make a financial contribution to this project so that the book and gallery exhibitions can become a reality. Just a small amount…10 or 20 dollars sent by each of us can help with the initial costs of travel and administration expenses.
    You can find the “Contribute” link at the top of the page.

    Jo-Ann Elo

    social worker, mother, grandmother, sister, community member

  29. I think what you are doing is wonderful. The first booklet I read dealing with suicide was 17 years ago. It was given to us by our parish priest and was entitled “Bearing the Special Grief of Suicide.” This was the day after our 17 year old son died by suicide. You are right. Life will never be the same!!

  30. My name is Carol Cashen, my son Adam dies from suicide July 26 2007 at the tender age of 19. Life, as we once new it, will NEVER be the same. To go from taking life for granted to realizing how precious each and every moment with our loved ones truly are!!! From the moment I got word of my son’s death I chose to be entirely open to suicide. I feel this openess gave others permission to talk about it more, to comfort our family, to become more aware of suicide themselves. Today, I find I am a stronger person, I am a strong advocate in suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and postvention. I have spoke publicly. I chose to lobby for barriers to be put on the bridge that my son jumped from. Its been two years of fighting for them, and I am so pleased to say that this month the barriers have been started…..Speaking out works!!! I am now in the process of creating a booklet for survivors of suicide. This booklet will be ready next month. I have received the support/endorsement from many agencies. The intention of the booklet is for families to receive a copy within the first 24-48hrs post suicide. It refers to resources that are helpful for the healing process, tells a little about what can be expected, feelings you may experience and some helpful information. The link to this site will also be provided. Once it has been printed I will be sure to get Scott to have it available on this site as well.
    My heart goes out to all of you that are on this journey. Know that there are others out there just like you, going through this in similiar ways. This site is wonderful to be able to either talk with others, receive support, just read what others are going through and how they are.

  31. I too am deeply moved by Scott’s work. It is time . So many of us have gone through this .

    It will soon be 10 years ago that my beloved older brother took his life at age 56.

    He was a larger than life kind of man deeply loved, very intelligent and gifted. He was taken by depression leaving a wife, and 3 incredibly beautiful daughters, who were the light of his life. Last month, I met his first grand-daughter. What a gift.

    For those of you new to this intense grief, it is gruelling.

    But you need to hand yourself over to it . It is like being tossed into a wild ocean…The waves roll over and over and over. You feel that you will definitely drown. Sometimes you wish you would. That you would just die too

    But somehow you dont’.
    You can’t imagine smiling again. But you do, You can’t imagine breathing without pain, but you do.

    You can’t imagine that the sun dares to rise, but it doesn.
    The world carries on.

    . And in time, the intensity of the pain eases. The ragged raw edges of the deep hole gouged in your heart,
    begin to heal. It will happen, It took many months before i could walk through a day without a feeling of someone taking a big slug at my gut, all of a sudden, almost knocking the breath out of me. It took many many months…even a couple of years I think before I got through a day without crying. Grief has its own agenda. It will run its course.

    No one will fully understand, and no one can know the pain of grief from suicide. It is a very lonely place. I lied about my brother’s death. I said he had a heart attack. I wanted to protect his dignity. I wanted to scream ‘he wasn’t that kind of person’.
    There is still much stigma around suicide and around depression.
    Just the other day I heard a health care professionals say, “I wouldn’t want to be cared for by someone who is on anti-depresssants”
    Last month I heard 2 other health care professionals arguing whether someone who committed suicide could be ‘with God”.

    We are all stronger and more courageous than we could have ever imagined. There are some things we can never know. Some things will remain a mystery and we have to settle for ‘I just don’t know’.
    Fight back when you need to, surrender when you need to and the chaos will gradually recede.

  32. I read the article about Scott’s book project in the newspaper. What a wonderful way to bring awareness to the public.

    I lost my 23 year old son to suicide almost 2 years ago. Like Angela’s husband he was a classic case of “adverse drug reaction” He’d never been depressed in his life, he was always the one to tell others to “relax” or “chill out”, but he had a mild anxiety disorder. The anxiety worsened when he moved away to go to college. He went for help with the anxiety and was prescribed the antidepressant Remeron. After two months of taking the medication he was dead. I’ve accessed his medical records and am 100% sure his suicide was a side effect of the Remeron. My wish is to increase awareness of how dangerous these drugs can be if you don’t know the side effects and what to look for.

    My son’s death has left a huge hole in the lives of his family and friends. I struggle every day with not having him in my life anymore. I’m a spiritual person and believe in life after death and that’s what keeps me going. The stigma around suicide needs to go and I think Scott’s book is a big step towards making that happen. Maybe one day we can talk about the loved ones we’ve lost to suicide without any stigma attached.

  33. It seems so fitting that the first post was posted on June 16, 2009… that’s the day my husband ended his life and forever changed ours. This is very new and so raw. I don’t know how to forgive myself… or him…

    I just buried my husband a week ago. The ID process took forever… because he was in another state it took even longer to bring him home. I was managing fine through it all though… and then the day after the service a grieving process started that I wasn’t prepared for. The vivid dreams wake me in tears… my heart is breaking. I prayed every night that God would give him peace and I thank him for answering my prayers, I didn’t expect it to come this way…

    My parents won’t even tell their closest friend how he died… like it’s a big black mark on the family… it hurts ya know. I did everything I could to encourage him to get help… I couldn’t do it for him… and I am happy to let him go if he is finally at peace… I just miss him so much.

  34. Hi everyone. My heart bursts for you all.

    I lost my husband to suicide 5 years ago. His was a classic case of “adverse drug reaction”. Yes, he was depressed, but he only became suicidal 2 weeks after beginning his antidepressant. The drug agitated him, and rather than reduce his dosage, his doctor doubled, and then tripled it. Just 4 weeks after beginning the drug he jumped to his death.

    I’m curious if others on this list also suspect that pharmaceutical drugs contributed to their loved one’s death.

  35. I have heard you on CBC (caught only the last 10 minutes of the Show. It very much caught my attention, since I am going through the pain of having lost my best-friend by suicide, last October. It is an every day struggle, the guilt, the pain, the loss, the loneliness at times I think I will not get through. I feel like a part of my life will never become right again. Even though I know that he is dead, I don’t want to leave my house because I fear I will lose him again and when I do return home I face reality that he will never be back and it comes as a shock all over againg. This is where I am at the moment. Looking at your website brings me a moment of releif, it makes me realise that even though I fell very alone and isolated with my pain, there are other people out their who are also hurting because of a suicide.

  36. I have been thinking about writing this since I heard the CBC show – I sat at my dining room table listening to every word spoken. My mother killed herself 30 years ago when I was 17 and I have struggled, mostly successfully, as a survivor ever since. My family does not mention her , except in the most cursory of ways and yet we are so stifled by it – almost more so now than in the first few years. I don’t think her suicide should have been stopped as she was in a lot of pain with a very serious degenerative disease which she had since before I was born – but the loss is immense none the less. I feel so alone with this and miss her deeply. I think we need to open our thinking to the fact that some suicides are not the result of mental illness, but rather a well thought out act by a person taking control of her/his life . Some suicides could be avoided if euthanasia was legal in our country – and the void left for the survivors would be more manageable and less stigmatized.

  37. As Scott has mentioned above in his blog I called into the CBC just eight weeks after my spectacular son Liam died by suicide. He was the light of my life, my teacher, my rock. To lose him after 23 years years is so heartbreaking not just for myself but his dad, his brother (20), sister (15), many friends and basically our entire community. I knew from day one that I had to talk about this. That no family should have to endure this anguish again. I will do whatever it takes to reach this goal. My children and I will be travelling to California next week to spread his ashes in Monterey as he was drawn to sea otters. Perhaps his soul is now free to swim and frolic with these creatures. I see it as not a closing of a door but of an opening as I will continue to speak out about the lack of resourses not just for the victim but those they have left behind. Bravo to Scott for creating this project….

  38. I was 11 when my father died of suicide. I’m 38 now. I am the youngest sibling of five. I didn’t want anyone near me. I needed to deal with this on my own. My tears, my pain were my own. I loved my Dad very much, I didn’t want to let anyone in. One comment someone made to me was “You were only 11, how can you know how much it hurts. You were too young to know what was going on…..
    It has taken many years for me to heal from this time in my life. Two years after my Dad’s death I lost my grandmother also to cancer who was also very close to me. The year my Dad died we moved from the town we lived in. The following year my grandmother was diagnoised with advanced stomach cancer. After my grandma passed away…we moved again, this time much farther away from family and friends. I think being so young I was able to adapt to the turn of events in my life. My older siblings one by one moved away from home the year my Dad died which was not easy. I am a survivor of suicide there are some days when I thought the pain would not go away. When I am hurting I search out someone to talk to. I let them know how I’m feeling. Some people want to listen others are very uncomfortable. It’s nice to see this web site…it’s another piece to my healing we’re talking about it…Someone understands my pain.

  39. Hi everyone. After losing my grandmother and my sister to suicide, I have been channeling my grief into advocacy. I am now the coordinator of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) In hopes of getting our community to speak about suicide and promote suicide awareness, we have a number of events coming up. If you would like further information on any of these, please e mail me at tana2@execulink.com.

    Thursday August 13 – Daniel Tudisco Memorial Golf Tournament for Suicide Awareness – Cambridge Golf Course $150 per person and includes lunch, golf, prizes, dinner. Silent auction. All proceeds to the WRSPC.

    September 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day. We will be hosting a free butterfly release for anyone who has lost someone to suicide. 5:30 pm. Victoria Pavillion, Victoria park, Kitchener. E-mail me to reserve a butterfly. Panel discussion and evening forum to follow at 6 pm. Free.

    September 24 – The showing of the documentary “A Secret Best Not Kept”. “Dara Berger takes us on a jouney through the far reaches of the human spirit, beginning with her own lifelong process of grief and acceptance to an exploration of how society views suicide.” Princess Theatre, Waterloo. Doors Open at 6:30, Show begins at 7:00. $10.

    October 28 -Free Community Evening Forum talking about Stress in the Workplace. 7pm – 9pm, Place to be announced. Kitchener-Waterloo

    October 29 – One Day conference featuring Dimensions of Suicide: Work Related Stress: Reasons, Responses and Resilience. This conference will feature 4 key speakers including Mr Bill Wilkerson, the co-founder and CEO of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health. Early Registration by September 28 $90. Thursday October 29, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, The Sunshine Centre, Waterloo

  40. Hi everyone. After losing my grandmother and my sister to suicide, I have been channeling my grief into advocacy. I am know the coordinator of the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC) In hopes of getting our community to speak about suicide and promote suicide awareness, we have a number of events coming up. If you would like further information on any of these, please e mail me at tana2@execulink.com.

    Thursday August 13 – Daniel Tudisco Memorial Golf Tournament for Suicide Awareness – Cambridge Golf Course $150 per person and includes lunch, golf, prizes, dinner. Silent auction. All proceeds to the WRSPC.

    September 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day. We will be hosting a free butterfly release for anyone who has lost someone to suicide. 5:30 pm. Victoria Pavillion, Victoria park, Kitchener. E-mail me to reserve a butterfly. Panel discussion and evening forum to follow at 6 pm. Free.

    September 24 – The showing of the documentary “A Secret Best Not Kept”. “Dara Berger takes us on a jouney through the far reaches of the human spirit, beginning with her own lifelong process of grief and acceptance to an exploration of how society views suicide.” Princess Theatre, Waterloo. Doors Open at 6:30, Show begins at 7:00. $10.

    October 28 -Free Community Evening Forum talking about Stress in the Workplace. 7pm – 9pm, Place to be announced. Kitchener-Waterloo

    October 29 – One Day conference featuring Dimensions of Suicide: Work Related Stress: Reasons, Responses and Resilience. This conference will feature 4 key speakers including Mr Bill Wilkerson, the co-founder and CEO of the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health. Early Registration by September 28 $90. Thursday October 29, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, The Sunshine Centre, Waterloo

  41. The pictures are beautiful and I am glad to see a website made, for the survivors of suicide. It is nice to have support or just have people listen.

    I myself have had 2 deaths by suicide in my life. My Uncle committed suicide when I was 12. It was awful, my Dad’s best friend and dear brother. There were 10 kids in my dads family and my dad and uncle were the 2 youngest. I had never seen my father in such pain. It was awful. To this day my dad still has a really hard time with my uncles death.

    The 2ND was my friend Steve( Margaret Hajdinjak’s Son). The pictures are beautiful. This website will give people a chance to talk and actually have people listen. Support is the key word. Steven was a wonderful person and a great listener. I could always count on him. I have found a friend in his Mom and she is also an amazing person. I am always here for you Margaret. This website will make a difference in so many peoples lives. Hugs & Kisses.

  42. Dear Debbie

    I feel your pain and understand what you are going through, it has been a short time for you, only 6 months I can’t even remember what I did in those days the days ran into weeks and into months then a year had passed. It’s been 3 1/2 years now and even though it doesn’t get any easier I still miss my son Steven every day, I have learned to live a different normal with out him, he is always on my mind, time doesn’t help, I think it just makes you want them more. But remembering and celebrating his life in some way talking about him staying in contact with people and sharing your story will help, it has helped me, I hope that it helps you to. I am so sorry for your loss of your son Nik. Margaret Hajdinjak

  43. A close friend heard your CBC interview yesterday – she cares, and she called – and I listened. My magnificent 23 year old son Nikolas, took his own life on November the 8th last year. We are frozen in time…. we ache for him. We are saddened by the increasing numbers of young adults that choose to end their pain, so finally, so abruptly. We selfishly want Nik back. We have felt a myriad of emotions, and steel ourselves routinely for the barrage of advice, commentaries and inquisitions by those around us. Our inquiries have proved fruitless – Nik’s therapist cried with the news – how could she help us cope? There are so many anecdotal stories, of young, bright, accomplished and popular children, who cannot share anymore time with us. We feel cheated – and we await your publication with much anticipation – we survive believing that Nik managed decades of experience in his too short life – and we are trying to respect his decision- and because we loved him so much (didn’t like him much sometimes – he was a challenge!) we have to let him go. When and where can we purchase your work. Thank you. Truly, Nik’s Mom Debbie Listrom

  44. Hi Scott, I heard you on CBC yesterday. I sat here at my desk, fascinated that you were talking about survivors of suicide. My Dad committed suicide in February. Some days the sadness can be so overwhelming and it can still feel like it all just happened yesterday.

    Thank you for talking about this subject.

    K

  45. Hi! My name is Elizabeth and I am Margaret’s sister. I just received a call from Margaret that this website is up and the process begun….the pictures are beautiful and it is plain to see that this project will be so rewarding for all involved….. it does provide a forum for discussion about a topic that has been so cloaked in shame and darkness for so long…..suicide is such a mystery in so many ways – for those who choose it; at least from our perspective, and for those who are left behind….something, I don’t think we will ever fully understand on an intellectual level anyway. I applaud you, Scott, for following your dream to make this book a reality and of course, Margaret knows that I have nothing but the greatest admiration, love and respect for the strength and courage she possesses….and I fully support you, Marg, in any way, in this project and in everything….always know that Stevie will never be forgotten…….not ever

    Love,
    e

  46. Hi Scott,

    I heard you on the CBC just now and came directly to your site! While I haven’t lost anyone to suicide my 16 year old daughter did attempt suicide a year ago. Since then it has been a struggle to keep her healthy, happy and at times alive. Our biggest obstacle has been finding the correct treatment for her and for others her age. Our little local hospital released her without a mental health plan because they didn’t know what to do with her. In the past year after many emails, conversations and a threat or two, I am proud to say that has changed and will not happen to another child or their families. Our lives have been changed for ever, not quite like those that have lost a loved one to suicide but changed never the less and I look forward to reading your book.

    Cheers
    Mary

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