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  1. Congratulations on your award. Arnold made a huge impression on me in the mid 70s. He cared about people and I am pleased that an award was created to remember a great man. He was a good friend and I cherish my memories of the times we spent together. He spoke to me of the work he was doing in Northern Ontario and the importance of it cannot be overstated! He took on a huge challenge and was taken from us far to soon. We would have greatly benefited from a few more decades of his knowledge and research in the area of suicide prevention and survivor counselling.

  2. Hi Scott! My family and I were at your presentation in Marathon on April 7th. I wanted to let you know that the high school parent council here is pushing to have all the staff at the school trained in SafeTalk. We are trying to set it up before the end of this school year and then will be a yearly “recertification” as part of a PD day. We are also looking at being able to offer it to all the students. Before hearing you speak, we as a council, had already taken steps to secure a mental health worker to be onsite at the school. We are very aware of the situation that our kids are facing.
    You mentioned in your talk that having a recognizable public figure representing the cause can be more effective at creating awareness. Rick Mercer is going to be in Thunder Bay next week I believe. Had you considered approaching him about supporting you? He has done “rants” on suicide and issues that teens are facing. And he is definitely recognizable! It was just a thought.
    Thank for you the work you do. Your talk here was just the boost we needed to push forward with our goals to make our kids happier and safer.
    Jennifer (Samec) Bott

  3. I just became involved with the Collateral Damage Project by performing at a fundraiser here in Thunder Bay last night. I am interested in sharing my story wit hthe project as like Scott, I lost my father to suicide in April 1995.

  4. I recently became involved with the Collateral Damage Project by performing at a benefit here in Thunder Bay. I am also interested in contributing my story as like Scott, the person I miss most from suicide is my father who passed away in April 1995.

  5. I got word today, a guy I grew up with (George Cross) took his own life. I find it disturbing, with all the suicide awareness… & help that is out there… people still are taking their own lives…. George was 42

    • I’m sorry for your loss. We still have a lot of work to do but I know we can make a difference.

      Scott Chisholm

  6. I really am happy to see that there is a comment and place for people to vent and get feed back and maybe some reassurance they are not alone…Anyone who is in the pit of despair needs to be reassured that the black empty feeling or lack of they have is only temporary and nothing will last forever..Except when you take your life.That is forever for the the ones left behind to mourn for the rest of their lives …suicide is final and leaves behind so many victims ..talk to someone it is never too late to seek help …just ask!.

  7. Dear Jordan,
    Every time that I find myself crying, lonely, or confused, my first thought is that all I want is a big Jordan hug to make me feel better. Even though it’s been 3 weeks, it still doesn’t feel entirely real. I still rack my brain, searching for answers, signs, or reasons why you decided to leave us. I re-read your text messages, listen to your voicemails, and sometimes even look for scraps of homework and notes from class to look at. I am desperate for every piece of you, every memory. I am struggling to make sense out of this tragedy, to find some meaning and to find a way to learn and grow and move on. But I haven’t found any such peace yet.
    I really hope that you can see me. That you can see us. That you realize now how loved you really were, how much you affected everyone that you knew. I wish that you knew that Jonathan remembers that time you drunkenly kissed him and that he said it’s one of the highlights of his life. I wish that you knew that the other Jordan Harris came to your memorial, and that we all secretly hate him now for showing up on our newsfeeds. I wish you knew that we all think about you constantly, that you will always be a part of the BunDun, and that you will always be with me. I am not a religious person, but somehow I truly believe that you’re still around in spirit, and that the butterfly that came up to me a couple of days after your death was sent by you.
    I wish that I could rewind and be with you again, make you feel beautiful and smart and loved and precious. Make you see yourself the way that we all saw you. Jordan. I love you, and always will

  8. What a great project you are working on! I just read about it in the Sudbury Star. I lost my Dad to suicide 32 years ago, when I was only 6 years old. Although my Mom wanted to tell me what happened, she decided against it when my grandmother (my Dad’s Mom), begged her not to tell me, cause she feared I would do the same. Being a very sensitive & intuitive child, from the moment we found out he was dead, I knew there was more to the story of “he was sick”, and I questioned myselft as to what I had done that made people around me talk in secrecy when they talked about my Dad. I kept thinking that he died not knowing that I loved him. I finally asked my Mom how he had really died, when I was 13 years old. Once I found out how he really died, I questioned everything else I’d ever been told. I have spent my life having a hard time trusting people, and always questioning if I’m being told the truth about something. His death affected the entire family, and still has effects 32 years later. I still chose who I am honest with, when asked how my Dad died, because I hate the look on people’s faces and the “ohhh” reaction you get when you say that’s how he died. Suicide is a result of a mental illness…something in the brain is not working well, just like heart disease is cause the heart is not working well. It’s frustrating that with the knowledge of mental illness nowadays, there is still such a stigma attached to the suicide & survivors of suicide. I could go on & on about ways his suicide has affected my life. Thank you for opening the dialogue, and best of luck with your projects!

  9. Hello all-
    The fact that we have 150 people attending a SafeTALK training session at Laurentian University’s School of Education this Saturday (Feb. 11th) speaks VOLUMES about the impact of suicide in the lives of so many. With every email, every phonecall, every fax that I’ve received from people who want to register for this session, there has been a sense of urgency and gratitude—urgency for teachers and people who work with people to become better informed about how to respond to others who are contemplating ending their lives by suicide—and gratitude that this opportunity is being offered in Sudbury. Hats off to Jim Lees from Confederation College and his team of Greg, Heather, Linda and of course, Scott Chisholm, keynote speaker for the day—whose voice has been the catalyst for so many of my education students to get on board and equip themselves with the necessary skills. Gayle, my research buddy from NOSM and Shelley Leeson (who has handled all of the registration at CC) we couldn’t have done this without you too! Onward with a positive day of training!
    Jan

    • .OOPS!!….and one more incredible SafeTALK trainer: Janice—who is also travelling from Thunder Bay to be part of our suicide prevention training day on Sat. Feb. 11th at Laurentian University. Gracias, all!

  10. My boyfriend killed himself not to long ago about a week and a half ago and i’m unsure of how to deal with all the hurt I have inside.
    I read about how other people are with things in there own life and how they cop but it seams the pain never goes away and all i can think is then why live why go though with living if all it’s going to do is hurt me :'( .
    We where very close he knew me better then anyone else I call him my boyfriend still cause I don’t want to call him anything else at the time thou we where having a brake in a scene not a break up just time to get things worked out I’m in a lot of after school things and needed time to get my self together the deal was by Christmas we would be back like things where we made the deal about a month ago but when we saw one another we couldn’t stand being apart Christmas was going to be great. he slowly stopped talking to me and I began to worry but I though everything was ok I’ve never been more wrong in my life. I’ve gotten over blaming myself even thou there are so may that still blame me and to hear what they have to say and why they blame me hurts so much. He wrote about me in his note that he left and cause of it people blame me and it’s so unfair. He loved me and I love him everyone could see that it was first love and I’ve never felt like that before in my life and i know he felt the same way I was his first and last girlfriend and he was my first love. I can see why people want to blame me but i wasn’t what drove him to do what he did. he had alot going on in his life there was a lot of stress we both had a lot thus the reason for a little break to fix it all but it turned out that he couldn’t deal with it all alone. I feel now as if I’m just going on and on but I don’t know what else to do my head is full of all these thoughts I don’t know how to explain how I feel or what’s going on it feels as if everything is just to much as if there is no light in my life and it’s so far away that nothing I do will let me get to it. I’m trying to do the “right” thing and cop with it the “right” way I’m not doing anything to hurt myself or anyone else…well not anyone else and I’m trying so hard to not do anything to myself but the pain I feel each day is just to much the hurt that I feel it’s just so over welling and it’s not like this is the only thing getting me down I have depression and it’s been hard trying to deal with it and now this is just throwing me over the top I’m so numb that I only know I’m feeling sad but can’t full explain it……..
    I’m just so lost and I feel so alone all I want is for him to be back but I know it’s just a stupid wish cause no matter what I do he’s not coming back.

  11. My younger sister killed herself 20 years ago and I still struggle with it. Now I look at my son who’s 22 and he reminds me so much of her. I don’t know what to do. All I do is brace myself every day when I open the door. Sometimes I think she had the right idea.

  12. I am writing today, it will be almost 7 months since my 18 year old took his own life. We knew he was a bit depressed but we thought it was the normal teenage issues, we had no idea it was so deep, we also didn’t know he had told several of his friends that he was depressed and a couple of them he told he wanted to kill himself. These kids are dealing with their own guilt as well I have terrible guilt. James worked so had hiding the fact that he was so deeply depressed from us, even when we flat out asked him if he wanted us to get him help. I want my baby boy back so much and it too late. The only thing that keeps me going is our 10 year old son, he is really missing his big brother as well.
    My husband and I have been trying so hard to make the new life and to move forward, we work on remembering James everyday and with others to make sure this does not happen to another family. We have to educate the youth.

  13. David, my dear, brilliant, sweet-natured friend, gone for almost twenty years…it still hurts to think that your pain was so overwhelming that you took your life before you had even turned thirty. The darkness that descended on me when you took your life lasted over two years. You broke your friends’ hearts that day in September. I still miss you and our understanding and time together — and wonder what good things life might have brought you in time. You will never be forgotten.

  14. I lost my husband to suicide 23 days ago. Our day started beautifully. He texted me early in the morning, wishing me a wonderfull day and to tell me he could hardly wait to see me after work. We both had an extended long weekend and we were looking forward to the mini vacation. He called me several times at work, did the groceries for the weekend and when I got home he was waiting for me with that wicked smile on his face, that face that made me fall in love with him over and over again, no matter what he did. We had supper and then we sat at home having a few drinks. I’m not sure how much he had to drink, but when he had too much, he became a different person. We ended up arguing again about the next door neighbour with whom he had a fling last year. A year later, he started calling her again. I couldn’t understand why he was doing this. And still, he didn’t want to leave. I did everything for him, I would have done anything for him. He got so mad in a split second, he came at me and he started to choke me. He bit me on the cheek until he drew blood. I don’t know whether I fought him, or he pulled back. He then just stared at me saying he was sorry. I run in the house to put a cold towel on my face, and the last I saw before I went into the house, was that he went in the garage. I was not in the house more than 10 minutes. when I went back outside to see where he was, I found him in the garage. He was just hanging there. He used the wench in the garage to kill himself. How can I live with this..? How can I erase that image out of my head..? How can I stop this guilt that I feel..? There are so many what ifs going thru my head, and I can’t stop them. I miss him like crazy one minute, I’m angry and mad at him the next, for all the pain the he caused me and his family. How can I ever start living again…?

  15. I myself lost my siblings to suicide and It is a tough road to walk in. I lost my older brother and my twin sister. It seems like I have to search myself in them to understand. I dont know. There is so much anger in that pot to deal with. But, What I am willing to do is fight with my battles to try and understand. My battle is anger at them.

    ThunderChild

  16. Maggie~ Get those feelings out….talk, talk, to someone safe. That will listen. We have had a similar loss, our son, Scott took his own life at 21,( 3 1/2 years ago) he has an older brother and younger sister. I fear that our kids, left behind by such a tragic loss will somehow, fall into a desperate anger toward their brother, for destroying our family. It haunts me every day. That this will “end” us…I read your words, and I am fearful, I know that only educating myself on the very tragic state of depression that Scott must have felt, helps me to see that this was not selfish, the way we think. They didnt have the opportunity to think clearly through their own thoughts. I think in a way they are in so much pain, they even believe that it could be better for us to not have to worry about them. I truly believe , we cannot begin to understand the depth of their pain, and in that moment it is like a tunnel of darkness closes in, and the pain needs to cease. If your brother or my Scott had ever known clearly what this tradgedy would do to those left behind, and if there was another way out of the pain, they would of never done this but, depression is deceptive, I dont think your brother ever thought his pain and circumstances were more important than your family. I just dont believe it. I know it seems strange, but I am going to ask you, to learn as much as you can about his pain, so that we can help others, and in turn help ourselves. I hurt, knowing that you are so hurt. I wish for some understanding, to come your way. Believe me this is the hardest thing to go through, but we need to keep emotionally healthy, so that we can combat these dangers, of anger that grows, or hurt that deepens.
    You are brave for sharing, I know it wasnt easy.
    Mary

  17. WOW… My name is Jessica and im not a survivor of suicide persay however i am an individual who somehow managed to survive a normally fatal suicide attempt. That was 2 years ago and my life has changed drastically since. After reading what you have all said and the pain you feel i can now see the other side of the coin. I always thought that my pain was my pain and that me killing myself would never affect anyone else. That no one would ever care if i was gone. reading your posts has showed me that desite whatever is going on in my life giving up isnt the answer because despite how much i think i may not be loved the family that i have would be affected and after reading what maggie wrote i just dont want to ever do that to someone.. Maggies post hit me hard and i feel truly greatful to have gotten to read it. I am truly sorry for the pain you are feeling but i hope you know that by sharing your stories you are helping individuals who may be at the breaking point and hearing that weather we like it or not hurting ourselves affects way more people than we think so thank you very much for sharing.
    Jessica

  18. A letter to my brother Liam Finlayson who left this world 2 years ago today, April 18, 2009 at the age of 23.

    Dear Liam,

    I hate you for what you did. You did the most selfish thing a human being could ever do. You believed that your pain and your problems were some how far greater than pain and problems you have left behind for your family and friends. I hope that you considered the emotional hurt you were inflicting on your loved ones when you selfishly made that choice. I really hope you did. But somehow I find it hard to believe, because if you had you would have realized that it was unfair. I know that you thought that ending your life would relieve yourself of the pain of living and that you would never again have to face your problems, your insecurities or your incapabilities. But thats not it at all, your willful absence from our lives has only brought us more pain than you ever had to experience in your sad life. Did you really become so self-absorbed that you believed that the only way to improve your life was to completely remove yourself from your family and cause unbearable pain to the people who accepted you and loved you when no one else did? I have heard everyone ask countless times what they could have done to prevent this, they are placing guilt on themselves because they can’t even fathom the thought that you would do it for your own selfish reasons. I am so angry that you thought of yourself before me, Mum, Dad and Heath. Its your fault that our family is torn apart. Its your fault that Mum and Dad hate each other. Its your fault that Mum cries everyday. Its your fault that I have to pick up the pieces and be strong for everyone because they can’t manage the pain on their own. Its all your fault. But truth is, I still love you.

    Forever your little sister,

    Maggie

  19. A Letter to my son Liam Finlayson who left this world 2 years ago today, April 18th, 2009 at the age of 23.

    Dearest Liam,

    Its impossible to believe that its been two years since I’ve talked to you or had the chance to wrap my arms around you for a hug. We all miss you terribly as each one of us deals with our inner demons. Your dad spends much of his time at work, not venturing out too much, crying in his private moments. Heath, your brother, is somewhat back on track after sinking into a deep depression after you left us so suddenly. While he did quit university I’m hoping that he will eventually figure out what he wants to do with his life. As for your baby sister Maggie, she is our rock, the one family member that refuses to give in to the overwhelming sadness of not having you in our lives any more. I worry that one day a crack will appear and she too, will have to deal with the raw emotions that I think she keeps safely tucked away deep inside. As for me, once I made it past my own suicide struggles I was left to deal with the deep, empty hole that is me. For the woman I was, died that night when I found your lifeless body. I will never be the same. Each day is a chore. It gets more and more difficult to see any joy in living. But trudge onward I do, as I have to for your brother and sister.

    I will miss you forever,
    Love, Mum

  20. Dearest Big Mike!

    The one thing that I would never call you is “strange”!! Brave, sensitive, courageous, strong and intelligent come to mind……

    Please, please don’t leave. I asked that of my son two years ago but it wasn’t enough. He just couldn’t handle the pain. What he’s left behind is a living hell for me. When you are down as low as you have been you just don’t realize how many people truly care about you (even those you have never met…like me). If you were to leave it would be yet another waste of a wonderful soul. Someone who could truly make a difference in this miserable world. I do hope you start university and could I suggest that you look at a career in social services. Someone like you with a background as tough as yours, someone that has made it through would be a true inspiration to those who are struggling.

    I wish we lived in the same city so I could say this to your face. Perhaps if you saw the tears in my eyes (that are there every day), from losing my son you would see that suicide is not the answer. Things will get better for you. Please believe. We are here for you.

    Please keep us updated on how you are doing.

    Joanne

  21. Big Mike,
    Thanks for sharing your story, and your bravery at the progress you are making. There is on online resource out of Victoria that offers online support and a forum for youth. It is safe, responded to by volunteers and moderated by staff. The website is http://www.youthspace.ca. I wish you health and healing, I am so glad you were able to reach out when you did during high risk times. You are important, I hope you can continue to reach out for support, not just during times of crisis. Sending you some hugs over the internet!!

  22. Scott,
    I thank God for who you are and the gifts you are sharing to help (not our loved and lost ones) but the family down the street that isn’t trained and as you say “working from MYTH & FEAR”. Your mesasge of WHAT CAN WE ALL DO?…..TRAINING! 3 hours is not too much time to spend to save a life.

    Big Mike: I HOPE YOU READ THIS. #1 THE WORLD WILL NOT BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU #2 YOU BELONG HERE and to THOSE YOU LOVE and WILL LOVE IN THE FUTURE. #3 KEEP TALKING ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS…eventually someone will hear you.

    BIG HUGS FROM WINTRY COLORADO,
    SUZANNE

  23. I’ve never lost anyone to suicide, but I am a survivor. Nearly lost my own life to suicide a number of times, and I feel that this project is a step in the right direction to ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues and suicide. Seeing as the project is about opening dialogue, I want to share my story. Be warned, it’s not pretty, and may be triggering.

    Growing up as a child, I never seemed to fit in. I was the smart kid, the fat one who didn’t play hockey or talk to girls but always got good grades. And as predicted, I got picked on. A Lot. Never being picked for games at recess, getting beaten up after school…gradeschool was harsh.
    My home life wasn’t much better. Lived wit my older sister and my mom, who drank. In those early years it wasn’t so bad, but after my little brother was born, mom’s drinking really took off.
    We moved when i was 14, from the house I had my first memories, good and bad in, to a small apartment. Shortly after that, mother started playing onlline videogames, and doing nothing around home but playing and drinking.
    My sister moved out as soon as she could manage, leaving me to take the brunt of mom’s abuses.
    There were weeks and weeks where there would be no food in the fridge, the place was a disaster, and mom would be drinking a 60 of whiskey in two days. The pressures of stress at home affected my school life, my grades were terrible, I had no motivation to do anything with my life. In my first year of highschool, I started cutting. Just scratches at first, then more and more. I’ll never look the same as I did before, my arms and legs have been littered with scars.
    It wasn’t until I was 19 that i tried to take my life. 5 years of neglect and emotional abuse finally brought me down. Mom lost her job in May, and that was the last straw. I downed 3/4ths of a bottle of aspirin. Took me a few hours to finally work up the courage to tell my friend that I had OD’ed. He Brought me in to the hospital.

    Spent the standard time in the ER, getting treated for the overdose and waiting for a bed in the mental health ward to open up. Spent 4 days waiting in emerg.
    When I got to the psych ward, I was surprised.
    I never knew what to expect. The prople there were normal, just a little different. They weren’t scary or weird, the patients were just normal people having a rough time in life.
    The week I spent there was enlightening, and taught me how to manage my emotions in a safe way.

    The rest of that year was one of my strongest. I worked hard In school, got good grades, while mom drank herself into a hole. We lived on her severance package for a while, then on unemployment and eventually welfare.
    In april of 2010, I gave up hope. My girlfriend was having mental issues and left me, my mom lost everything to the drink, I felt trapped, like I was going nowhere in life.
    I overdosed again. And again. And Again.
    I lived for a month and a half non stop on the mental health ward. I would overdose every chance I got, just to feel something. I Diced up my arms and legs, carving things likfe FUCKUP on my arm, HALF-LIVE and HALF-DEAD on my legs and about 200 additional cuts.
    Life lost it’s meaning. I had no home, no future, no idea where i was going to go. If it wasn’t for that girl from school who came into my life at the beginning of this, I surely would not have survived. In early summer I moved out of my mom’s house and in with a matronly lady who worked at a convienience store. I was happy for the first time in my life, I was cared for and looked after. Of course in september, I had a suicidal episode and scared her. So I moved in with a friend and his dad. Once again, in november I had another, dangerously serious episode. I overdosed again, on my meds. The last thing I remember was telling my friend’s dad that I overdosed, and then waking up the next day in the ICU. They told me that I nearly died when I was on a ventilator, vomited and aspirated some of that vomit. I’m still recovering from that episode.
    But after that one, my friend’s dad thought I should go into a group home, and emailed a friend of his who ran a program.
    By some miracle, I got into the program, and moved in with a foster family two weeks ago.
    Things are looking up, I haven’t cut in 5 months, haven’t OD’d since that last major episode, have stayed out of the psych ward since August and look forward to getting a job and going to university in the fall.
    All the pain and suffering has made me who I am, and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could.

    Call me strange, but I think if you saw things from my point of view, You’d leave things the way they happened too.

  24. A message to all the dear folks who are members of the same club as us … a club that none of us asked to belong to. My husband Jack and I lost our 18-yr old daughter, Janice, to suicide 4 years ago on December 4, 2006. Rather than go into all of that family journey throughout her teen years, please click copy and paste the following link to your Web browser for details: http://www.ok2bblue.com/History. The Lee family story is contained on that page.

    After Janice’s death, Jack and I quickly realized how huge this problem is and 2 years ago founded the BLUE WAVE Foundation to combat the stigma that surrounds youth mental health issues, which often drives the struggling adolescents into silence for fear of being labelled “crazy” by their peers. Depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts – to name but a few, plunge them down into a deep hole of despair. For many, just like our Janice, they lose all hope that things will ever change and they take their own lives. As one young girl said, “it’s not that we want to die, it’s just that we can’t live with the pain anymore”.

    Suicide is the second biggest killer of our 15 – 24 year olds and is moving toward #1. This must change. One in 5 young people will have (not “might have”) a serious mental health issue before the age of 18 years. BLUE WAVE is all about early intervention, raising awareness and education. Its other major mandate is to initiate the raising up of BLUE WAVE Centres in regional areas across Canada. One resounding, consistent cry that is heard from the youth: “There is nowhere to go!”. These BLUE WAVE Centres would be like a “half-way” house between home and hospital … places where youth can drop-in, talk with others, realize that there are many, that they’re not alone, that there is help and always hope for the future. Counselling would also form part of such Centres. For those Centres that may raise up on acreage (there will be people in Canada who could gift property for such purposes), it could represent a farm-type setting with the youth hands on with animals (often used in therapy), tending gardens, growing produce, outdoor activities and fitness. In cities, of course, a BW Centre would probably be set up in a building. Each would differ according to circumstance.

    Yes, the vision is big and daunting but the action has to start somewhere. Governments don’t have the money to initiate such Centres for our youth, but there are many individuals, groups and corporations who could combine forces to bring the Centres into reality, one by one. Millions have been raised for breast cancer and the like, and so it must be for youth mental health.

    The first initiative of BLUE WAVE 2 years ago was the establishment of the website http://www.ok2bblue.com which was specifically designed for struggling youth and concerned parents. I’d encourage each of you to visit. We and all of you have had our tragedies, and we now learn to live with them (and we certainly never “get over it”, as some people think) … but you may have other children, nieces, nephews, friends of your children or your neighbours or co-workers. As one psychiatrist said – this problem is now of epidemic proportions in all first world countries. Helplines on the website indicate, by province, where people can go to get help. There is also an informational section for concerned parents, including a list of warning signs to watch for.

    On the website BLUE WAVE tells the youth that it’s OK 2 B BLUE, just as it’s ok to have, say, diabetes or a heart condition … these things happen in life. But when the bad days outnumber the good days, when “blue” (depression) is all there is – like a dark hole that you can’t climb out of … then it’s time to reach out, speak up and get help. As with other physical illnesses, mental health issues can be managed and quality of life restored. You will find BW short videos to watch on the main page of the website. Also in the Multi-Media Centre tab are many professionally made BW videos on topical subjects relating to youth mental health. The young people you see in the main page video are not actors … they are all “real” kids who volunteered to share their hearts and their personal struggles.

    BLUE WAVE goes into schools with its BW school events. More and more schools are contacting BW for these programs. BW has trained young speakers who share their own struggles with the students, and offer hope and encouragement to press on and seek help. Each school is encouraged to “own” an annual BW school event and get their youth involved in the movement to call for change and “Ride the BLUE WAVE”. School students participate in the “Spare Change4Change” program, taking home containers for the families to collect their spare change for the works of BLUE WAVE. You can view a BW short video that illustrates such BW school events and what they could look like: http://www.ok2bblue.com/BlueWaveDays.

    In this great pain that Jack and I were left with, it certainly helped in the founding of this BLUE WAVE Foundation and the important work it now does. It has chapters in BC and Alberta with new ones initiating in 2011 in Ontario and Quebec. May I encourage everyone that perhaps one positive way to ease your own deep pains in the loss of a child to suicide, could be to “get outside of yourself” to a degree and perhaps consider supporting BW, either by volunteering in some way or supporting its goals and mission for change. Between all of us, and many more, we can be instrumental in saving a young life and certainly making a difference in the lives of Canada’s youth: our “tomorrow’s adults”.

    Warmest regards to each and every one of you.
    Margaret Lee
    mlee@bluewavefoundation.org

  25. Here I am again, desparately seeking some kind of way to make the pain go away. Its hard to sleep. Sometimes I think that I am getting better and then I can feel myself sinking into that lonely place where it’s hard to breathe. I continue to fight for hope and purpose. I know that I have to be strong if I am going to help any body else. So I guess it’s time to go to work and pretend that it’s just another day. Good luck to you all.

  26. though i havenot lost anyone the way you all have as a nurse i have looked after patiants through depresion and suicdal thoughts often patiants would talk to nurses about their feelings and depression they try to hide from family they dont want to hurt [anurse is not a close family member but somone trained to watch for the signs talk to them about their feelings/never leave them alone with their dispair its usually when alone the dispair and depression tips them into suicide they know they are loved and dont wish to hurt family ore freinds but sink into the deep dark place of depession and cant see any way out of it feel so alone were nobody understands ore can help them we must find a way to show them we can help we are here for them just contact us and we will do all we can to helpmy thoughts and prayers are with each of you who have lost a loved one we must find a way to prevent these suicides ann

  27. Hi Robin,
    I am from Alberta Canada. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all the time.

    It is such a common thing to hear that there were no signs, no warning.

    I lost my precious grandson and that is what I heard from all his friends, no sign, no warning.

    15 months later they are now telling me that they realise there were “warnings” but they did not regognise them as that as he was so smart, so beautiful that they would never for one moment think he would do something like that.

    Love and prayers and stay in touch.

    Please find someone to talk to that can walk you thru this.

    Pat

  28. hi my name is Robin and i live in new hampshire in the u.s. i lost my beautiful husband dennis to suicide on 23 march 2010. at 6:30 p.m. we were dancing in the kitchen. he asked me if i would get a breast augmentation. i said “you silly fool, i’m too old for perky” he replied, “yeah me too, but let’s just get one in the middle of your back for when we go dancing!” he then spun me around and headed downstairs. a few minutes later he was gone…a gsw to his head…no warning, no clue he was hurting no signs of depression, no note. if i didn’t know my husband as well as i do, i would have thought it was an accident…but he was too concerned with gun safety and firearm awareness to have done anything like that accidentally.

    i guess people don’t know what to say to me or how to say it. it’s like dennis never lived. they have stopped calling and the loneliness is insurmountable. i sometimes wish he would have taken me with him instead of leaving me all alone. he is so very loved and so dearly missed. i hope he is at peace now.

  29. i’m so glad to have found this forum. i lost my beautiful husband, dennis, to suicide on march 23, 2010. he was 51 years old. i’m floundering. my family is trying to deal with their own grief as we lost two other family members in the previous 8 months. my brother jay (54 years old) died after a difficult battle with cancer in july of ’09 and my brother glenn (48 years old) died in november of ’09 while in the hospital recovering from knee surgery. my family is so angry at dennis for taking his own life that they refuse to talk about him. my friends have all distanced themselves. i will admit that a lot of it is my fault as i shut everyone out. living this horrible, lonely existence is all i have left. this and the memories of my husband dennis. i miss him so much. he was my everything.

    my thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you struggle to cope and understand and grieve for your lost loved one.
    peace

  30. Hi Joanne,
    I have just returned from holidays….Thanks for your message. Not sure how this works on here as i don’t check this daily. You may e-mail me at my pen friend e-mail if you wish… claudettemuise@cogeco.ca or on here anytime you feel like chatting or wanting someone to listen. For me the peace comes from knowing les is where he chose to be. As hard as that is for many to understand and accept I know with all my heart that he took his life to get the peace he so desperately wanted. I also know there were other ways to find it as well but those things did not work for him. I had a lot of guilt for a while, well to be honest some days i still feel it, mind you, dealing with a mental illness of my own now ( PTSD) I can better understand what took Les to that dark and lonely place. I believe we are all capable of going there. Having said that, it is his death that reminds me of how precious and short this life we are given is and I wake every day knowing it is worth the fight. Hope you will find that too one day. The grieving takes a toll on our body and mind. Try to stay strong and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Thinking of you…Kellie

  31. I am going on with the day to day struggle of losing my fianc’e to sucide almost two years ago. Some days are better than others. The tools that I am using to survive myself are my compassion and strength to reach out to others who are suffering. It makes me feel like there must be a reason that I was left behind. I belive that this is a battle that I will have to fight for the rest of my life… Acceptance…… there are so many stages to this type of grief. I have a little dog who keeps me company and I know she is counting on me to be there for her. Silly as it may sound.. it has worked so far. . I wish all of you the strength and courage to keep going. This kind of lonliness makes you very tired and it’s easy to question yourself about what you could have done to change this horrible outcome. Just know that we can’t always save the people we love but that doesn’t me we have to stop loving them or pretend it didn’t happen. My memories of Byron are what makes me know that as badly as it ended it was still the best thing that ever happened to me.The common thread we all share here is that we can love. So stay the course my friends and make your own kind of music.

  32. Hi Kellie,

    I would love to share with you as sometimes I feel so all alone. I’m on this constant search for peace and I rarely find any. I lost my son almost 18 months ago and not a day (hour) goes by that I don’t think about him. I miss him soooooooooo much and I’m just so sad all the time……

  33. Hi Everyone..
    I am Kellie. You can read a bit about my story on Scotts BLOG …
    I have lost a husband to suicide 12 years ago, and a friend recently.
    I am so appreciate of the work that Scott and all of you are doing… dialog is so important…
    It was a pleasure meeting Scott and sharing some of my story.
    I would love to talk and share with others and is hoping that this would be the place.
    The comfort of knowing your not alone… even after all these years… I still need it…
    Kellie

  34. Dear Lost,

    Glad you decided to stay. How I only wish other’s would see that in their passing they are devastating those who care about them. Forever changing their loved ones lives! What an awful burden for a family to carry. I, like you, hope that a site like this does indeed help those who are truly lost. Please, if anyone out there is considering suicide……..tell someone!! You are more loved and cherished than you will ever know…………..

  35. The more we discuss this subject, the better. I never lost anyone to suicide, but I almost succeeded in killing myself some years ago. It was a defining moment in my life, the sense of being lost and hopeless for so long, and the long, long road back to a (somewhat) normal life.
    Had forums and projects like this one been around back then, things might have been better for me. And perhaps it may help someone in the future, to serve as a reminder that everyone is precious and anyone would be missed if they were no longer here.

  36. I cannot imagine what losing a loved one while away in another land must be for you. I`m sure for myself it has been a long road. I lost my 14 year old daughter to suicide almost 3 years ago. It seems like yesterday. She was such a selfless loving girl.

  37. I lost my father to suicide almost 2 years ago while deployed to iraq. it is that hardest thing i have ever had to deal with. I am extatic to see this site up. i think it will do a lot of good. I feel good knowing that i am not alone in my pain and in my struggles. I miss my father very much and think about him every day. Anytime i can think of a story involving him i tell it. I think it is because thats all i have left. stories and memories, i am afraid if i dont talk about him i wont remember him as well as i do, and he is not some one I ever want to forget.

  38. I recently had the pleasure to meet Scott and share some of our experiences. I think that this is a great outlet for so many that need a place to turn when there is so little resources for the living victims of these situations. It has been 7 years since my brother’s death and I have a hard time sharing my experience, and even though I had only spent one short evening with Scott, it allowed me to reflect on some of the feelings that I had so neatly tucked away inside of me. In retrospect, my experience and the complexity of my situation with a loss through suicide have become part of me, part of who I am, and huge impact on my existence today. It affects how I view the world, how I live my life, how I love others and what I will teach my child. In contrast to many, I restrain from telling someone else that has any type of loss, that “I know how you feel”. I really do not know how anyone feels with their own loss. I only know how it made me feel, and how it makes me feel every day. The sad thing is that no one else will feel exactly like I do. But the process of expressing those feelings and connecting with others with similar pain just might make the burden somewhat lighter. Thank you Scott, I look forward to seeing the end result of your efforts.

  39. Hi Joanne,

    Same here. That doctor from Australia was the bottom of the barrel
    why would you cut funding to mental health?
    All we can do is preventive and try to save as many lives as we can.
    I now have all these “new grandchildren” we have adopted each other since my Joshua’s death. So thru them I hope to get them involved in their colleges and universities.
    I think Sam and Kyle so far have joined Scotts site.

    Did you see Dr. Phil today. It is on Facebook he did a show on suicide and had kids on chatting. Writing why so many of them want to commit suicide.
    Very enlightening.
    Chat later.

    Pat

  40. Thanks Pat, and good luck with your surgery. I’m not sure where to begin, although telling our stories to a large audience could be quite compelling. I am starting a foundation in my sons memory sometime this year. Ideally, I want to approach this issue from a prevention perspective (ie proper funding for research, medication, new facilities, programs) as there seems to be so little offered at present. Also, I would like to see the patient confidentiality rules changed somewhat to provide more information on diagnosis/treatment to parents, grandparents, siblings and the like. Additionally, special training for medical professionals dealing with individuals with mental health issues. The crisis centers here in Ontario are very ineffective to say the least………..

  41. Joanne,

    Where do we start and I will be there with you all.
    I am fighting for the right to have my surgery right now but doing this for our children, family members and anyone who cannot do it for themselves now and then is so important and it is time to stand up and do something.

    Pat

  42. Hi Jodie

    I have not forgotten you. I am just trying to get my surgery done and have fought for over three years for this. Will chat with you later.

    Hugs, love and prayers to you and your family.

  43. Hi Joanne.

    It needs to be a joint effort right across Canada as my grandson was only 17 and what makes me angry is that grandparents do not have rights either!!

    When we are “disturbed” in any way we need others to make decisions for us and with Mental Health it is so important.

    I needed everyones help after he passed. I could not fill in forms or do lots of things. Who knows what I said or did either.

    We will think of a way to get a country wide petition of some kind going and get these “professionals” off their butts and working for the right things to do!

    I will have to get you to e-mail me at reddypat@hotmail.com and then you can google my name and see what I did in Alberta to the medical profession! I am still at it and now I have an even greater cause to battle for!!

    We will not let our children die in vain.

    Chat soon.

    Pat

  44. Agreed!

    While I fought valiently to get care for my 23 year-old son, I was told that as an adult he (or his doctor) would have to make the decision to enter a facility and not me! Same thing when I spoke with his psychologist (three weeks after his death), that due to patient confidentiality rules he could not contact me! Knowing that I would lose my son if I didn’t do something I called and spoke with numerous health professionals, always being told the same thing. He’s an adult and therefore capable of making his own decisions. Guess what? People with mental health issues don’t make very wise decisions!! Well, it’s been almost a year now since his suicide and not a day goes by that I don’t shed tears and hope against hope that this was all a bad dream. Liam was a wonderful, wonderful man, brilliant, kind, artistic, funny and had so much to give! To you Pat, and your fellow Albertans…..I tip my hat!

    Let’s keep this going….please!!

  45. Wonderful Joanne
    I am in Alberta and when they brought this Australian guy in who was going to be paid big bonuses to close beds in our mental health hospital there was such a huge outcry by professionals, regular persons, unions, that idea was shot down.
    He wanted to get rid of psychiatrists, nurses and whatever to save the system money.
    I heard that he also wanted to cut out snacks and toothbrushes and the like for these patients also! How low can some people sink?
    Nothing like kicking people when they are at their lowest point!
    We all have to pull together to keep the care people need in our communities.
    The only bonus he should get is a free trip back to Australia!!!
    So many persons with mental health issues end up on the streets with nowhere to turn and no one to talk to!
    With attitudes like his it is no wonder Alberta has the second highest rate of suicide in the country!!
    Not something we should be proud of.
    So sad!

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