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LOSS Program Office
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Chicago, IL 60654

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Featured this Month:

Keeper of Memories
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by Cynthia Waderlow MSE, LCSW
I’d like to extend some brief thoughts about family grief through the holidays. There is a lot written on the subject to be found on the internet and various bereavement books. No wonder, because holiday traditions have “normal” and “what we always do” baked into them. When a loved one central to the family has died from suicide, these days can be approached with perhaps too much hope that they will help us feel better, or only dread or confusion.

Archives:

From the Desk of Rev. Richard Jakubik
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 by Rev. Richard Jakubik
Sometimes in life, a tragic event occurs that fractures the very foundation on which we stand.  Survivors of suicide navigate in a world that is profoundly and irrevocably different and challenging from the world they once knew. Survivors now find themselves in an unexpected and life long struggle with the tragic loss of a loved one to suicide.  Grief and its complications manifest as painful thoughts, feelings and behaviors that can derail the natural process of healing. Survivors who experience complicated grief go through deep, acute, and intense levels of pain, that often leave them feeling “stuck” and left behind.
From the Desk of Deborah Major
Sunday, March 1, 2015 by Deborah Major
The loss of a loved one to suicide represents a critical turning point, because it imposes into the survivor’s life a crisis of attachment and of identity.  What we hear in the first moments of every caller’s voice is shock, devastation, confusion and a sense of feeling utterly overwhelmed.  We hear these questions sometimes openly stated, at other times implied beneath the details of each caller’s story: “How am I to make sense of this? What am I supposed to do next?  How could this have happened? Why did he do this?”  Often callers interpret the suicide as containing a message from the loved one that the survivor feels compelled to decode: “What was he trying to tell me?”  Those who did not receive a note persist in the hope of finding one, a final communication that would explain why she chose to end the relationship so abruptly and in such a painful manner.   Those who did receive a note return to it repeatedly, hoping to understand the loved one’s frame of mind and the meaning beneath the words.  Suicide, more than other deaths, holds significant relationship meaning for those left behind.  In the earliest phases of the grief process, survivors see the suicide as encrypted with deep meaning about the relationship that they shared with the deceased.   Indeed, if we lose a loved one to cancer, the crisis of attachment may also emerge, but the struggle with the relationship meaning will never be connected to the cancer itself.