A view from the outside, looking in. What do they see? A grieving person, a person in pain with a heart so broken. What do they say? Some say nothing, others fumble over words, and a few say all the wrong things. What do they feel? Shock, horror, sadness, curiosity, relief it is not them. What do they do?

You and I are a complex few.

We are part of a group known as survivors of suicide. The one’s left behind, brokenhearted.
In the early days, weeks, and months you will find that there are those around you that have no idea what to say or what to do.

This puts us in dual responsibility while we are so vulnerable.
We are grieving and lost.
We are comforting those around us and giving them direction on how to comfort us and how to approach us.

We are no less than amazing.

Our strength, our compassion, our ability now to feel both sides.

I put myself in the place of “before” and remind myself that I would have been scared, horrified, and absolutely would not have known what to say to someone that lost a child or loved one to suicide.
Knowing me, the way that I do, it would have scared me to my core and I would have avoided it. Meaning, I may have been one of those absent ones – the ones that have no idea how to approach us – don’t know what to do – what to say.
The enormity of emotion and sadness would have overwhelmed me.
I would have had an incredibly hard time doing any comforting.

So, I understand.
Those that cannot and do not.
The absent ones.
I am sad for them as well.
They grieve also, they feel sadness and despair for us, you and I.
They still love us but are not experienced or versed in such pain.

And for some, that cannot reach out to us,
the pain is too real,
too close
to their own broken hearts.

Today I will remember to put myself in other’s shoes. I will try and understand their own reasons.
For everyone has a story and a journey.

~Leslie Beery, The Surviving Project